When working with weights or resistance training, you may be tempted to keep breaks between sets fairly short, say 30 seconds or a minute, to maintain the elevated heart rate and feeling of working hard you get when running.
However, unlike running, which uses energy aerobically, strength training’s energy relies on ATP-PC (adenosine triphosphate and phosphocreatine). This energy system concentrates on high intensity, powerful exercises and only lasts between 10 and 15 seconds. What’s more, ATP-PC levels need at least two to three minutes to reach optimum levels again so take your time between sets to recover.
HIGH REPS OR HIGH WEIGHTS?
You’re already building muscle endurance when you’re running, so you will not see much improvement with low weight/high rep resistance training. Instead, aim for 6 to 10 repetitions at a weight that you can safely handle but feels heavy. By working out with heavier weights, you will maximise your strength gains – but don’t worry about “bulking up”, this just won’t happen.
DON’T FORGET YOUR RECOVERY DAYS
You may be tempted to schedule a strength day on one of your non-running days. However, we recommend that you combine training on one day – a submaximal run in the morning coupled with strength training later in the day. This gives a good balance to your hard and soft workout days and allows your body to recover.
ENJOY THE RUN!
With your increased strength, you’ll be able to achieve faster times and greater endurance on your runs. So don’t forget the gym session as part of your complete running workout routine.