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Why Distance Runners Should Lift Heavy

By Stack MVP, 09/20/19, 8:00PM CDT


lifting heavy can be the difference-maker distance runners need that keeps them stronger, faster and healthier than their competition.

Traditionally, weight lifting is not a high priority for long-distance runners.

If they even step foot in the weight room, those workouts typically consist of low-weight, high-rep exercises—much different than how you'd see, say, a football player working out. That makes sense, right? Running is a repetitive motion over a long period of time, so if a runner is going to weight train, shouldn't their routine reflect that?

Not necessarily.

I've worked with several Ironman and marathon runners. They frequently ask me, "What can I do to get an edge over my competition? What can I do that everyone else isn't doing?"

My reply is simple: "Hit the weight room. Hard."

"OK, so I should do a ton of reps with light weight and get toned?"

"Nope. You're going lift some very heavy weight."