Run before or after training to maximize gains


Running before or after workouts has a drastic effect on the effectiveness of the workout. Running before strength training can compromise strength training gains or cause injury. On the other hand, doing strength training before running could impair running form, which can also lead to injury or compromise strength training gains.

Athletes only have so much time. Sometimes that means doing cardio (like running) and strength training (like lifting weights or body weight workouts) In the same day. Find out if it’s better to run before or after workouts and how to maximize the benefits of same-day training.

The interference effect

The interference effect is a physiological phenomenon that states that cardiovascular or endurance exercise (such as running and cycling) interferes with cellular adaptations brought about through strength training (i.e. muscle size and overall strength).[1, 2] However, it also establishes that strength training does not necessarily appear to negatively affect endurance adaptations.[3]

The key word here is: necessarily. More on that later.

Running before or after workouts depends on training goals

Athletes who do running and strength training at the same time need prioritize goals[4]. This should occur based on individual training as well as overall athletic goals. For example, someone looking build muscle mass and general strength must admit that cardio training will, to some extent, inhibit strength gains. On the other hand, a runner is unlikely to be a very successful bodybuilder.

good to remember

At some level, maximal strength and endurance are at opposite ends of the physiological spectrum.

Athletes considering strength training and cardiovascular training must decide which is more important to their athletic development: muscle mass or endurance. This is not to say that strength-based athletes should stop all cardio. Similarly, endurance athletes like runners should do some strength training.

The careful combination of strength and resistance training is what is known as concurrent training. Strength training, such as with weights or bodyweight, is an important component of endurance performance. Sports like running and cycling do not stress all the necessary muscles of the body. For example, simply running or cycling can leave one with a hip, lower back pain and upper body problems due to underdeveloped muscles.

In short, most athletes should do some strength training and some cardio. The ideal combination of each will depend on the athlete’s goals: muscle mass or endurance.

Cycling as an alternative to cardio

Run before or after training like strength-focused athletes

Athletes whose primary goal is to build muscle and overall strength should try to avoid doing cardio and strength training on the same day. If this cannot be avoided, strength-focused athletes should do their cardio. after strength training. This will help minimize the interference effect (ie the body will prioritize force adaptations over resistance adaptations).

How long should cardio workouts last after strength workouts? The longer the better. At least six to nine hours is ideal. Spacing strength and cardio workouts as far apart as possible will help maximize strength adaptations. Again, if pure strength is your primary goal, seriously consider doing cardio and strength exercises on completely different days. Don’t do intense strength training and intense running training (eg, HIIT) on the same day.

Alternate upper and lower body workouts on the same day

Cardio exercises like running and biking dominate the lower body. Performing upper body exercises on the same day you run will not have a significant effect on strength training. However, perform lower body strength workouts shortly after a running workout will likely lead to decreased strength gains.

It follows that lower body strength training should only be done on non-running days.

alternating workouts with upper body strength days during race days and lower body strength training on non-run days will help minimize or even eliminate the interference effect. The only caveat to this is if the athlete can handle the increased training load. This means having an optimized nutrition plan (here’s the The 9 Best Foods for Runners and the 9 best foods to build muscle), resting and being sensitive to your body signs of injury or overtraining.

Continue with this stretching workout to start the recovery process:


Running before or after training as a runner

Strength training could be a key component in unlocking running performance. It may be the only way advanced runners can make further progress. Beginning runners benefit from strength training by working the muscles that help promote running economy and efficiency, which will prevent injury and promote total body fitness.

If you run (or any endurance activity, such as cycling) is a primary goal, do cardio after strength training. However, if the cardio session is going to be shorter and low-intensity (such as a simple 30- to 90-minute endurance run), do high-rep, low-weight, or bodyweight strength training AFTER Running can help build muscular endurance and improve running endurance.

Muscular endurance is different from absolute strength. While pure strength is about how much force can be produced quickly (eg, during a squat), muscular endurance is about training your muscles to resist fatigue for long periods of time. One can easily see how muscular endurance is beneficial to runners: running longer distances like half marathons, marathons and even ultramarathons. Muscular endurance will allow runners to maintain their running form for longer, which means not only maintaining running economy for longer, but also lowering the risk of running-related injuries.

It’s worth it? Here is how to do it:

Do an easy run. Try to avoid running up hills. Don’t do intervals. Just do a basic run at an endurance pace of between 20 and 90 minutes. It should feel almost boring.

After your run and while your body is still warm, do a strength training session that focuses on high reps and low weight (if any). Rep ranges should be 20-30 per set. Cool down with a light jog.

Combining running and strength training back to back is a serious session. Be sure to refuel properly before, during, and after (such as with a hot chocolate recovery drink). Don’t end your workout starving yourself.. The recovery demands of this type of training are enormous, but so are the benefits. Don’t do these big sessions every day: twice a week is plenty and should probably be followed by a full recovery day or easy run (for advanced athletes).

woman working outside

Run before or after a workout if the goal is lose weight

Strength training is often recommended before in a hurry to deplete carbohydrate stores. The idea is to force the body gets its energy primarily from fat rather than carbohydrates during the to run. However, the problem with this strategy is that it is very difficult finish a long distance race in empty carbohydrate stores. While it is true that a much higher percentage of fat is burned for energy, the calorie burn, on the other hand, is relatively low due to the low intensity or short duration of training

Besides that, the perceived exertion of training will be much higher when you continue training with depleted glycogen stores. This can cause athletes to drop out of training prematurely; therefore, reducing the maximum caloric expenditure. Additionally, athletes who choose to exercise in this way will end workouts extremely hungry. This can lead athletes to overeat after a very hard workout, likely resulting in weight gain and the development of unhealthy nutrition habits.

Yes weight loss is a goala negative energy balance is key: If one Burns more calories than they consume, they will lose weight. In the end, what matters is how many calories are Burneducate altogether through the exercise. spread you training for several days. That way a can train in to high intensity and burn a lot of calories, and at the same time give the body the time it needs to properly recover before the next workout.

Running before or after a workout if the goal is to improve overall fitness

In this case, basically do cardio and strength training in whatever order. Still define a specific training goal for each session. Just be careful not to do too much and injure yourself. start slow, add a little training each weekTake a day off if aches and pains start to show up. Once the profits stop coming, consider re-examining the training structure to focus on more specific goals. Try this post-run workout for a great cardio and strength session.

This workout targets neglected leg muscles and glute strength (ie a firmer butt). It will also help improve posture. Learn and do the following moves: bowing lunge, kneeling and standing, side lunges, single-leg deadlifts, and wall squats.

In general, avoid doing two workouts in a row. Spacing out running and strength training will give your body enough time to adjust and recover before the next session. If running before or after a workout is the only option, follow the training program recommendations above for maximum adaptations. If all that is too complicated and the goal is simply to get in shape, do what works best for you.

Watch the next video for a detailed explanation of how to configure a your own training program for best results:



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