Combining weight training with running

Any advice on the best day to fit a leg focused weights session into a programme when you are running x4 a week?
The way things currently look I’ll be doing weights in the (Wednesday) morning and a track session in the evening. I actually think this is the best option but appreciate that seems a bit counter intuitive. Thinking is DOMS from squats etc can easily last 3 days but are less likely to affect an evening session that same day. Likewise, hard intervals in the days before a weights session could be detrimental too.
Paging @explorerJC


I think you’re right. You’re unlikely to have much residual fatigue the same evening and more likely to get doms 24+ hours. Whenever I’ve read up on it the advice is generally same day before or as far from key session as can get (72+ hours)

In terms of concurrent training, the advice I’ve seen is a minimum of 6 hours between the sets as you are going from a process of building muscle and strength and towards more aerobic adaptations from running and your body struggles to do both simultaneously as they are sort of at odds with each other.


Rich Blagrove does a lot of research in this area and has a couple of books. I have not read them myself but know a few good runners that have worked directly with him and improved. He has done a fair few podcast/webinar interviews you should be able to find if you dn’t fancy the books.

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Thanks for the recommendation

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Just on a deadline - will reply tomoz or later tonight if that’s ok.

Assuming the priority is to improve run performance then whatever setup allows you to not interfere with key run sessions is obviously first thought.

Providing the neuromuscular fatigue from heavy weights has cleared and you can deliver on key intervals same PM that seeks reasonable, 5o then allow a day off legs afterwards.

The bit that stands out is you shouldn’t have such bad Dom’s if part of a regular programme. First few weeks might have some or if doing something very different/new exercise but then should be fine as get used to it so long as consistent, otherwise elites would never get any key sessions in.

If you are, then I’d float the idea or seeing if can split the gym into two shorter sessions a week to reduce soreness after so that gym isn’t a novel stimulus each week.


That’s my immediate reaction.

What is the objective of the sessions?

DOMS may not be immediately present, but consider what you wish to achieve from the track session and if this is achievable when fatigued.

As if on request Rich is on the That Triathlon Show podcast this week. (Not listened to it myself)

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I would disagree, and agree with @Chriswim, you shouldn’t get DOMS at all.

Run on M/Tu/Th/F, lift heavy on W/Sa would be my first stab at a schedule.

Thanks for the replies. DOMS has been, to some extent, COVID and lifestyle related (booze) of late i think.
Do you really think I should be able to do squats/ lunges to failure without DOMS though?
The way my week looks is upper body monday, legs wednesday, full body friday. Run (easy) tues, thurs and weekends.
Goals are really to get my 5k time back under 18 mins (from, at a guess 19mins) and run a half decent (1h25) half marathon in october without compromising on the weight training.
I dont like making things easy for myself

Are you weight training for hypertrophy then? When you previously ran that fast were you also weight training like this?

Just do what I do, and combine the two :sweat_smile: (run with weight)

Just do what I do, and combine the two :sweat_smile: (run with weight)

I’m a bit of a novice to lifting but why do them to failure?

Build up slowly from light weights to heavy, you’d only need to get to failure several months down the line, and I get no DOMS doing this 5x5 stuff.

If the main goal is 5k times then do you need to build muscle mass at all? ACtivate the posterior chain and all that stuff with lighter weights no?

Yes i would say i was trying to build lean muscle… and no i’m pretty new to weight training. To be honest this is probably the priority over the running times. I just wanted to try and do the two things at the same time. I have a PT who helps with the strength programme but tbh i probably have a better understanding of running training than he does. I’m not weight training to help my running as such… i’m trying to do two things at the same time.

I’ll keep you posted. This can be week one. Leg day tomorrow. 5k (solo) TT saturday :nauseated_face:


What I’ve learned is that building lean muscle and endurance sports are basically opposite things. So even worse than triathlon for success :smiley:

The basic physiology is that there are three muscle fibre types let’s call them Slow, Fast and Either. Heavy lifting while increase the density of the Fast and converts the Either to Fast as well. Running, cycling and swimming will convert the Either to Slow. Perhaps I’ve oversimplified it, but that’s why they are opposing activities.

It’s also the case that building muscle requires tonnes of nutrition, so you gain body fat at the same time as gaining muscle…of course the running will do the opposite. And if you try to gain learn muscle without gaining fat, you will minimise your muscle gains.

So is that to say don’t do it? Well no, but I think the strength you can gain while doing endurance training is like secondary, posture, alignment, activation type stuff and a bit of anaerobic strength that does make you stronger but isn’t gaining muscle mass.

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I agree with @joex 1st paragraph that building muscle and improving running are disparate goals. But you can get stronger and faster.

I don’t see why you need to put fat on to build muscle though? Also, I have no idea what activation means, not sure there’s any studies that back that stuff up. (From.looking at it as a therapist).

I do weights to get stronger but not ‘bigger’. Just heavy (for me) lifts, low reps.

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It’s a side effect of eating enough to gain lean muscle mass, not a requirement. Not my ideas though, just relaying what I’ve learned.

Activation? Yeah, I kind of agree.

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When you’re talking about 5k running (the OP), surely building your ‘engine’ is the primary goal; after that it’s about maximising the ability of your muscles to work at/above threshold wrt ATP utilisation, lactate ‘handling’ etc. It’s not about the ‘guns’. The reason I run carry weight is because…that’s what I’m training to do better!

For me, weight training is there as a supplemental activity to help avoid injury and maintain good biomx/posture.

I get you :+1:.

@twhat I guess most of us who do weights/resistance training do it to supplement the endurance stuff that is our priority. But you’re doing it differently and wanting to do both or the running secondary to the wieghts. I used to do a lot wieghts at college and Uni although never overly concerend with hypertrophy as such. I would expect DOMS to reduce as you do it more, even training to failure. It isn’t DOMS if you feel it within less than 24 hrs after your session. So long as you’re enjoying it though…