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Old 03-17-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
RC Liley
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Default Change from endurance running to OL'ing

Hi All,

I have been reading posts on this site for a few days and there are many smart people from different training backgrounds all on this site. It is very interesting to read different view points as they all (most at least) seem pretty credible.

I have been weight training for several months now, but come from years of only long distance running. I have completed a good amount of marathons with a PR of 2:53:17. I switched to focusing more on strength after realizing how weak I had become after years of pure running. This along with burnout from waking up super early for long runs and running in general are my main reasons for the change.

Anyway, I still have this idea that I have to run to stay in shape and be healthy. Anyone else go through a similar transition? Most of what I read really emphasizes the need to consume a lot of calories for the muscles to grow. I understand this, but seem to have a phobia of just getting fat. I have been following the workouts listed on this site as I want to excel in the Olympic lifts.

I'm just seeking input/advice from more experienced people on this forum and will appreciate any good words of wisdom or a point in the right direction for training.

Thanks in advance,

RC
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:17 AM   #2
John P. Walsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Liley View Post
Hi All,

I have been reading posts on this site for a few days and there are many smart people from different training backgrounds all on this site. It is very interesting to read different view points as they all (most at least) seem pretty credible.

I have been weight training for several months now, but come from years of only long distance running. I have completed a good amount of marathons with a PR of 2:53:17. I switched to focusing more on strength after realizing how weak I had become after years of pure running. This along with burnout from waking up super early for long runs and running in general are my main reasons for the change.

Anyway, I still have this idea that I have to run to stay in shape and be healthy. Anyone else go through a similar transition? Most of what I read really emphasizes the need to consume a lot of calories for the muscles to grow. I understand this, but seem to have a phobia of just getting fat. I have been following the workouts listed on this site as I want to excel in the Olympic lifts.

I'm just seeking input/advice from more experienced people on this forum and will appreciate any good words of wisdom or a point in the right direction for training.

Thanks in advance,

RC
Excelling in the Oly lifts is ambitious and takes years. If you really want to do this you need a coach. I found PL to be much more accessible and functional. But there is nothing wrong with Oly. You don't have to get fat and if your diet is right my guess is that you will be much leaner than when you were running. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:36 AM   #3
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Liley View Post
Hi All,

I have been reading posts on this site for a few days and there are many smart people from different training backgrounds all on this site. It is very interesting to read different view points as they all (most at least) seem pretty credible.

I have been weight training for several months now, but come from years of only long distance running. I have completed a good amount of marathons with a PR of 2:53:17. I switched to focusing more on strength after realizing how weak I had become after years of pure running. This along with burnout from waking up super early for long runs and running in general are my main reasons for the change.

Anyway, I still have this idea that I have to run to stay in shape and be healthy. Anyone else go through a similar transition? Most of what I read really emphasizes the need to consume a lot of calories for the muscles to grow. I understand this, but seem to have a phobia of just getting fat. I have been following the workouts listed on this site as I want to excel in the Olympic lifts.

I'm just seeking input/advice from more experienced people on this forum and will appreciate any good words of wisdom or a point in the right direction for training.

Thanks in advance,

RC

I transitioned from Cycling to Strongman and Highland Games. I would not say I excel at either of my current pursuits and it required a lot of weight gain. That said, there is no reason you have to be huge and bloated to enjoy lifting either Ol or PL. Weight Gain for it's own sake is radically over-ratted, I think. I've seen lifters in PL progress for years at 165, (but these are guys that are naturally little). I think starting out you'd find that not far along the path you will really limit your ability to move up without gaining some weight and yes some fat.

By way of perspective, if I were to return to track or even downhill I would look to lose about 10 pounds of fat and 10 pound of muscle just for starters. That would radically change my lifting abilities. The converse is also true.

The biggest thing if you want to do both is to understand you will not excel at either and you will have to radically reduce your expectations in one of the endeavors. For you to even make good progress beyond a certain point you need to add weight and likley fat. I think that point is largely individual but if you are running sub 3 hr marathons, I know you've got a lot meat to add but you can certainly keep running for health and lift competitively as a hobby and have loads of fun doing so.


Why not do Pl and OL adn try to keep a couple short easy runs a week in there? I think they could be complementary for those that are not all wrapped up in dogma. One of my sometimes training partners goes to Master's worlds in Oly pretty often and medaled at Nationals several times. He has trained PL off and on and has turned into a hell of Sumo puller without impacting his Oly lifting.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #4
Arien Malec
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As a transitioner from long distance running:

1) Decide what you enjoy, love it, and accept the trade-offs. This is super important. If you love long distance running but want to build more strength, do that. Focus on running, but incorporate more DLs, sprints, prowler pushes, what have you. Accept that you can be stronger than you are now, but are not going to be super strong. If you want strength, accept that you will have to focus there. But love and accept. (This might be a general life lesson, dunno).
2) If you decide to move in the strength discussion, recognize that you've built your muscles for one thing, and you will be asking them to do something completely different -- it will take time, and a lot of it.
3) Separate out conditioning from long distance from blubber. You can be conditioned without doing long distance running, and can be conditioned at a higher level %BF than you may be accustomed to.
4) There's no need to get fat but you will need to gain some muscle and any weight gain will have some fat associated. Either zigzag mass gain and weight loss, or do something like lean gains or "Culking"
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
John P. Walsh
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
Why not do Pl and OL adn try to keep a couple short easy runs a week in there? I think they could be complementary for those that are not all wrapped up in dogma.
This makes the most sense to me. In my case it is hard to run any distance when squatting and pulling heavy so I walk and ruck a lot.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:00 AM   #6
Will Peterson
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I have gone back and forth more than once. I was a thrower who dabbled in the 400 early high school to a cross country and 800 racer by the end. Through college, I got back into the weight room pretty seriously only to transition to road bike racing post college. What I can add to your concerns is that you may never totally transition.
Through the near starvation that only a young mind can suffer, I put together a couple of pretty solid high school runs, but I was still always larger/ heavier/ stronger than the light smooth runners.
Racing bikes, I was able to get it together alright -- moved from US Cat5 to 3 in about 25 races over 2 years. BUT, I was never able to get to the weigh that I had run at even with lower body fat. I was still very strong in comparison, rode bikes that were stiff over light, and could beat most anyone 30lbs lighter than me up a hill that was under 2 to 3 min.
To weightlifting and some PL now, strength has come back fairly well. Strength sports seem to be a little more natural to me, but no one with as many miles on their legs is going to just jump in and challenge someone with multi years of experience.
A positive piece is that fat takes time and effort -- especially for someone with a history of dedication (as you must have for that marathon time). I have put on 25 to 30 lbs of weight with only a couple % points of body fat. Most strength sports are weight class based, so that is a good thing.

I've rambled, so to recap: you will reap benefits from what you have done, you will have challenges because of what you have done; it's a journey -- give the same focus to weightlifting as you did to running, set goals, and you will find great gains.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
RC Liley
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Thank you all for your input. I like ideas presented from each of you. I will probably keep a few shorter runs in every now and then but keep my primary focus on strength. I think I will keep a lot of my cardio from non-running routines like jump rope, complexes, and some other HIIT stuff.

Reading this site and other people's routines has been very helpful. Anyone else follow the w/o's posted on this site each week?
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
Dan Bobba
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Since you're already so good at running, uphill sprints might be a good exercise. You can also use your great endurance to help your weightlifting. Here is a list of fun exercises:

pullovers example -------------------->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDH1ir-vbBo
back jerk
clean and jerk
snatch
back and front squat
bench press

Ok so you might be interested in a cool pyramid I picked up from a javelin training website - here's an example:


135 lbs x 10 reps
155 x 8
175 x 6
195 x 4
225 x 3
265 x 2
315 x 1

Having been pretty good at both weightlifting and long distance running, I miss long distance running because of the runner's high. On the other hand lifting is great fun whereas long distance running is monotonous. Anyway have fun with your lifting, and in conclusion do uphill sprints
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