How to Mix Lower Body Weight Training and Running?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Jay Chan, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Jay Chan

    Jay Chan Guest

    I know this has been discussed many times before. But I don't find anything specific to my
    situation. Therefore, I need your help to see if I should do weight training on my lower body first
    or running first.

    I used to have chondromalacia patellae (softening of the underside of my knee cap) a couple years
    ago that was caused by flat feet and muscle imbalance, and I had a surgery to correct the problem.
    Now, I can run without pain as long as I put on my knee-braces. In order to strengthen the muscles
    surrounding my knee, I need to follow doctor order to do some lower body weight training.

    Currently, I am doing these 4 types of exercises:

    - Running: I love to do this; but I don't dare to run too fast or too long in order not to
    trigger any knee problem. Currently, I am doing 3 miles, and 3 times a week. This is
    basically for heart, lungs and my hamstring muscles.

    - Lower body weight training: This is mainly for quadriceps. My quadriceps are very weak as
    compared to my hamstring muscles. I don't do any weight training for hamstring muscles
    because they are already too strong for my own good. My objective is to train the leg
    muscles to balance the strong hamstring muscles. I don't want to do anything more than that.

    - Upper-body weight training: This is for chest, my upper back, and arm. My upper body muscles
    are just too weak (I cannot pull up my own body weight for more than one time). I don't want
    to build up too much muscles; I just want to be able to lift heavy objects (such as a
    furniture) without causing injury to myself.

    - Mid-sect exercises: They are situp, crunches and such. I do this just to make sure I have an
    all-around balanced muscle development to match the upper-body development.

    I need to figure out a good way to arrange all these 4 types of exercises into a week:

    - I can do mid-sect/upper-body in one day, and running/lower-body in another day. If I choose
    this schedule, I will need to decide whether I should run first or lower-body weight
    training first: o On one hand, if I run first, I will be too tired to do lower-body weight
    training, and I probably cannot concentrate. o On the other hand, if I do lower body weight
    training first, I may hurt myself during running because the weak muscles surrounding the
    knees may have already become tired, and may not be able to stablize the knee cap. I have a
    feeling that this schedule may not be practical for me.

    - I can do mid-sect/running in one day, and upper-body/lower-body in another day. If I choose
    this schedule, I will need to figure out if I will give enough time for the leg muscles to
    recover. I am under the impression that I need to give at least 48 hours to the muscles to
    recover after a workout. My understanding is that running is mainly stressing the hamstring
    muscles, and may not affact other leg muscles surrounding the knee. And my lower body weight
    training are mainly for leg muscles other than hamstrings. If I understand this correctly, I
    should be able to give those two types of leg muscles enough time to recover simply by
    alternating the day that I work on them.

    Is my understanding correct? Any other schedule that may be appropriate for me?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

    Jay Chan
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Jay Chan wrote:

    > - Running: I love to do this; but I don't dare to run too fast or too long in order not to
    > trigger any knee problem. Currently, I am doing 3 miles, and 3 times a week. This is
    > basically for heart, lungs and my hamstring muscles.
    >
    > - Lower body weight training: This is mainly for quadriceps. My quadriceps are very weak as
    > compared to my hamstring muscles. I don't do any weight training for hamstring muscles
    > because they are already too strong for my own good. My objective is to train the leg
    > muscles to balance the strong hamstring muscles. I don't want to do anything more than that.

    It's a good idea to train hamstrings as well -- what happens if you use a complete strength
    training program is that you get balanced pretty quickly. For example, heavily right handed
    people very quickly find that their left side is stronger than their right side was before they
    started training.

    > - I can do mid-sect/upper-body in one day, and running/lower-body in another day. If I choose
    > this schedule, I will need to decide whether I should run first or lower-body weight
    > training first:

    Weight training first.

    > o On one hand, if I run first, I will be too tired to do lower-body weight training, and I
    > probably cannot concentrate.

    Wouldn't recommend running before any weight training (even upper body). It will have a substantial
    impact on your weight training performance, even if it's an easy run.

    > o On the other hand, if I do lower body weight training first, I may hurt myself during
    > running because the weak muscles surrounding the knees may have already become tired, and
    > may not be able to stablize the knee cap.

    Wouldn't worry about this. If it really bothers you, do running on the same day you do your upper
    body work.

    > I have a feeling that this schedule may not be practical for me.
    >
    > - I can do mid-sect/running in one day, and upper-body/lower-body in another day. If I choose
    > this schedule, I will need to figure out if I will give enough time for the leg muscles to
    > recover.

    Depends on what you mean by "recover". If you are bodybuilding and need to build huge
    quadriceps, it will be a problem. Otherwise, it isn't. Generally, you can't go 100% on the same
    muscle group two days in a row. However, if you're just running 3 days a week, your runs should
    be submaximal efforts.

    > I am under the impression that I need to give at least 48 hours to the muscles to recover after a
    > workout.

    You don't. This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast law. Most runners run every day, and many of
    them do weight training for their legs and run 6 days/week. Some powerlifters train the same lift
    back-to-back.

    > My understanding is that running is mainly stressing the hamstring muscles, and may not affact
    > other leg muscles surrounding the knee. And my lower body weight training are mainly for leg
    > muscles other than hamstrings. If I understand this correctly, I should be able to give those two
    > types of leg muscles enough time to recover simply by alternating the day that I work on them.

    Not really. The problem is that most exercises worth performing (including running) are compound
    movements -- they actually use several muscle groups.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. Jay Chan

    Jay Chan Guest

    > It's a good idea to train hamstrings as well -- what happens if you use a complete strength
    > training program is that you get balanced pretty quickly.

    I see your point, and I think yours is quite valid in the long run. But I don't need to worry about
    this for now because my quadriceps are just too weak as compared to my hamstrings. I will pay
    attention to this point when I have built up my quadriceps to a certain level.

    > Weight training first. Wouldn't recommend running before any weight training (even upper body). It
    > will have a substantial impact on your weight training performance, even if it's an easy run.

    Thanks for the information. Although I am not planning to follow this schedule for now, I may need
    to follow this schedule when I need to weight training my hamstring in addition to quadriceps. At
    that point, this information will become useful.

    > > - I can do mid-sect/running in one day, and upper-body/lower-body in another day. If I choose
    > > this schedule, I will need to figure out if I will give enough time for the leg muscles to
    > > recover.
    >
    > Depends on what you mean by "recover". If you are bodybuilding and need to build huge quadriceps,
    > it will be a problem. Otherwise, it isn't. Generally, you can't go 100% on the same muscle group
    > two days in a row. However, if you're just running 3 days a week, your runs should be submaximal
    > efforts.

    Thanks. This is exactly what I want to hear. I will stick to this schedule until I have built up my
    quadriceps to the point that I need to also weight training my hamstring.

    Jay Chan
     
  4. Donovan Rebbechi wrote:

    >
    > Wouldn't recommend running before any weight training (even upper body). It will have a
    > substantial impact on your weight training performance, even if it's an easy run.

    OK, but I have a question for you: what are you trying to maximize, your weightlifting or your
    running? (I'm not sure if the original poster considers himself more of a weightlifter or a runner.)

    I know from cycling that you don't gain any huge aerobic benefit from being super strong. Would you
    say the same holds true for running long-distance events?

    I'm a runner not a lifter. I lift (lower only) to prevent injury and keep some semblance of
    symmetry. So, is it OK to be kind of a slacker with the weights, as long as I'm using correct
    technique, etc.?

    I'm also a little leery of overdoing the weights and "micro-tearing" too much and setting myself up
    for an injury when I run.

    So, I guess I'm asking, for most of us, is it a reasonable thing to lift after your run (for
    convenience) and before an easy/off day (so the micro-tears can heal)?

    Scott
     
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