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Old 04-12-2012, 10:12 PM   #9
Dave Van Skike
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PNW
Posts: 1,708

Originally Posted by Larry Bruce View Post

First time poster I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

I'm early 50s, in good shape, better shape aerobically (RHR mid 40s) so want to
focus on strength for a while, and just maintain aerobic conditioning until
the spring when there are outdoor races (5K mostly). When I train I don't do a lot of running volume (10-15 miles a week). My last 5K was about 26 mins.

1) Do you think 2x week runs maintaining about half the training volume - 1x week longer slower , 1x week shorter/more intense - be sufficent for maintenance purposes?

For strength currently, mostly I'm doing bodyweight exercises, and some dumbells 2x week. I can do 30 pushups, 12-13 pull ups, and 15 dips max set (unweighted).

I'd like to work up to say 50,20 and 20 and have seen plans and recommendations out there. They take weeks and weeks to get anywhere.

2) I'm wondering does success depend upon having sufficent muscle mass in the arms in first place? Should I focus on doing weighted movements to build mass first? Or will whatever mass is neccessary will come with following the programs?

As mentioned I'd be focusing on strength and just maintaining endurance, on different days.
I will be eating at maintenance levels.

Also, I have never squatted with weights, though have a good idea of the form
doing it without weights. Tried 85 on the smith machine and want to continue
that and work up to bodyweight (170), 1x week. When I can do that
I figure to move over to standalone weights.

3) Is better to work up to 2x week squat? I am not intersted in posting heavy weights, but rather being about to move the weight around a bit more dynamically, after I have reached a being able to squat my bodyweight.

I would do this in combination with the above strength and endurance workouts, basically 4x week in total. I'm not looking for the strength to be neccessarily helpful to running, though hopefully it won't hurt it. It is just to raise my ability to a basic level.

Thanks much for your opinion!

What is the primary goal?

If it's simply to get strong(er) there are plenty of ways. a very low volume, high frequency focus on those lifts would not require a huge drop in weekly running volume but definitely intensity. The bodyweight stuff is just fine, no appreciable mass gains would be needed to reach those goals.

Where the plan may derail is squats. Real squatting can take a big recovery toll, especially with runners. If I were going to suggest an adjustment, it would be you learn how to deadlift and use that as your primary whole body strength movement. It will pay off a little more in terms of long term joint health, will be easier to progress with low vol. and will not mess with your front side running mechanics.

Does this make sense?
Practical Strength
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