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So, I'm pretty new to this website, but I thought it might be able to answer a question or two about running and weightlifting. I've looked around the internet for anything like my questions, but I haven't found anything solid that can answer my question specifically. A little about me (it might be important): I'm a high school student, I run track and cross country, and I also wrestle. I've been trying to make some gains strength-wise, so I started on the 5x5 program. Recently, I've been unable to complete relatively low weights (195 squat, 155 bench, 235 deadlift when I'm a 5'10", 168 pound male). I have a feeling this is due to bad form or an inconsistency with my schedule, so I was thinking of restarting to try and improve both, especially with the time I'll have from summer. However, I'm planning on running a marathon in the fall (my official 18 week training program starts in about a week). The program has running almost every day of the week (the two I'm thinking are here and here, but I'm not stuck to a program, so I can go easier or harder). I know long distance doesn't really work with weightlifting (at least not competitively), but I'm not doing anything competitive with either; I'm just looking for some gains in both running and strength. I could also drop a few pounds, just to trim around the edges (in January, I was 140 for wrestling, but was cutting hard to be there). Nothing I've found so far accommodates for actually running a marathon, so I was wondering if anyone knew of anything, program wise, diet wise, etc. TL;DR I'm I high school student who'd like to run a marathon, make some strength gains, and drop a couple pounds. Is there a weightlifting program that accommodates marathon training or vice versa? If so, what dietary changes will I need to make?
This is not a review of weight lifting equipment, but may be interesting to some anyways. In the spring of this year, I decided to improve my conditioning by doing some jogging. My goal wasn't to run marathons or anything. The farthest I ever planned to run was 5k and so far I've stayed true to that, because, let's face it, running is super boring. Plus, I didn't want to jeopardize my main priority--getting stronger. I grabbed some crappy old "cross-trainers" out of the closet and started jogging, following the Couch to 5k program. For those unfamiliar, Couch to 5k (C25k) is a beginner's running routine, basically a Starting Strength or Stronglifts for running. After two or three light sessions I developed horribly painful shin splints. I remember finishing up a run and being unable to do much but lie incapacitated on the couch with bags of ice on my shins. The shin splints even affected my deadlifting. They were so tender that dragging a bar up them was pure torture and I had to cut my session short. I went online looking for advice and found plenty. Two of the most repeated options, "stop running until the pain is gone" and "just keep running and the pain will stop" were not going to cut it for me. A third option, getting fitted for proper running shoes at a specialty store seemed like advice suited to someone who takes running a bit more seriously than I do. Ultimately I settled on getting new shoes, minimalist shoes, that would hopefully fix my shin splints problem by forcing me to abandon my heel-strike style of running. It was around this time that I registered for a Run for Your Lives 5k with a group of friends. This race is an adventure race like a Tough Mudder or any of the myriad other similar races, except in this one you get chased by zombies . This was a big factor in my shoe selection since I needed something that I could use off-road. I ended up going with the Vibram Spyridon LS model: http://www.vibramfiv...idonLS-Mens.htm. This model is designed for train running, so seemed the best fit for what I was training for. Initial impressions upon receiving them: The shoes are extremely light--there's not much to them at all, I've had slippers that weigh more than these shoes. They shipped me the obnoxious orange color instead of the more subdued brown and green. Great, now everybody will be staring at my ridiculous toe-shoes. Decided to keep them since I needed to get going with the training and didn't have time to wait for a new pair to get shipped. No point in hiding anyways, might as well own it. (I think 'owning it' is really the only mindset that works when you're wearing Vibrams). The first couple days I wore them around everywhere, just walking. If you do this, I really recommend buying toe socks to wear with them. I didn't and the shoes quickly developed a nasty stank. Nice thing was I could just throw them in the washer when it got unbearable (air dry only). They are extremely comfortable shoes for everyday wear and also a good conversation starter. The thin soles let you feel the ground almost as if you are barefoot. Usually this was pretty cool, but it was occasionally gross. Whenever I walked into a public restroom I had to consciously remind myself that I did indeed have shoes on my feet. Running in them was a whole new experience. Heel striking is just not possible with Vibrams. You can prove this to yourself by just going out barefoot and trying to run. If you land on your heel, IT WILL HURT. The only option is to land on the ball or the middle of your foot. This is referred to as a forefoot strike or mid-foot strike respectively. Initially I used more of a forefoot strike, but eventually moved to a more mid-foot strike which felt more natural to me. First several times running were painful to both my feet and calves. Some of this is unavoidable as running "barefoot" engages muscles that are not typically used when our feet are bundled up in regular footwear. It is possible to relieve some of the calf soreness by ensuring that with each step, your heel briefly makes contact with the ground. Doing this relieves tension in the muscle that would otherwise be maintained through the duration of the run. Since I'm new to running I can't make a good comparison between running with regular shoes vs. Vibrams. However, one thing I noticed while following the C25k program is that running three times a week was pushing it for recovery of my feet. I imagine that with a more supportive shoe, running three times a week would not be as big of an issue. I was able to do the whole program as written, but the Wednesday and Friday runs never felt as good as Monday. It may be possible to work up to a comfortable three times a week, but I would recommend anyone starting out limit it to twice a week. Most importantly, START SLOW. It was easy for me to start slow since I was new to running. If you're already running I would recommend pretending you're a beginner again. There is plenty of potential for injury if you overdo it on your first few times out. I don't ever want to run in "normal" shoes again. After the adjustment period, I actually started to enjoy running a bit and I feel nimble as fuck. With the Vibrams running is as much a muscular workout as it is endurance. I would recommend anyone interested in running take the time to learn how to run in a minimalist shoe, there are plenty of resources out there with advice. Description and pics in my log from the Run for Your Lives 5k