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Old 07-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
RC Liley
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Default Strength and Endurance Program

I've searched and read on this forum as well as others, but wanted to post my own question on the topic. I've run about 10 marathons over the past years with specifically only training by running. I'd do some weight training, but not very consistent.

I have now been doing more weight training with compound lifts about 3 or 4 times a week. With this, I have one day of sprinting (10 x 200 m hill sprints usually) and one day of 90+ minutes running. If I'm able, I will do a regular, easy run during the week too.

Does anyone follow or know of a good training template to work on strength gains while training for an endurance event like a marathon or ultra race? I am aware of CrossFit Endurance and it seems like a good program, just not sure what else is out there and works. It doesn't have to be anything published, just mainly concerned with how others train with similar goals. I want to gain strength on the major lifts like squat, bench, power clean, press, etc. while maintaining and training for endurance. I have it pounded in my head that "mileage is king," but have heard some opposing views.

Any links or input is greatly appreciated. I am a 27 y/o male, 5'10 and 151lbs...medium build. Haven't really gained weight while lifting because I should probably eat more....even then I know this, I need to actually do it!
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:06 AM   #2
Ben Byram
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I think you aren't going to improve your strength considerably (beyond a novice level) without compromising your endurance as they involve different types of adaptation, especially if you gain considerable weight. For myself this certainly holds true, I am a natural ectomorph and can do very limited endurance work if I want to get any stronger.

This will be somewhat dependant on how much strength you have already developed.

That's my thoughts anyway...
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:25 AM   #3
Derek Weaver
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Miles make champions and crossfit endurance or any other crossfit "program" is awful.
You can get stronger while training for endurance. But you won't break any world records, it'll take longer to get smaller gains etc. I am pretty sure a few guys around here have done some stuff like what you are talking about. Maybe Cyril?
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:31 AM   #4
RC Liley
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Originally Posted by Derek Weaver View Post
Miles make champions and crossfit endurance or any other crossfit "program" is awful.
You can get stronger while training for endurance. But you won't break any world records, it'll take longer to get smaller gains etc. I am pretty sure a few guys around here have done some stuff like what you are talking about. Maybe Cyril?
Thank you both for the comments. I agree these are two different areas that usually don't improve together. I am not looking to make huge strength gains while endurance training, so I understand the minimal amount. I just want to keep some good weekly barbell sessions in there to work on squat, press, and power clean mainly.

I was just curious to see if anyone knew of or had their own routine that works for them or someone they know. I understand we're all unique in our training styles and adaptations, but it's nice to have something to go off of.

On CrossFit, I agree, some of the WODs are worthwhile, but most seem like they're asking for injury.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:03 AM   #5
Ben Byram
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Just from my personal experience... when I've done both strength and endurance work together I've found it best to keep them as separate as possible, so strength work isn't impaired by the endurance stuff. I'd recommend keeping the day before squats and power cleans preferably completely free or a very easy recovery endurance session so your legs are fresh when you need it most.

If you're training weights 3/4 times per week I'd think alternating a upper and lower body session would be sufficient and you could do an easy run immediately after the upper body session or weights am and endurance pm if you wanted. Otherwise 2 abbreviated full-body weights sessions trained hard would seem sufficient.

In Joel Jamieson's book, he suggest low intensity cardio between heavy weights exercises. I'm not sure I fancy that myself, but it would add to your overall endurance volume using minimal time.

You could cycle weeks/fortnights or more emphasising more endurance work over strength and then vice versa; or just train full 8 week blocks building strength whilst maintaining endurance, then switch the qualities.

I'm just babbling random thoughts which you may already know, but perhaps you can pull something out of that. Hope it helps.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
RC Liley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Byram View Post
Just from my personal experience... when I've done both strength and endurance work together I've found it best to keep them as separate as possible, so strength work isn't impaired by the endurance stuff. I'd recommend keeping the day before squats and power cleans preferably completely free or a very easy recovery endurance session so your legs are fresh when you need it most.

If you're training weights 3/4 times per week I'd think alternating a upper and lower body session would be sufficient and you could do an easy run immediately after the upper body session or weights am and endurance pm if you wanted. Otherwise 2 abbreviated full-body weights sessions trained hard would seem sufficient.

In Joel Jamieson's book, he suggest low intensity cardio between heavy weights exercises. I'm not sure I fancy that myself, but it would add to your overall endurance volume using minimal time.

You could cycle weeks/fortnights or more emphasising more endurance work over strength and then vice versa; or just train full 8 week blocks building strength whilst maintaining endurance, then switch the qualities.

I'm just babbling random thoughts which you may already know, but perhaps you can pull something out of that. Hope it helps.
Thank you, Ben, you're babbling is well received! Some of these are thoughts that have crossed my mind, but I didn't considered switching training blocks...I like that idea.

Also, I am not setting a goal time for the marathon I'm running in December, I PR'd with 2:53 about 2 years ago and am happy (enough) with that. The speed training became torture since I ran several races before nailing it...so I kinda burned myself out on just strict running.

I was thinking about either a 3 day/wk full body or 4 day/wk upper/lower split with one sprint session, an easy run somewhere in between and a 90+ minute run at least every two weeks. I feel I have a good endurance base on the past several years of training and just want to maintain it to finish marathons or ultras.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
Ben Byram
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That's some going on the marathon!

I think alternating 6-8 week blocks would be best.

3 full-body sessions is plenty without any endurance work, so my preference would be to try a 3 day upper-lower split on top of what you are doing. 4 sessions is too much. That way you'll train everything once every 5 days and give yourself a decent chance of recovery. Just make sure you hammer the protein (1.5xLBM) particularly on weight training days.

Better to do too little and increase frequency or volume slowly than drive yourself into the ground prematurely, push very hard on the weights the last few weeks.

On endurance blocks, I think 2 full-body sessions will be enough for maintenance.

That's how I'd do it anyway. Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
RC Liley
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That's some good advice. Think I'll give it a try. Thanks again, hopefully I can report back with some good results. If anyone ever comes across some links, please post them as I always enjoy good reading material.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
Derek Weaver
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Ben's got good stuff there.

As for the actual workouts, you may like Shaf's ladders.
http://beyondstrong.typepad.com/shaf...er_on_lad.html

Good way to not completely blow yourself out if you get a little gung ho.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:54 PM   #10
Warren Rupaprt
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Not to hijack the OP's original post, but I've been having some of the same questions from the opposite perspective--how do I build up a good endurance base while maintaining (or at least not loosing too much) strength?

I've been focused primarily on gaining strength for the last 6+ months (4 strength days a week, with 2 short "metcons"), and have made decent gains on Squat, DL, PC, Press & Bench. However, my running endurance has taken a huge hit, and I need to build it back up for several events coming up this fall, starting in October. What's the smartest (or at least a smart) way to do this? I don't expect to gain strength, as I just don't seem to be built that way. However, I'd like to minimize it's loss if it all possible.

Two templates I've contemplated are:

1.) Wendler 5/3/1 twice a week, with Squat/Press one day and DL/Bench the next. Plus, three running days per week, focused first on building up an endurance base (3-4 miles) 3x a week, then switching to 2x a week sprints/intervals/hills/tempo with 1 longer run (building to 5-6 miles).

2.) Twice a week lifting, with 5x5 Squat/5x5 Press one day and 3x5 DL/3x5 Bench the next (each starting at, say, 75% of my 1RM and incrementing weekly?). Plus, three running days per week, focused first on building up an endurance base (3-4 miles) 3x a week, then switching to 2x a week sprints/intervals/hills/tempo with 1 longer run (building to 5-6 miles).

Are these templates sound, or are there better/smarter ways to do this? Should I simply replace the "pure strength" days for now with some properly chosen CF WODs, such as "Cindy" and perhaps 5K rowing as examples? In other words, workouts that, while maintaining some strength, better match the endurance domain I'm trying to adapt to?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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