Home Strength Training Running Without Running: Training For A Half-Marathon When You Have A Full Schedule

Running Without Running: Training For A Half-Marathon When You Have A Full Schedule

26 min read

Smart runners know a bit strength training goes a protracted solution to serving to enhance efficiency and cut back danger of damage. Smart coaches know sport-specific training ought to be constructed on a basis of fine motion. Anyone who has tackled the StrongFirst snatch take a look at is aware of you possibly can enhance cardio endurance with resistance training.

Could a program combining all these components assist a non-runner train for a half-marathon? No must marvel—one StrongFirst Certified Instructor has accomplished the experiment for you.

“I do not like running. Actually, I’ve run only five times during my preparation in the past four weeks.”

My interlocutors had been stunned, standing as we had been on the banks of the Danube, ready for the start of the 13th Bratislava half-marathon. Sure sufficient, I didn’t have the look of a typical distance runner—black shorts, gray StrongFirst T-shirt, easy cotton socks in Chuck Taylor-style footwear.

They would most likely have thought me a whole newbie had I not admitted that I supposed to complete the race in 1 hour 50 minutes. Though not a world-class time, it was sooner than any of them anticipated to realize. Here we had been, a gaggle of middle-aged folks, and the one with probably the most formidable goal was the one who ran the least.

In my twenties, I ran to help my martial arts apply. I finally ran two endurance races: the Prague marathon in 2002 (whereas younger and in fine condition), and Bratislava half-marathon in 2009 (recovering from a number of years of a couch-potato way of life). Since then, I’ve favored strength training over endurance. A delicate temptation to run once more sprung up periodically, however I didn’t really feel overly motivated.

To Become Fit and Healthy, Get Strong First

As a StrongFirst Certified Instructor, I’m satisfied that strength is the grasp high quality. Unfortunately, particularly amongst the running group, this concept is hardly widespread.

My typical college students are over 40, with households and demanding jobs. They wish to keep (or get again to being) match and healthy. Due to the constraints and pressures of their schedule, they typically have restoration points. They imagine they should run first and lots, to ‘build their cardio’ earlier than they will take into consideration getting sturdy. But a middle-aged person running with no basis of strength and mobility is a recipe for potential catastrophe.

I discover it difficult to influence new college students to prioritize strength. Quoting specialists and research normally fails to persuade them, so I made a decision so as to add weight to my argument by personalizing the proof. After all, I’m one among them: a 42-year-old man with a household and an excessive amount of work. To make issues extra attention-grabbing, I’ve not been a runner for years.

The Experiment

It appears logical to run lots when making ready for a 21.1km running race. The traditional half-marathon training that my pals adopted consisted of many running classes—lengthy runs, tempo runs, and intervals—to develop the totally different qualities the race demanded. Typically, somebody with my goal race time would run not less than thrice per week and steadily enhance their mileage over weeks and months.

However, if we start to have a look at it in a different way, may we not get comparable outcomes with much less time on the highway? Would or not it’s doable to finish the space on race day with out running very a lot throughout training? What if I went totally minimalist? No fancy running footwear, no complicated instruments in the course of the race to verify coronary heart charge or pace? Just me, common flat footwear, an previous mechanical watch, and a StrongFirst T-shirt?

I stepped again and seemed on the qualities required for distance running. We want good high quality motion for effectivity, strength for locomotion, and the power to endure. I puzzled if a program centered on strength and creating particular power pathways may enable me to reduce training time spent running. This was the genesis of my experiment: running with out running.

Building a Strong Foundation

Emily Bearden, SFG 2, SFL, achieved a half-marathon with out running in any respect throughout training. She completed it as a result of she is robust, bodily and mentally. It confirmed me that I may go the space with minimal particular training.

On a better degree, Brian Gill, SFG2, SFL, ran a marathon under the 3-hour mark due to barbell training. This confirmed for me that being stronger appears to additionally enhance efficiency.

Brian Gill, SFG2, SFL having fun with his 2:57 marathon

In December 2017, upon my return from the SFB certification in Italy, I registered for the Bratislava half-marathon, 12 weeks away.

My first purpose was to maintain getting stronger. When you could have sturdy abdominals and legs, the relative effort wanted in the course of the race is at a really low depth and . Keeping posture turns into simpler, which ensures security, allows each optimum respiratory and good running mechanics, and reduces the danger of compensation accidents.

Since I’d be running for distance, the selection of deadlifts reasonably than squats was a no brainer. Firstly, it promotes much less hypertrophy and weight management is important for a distance race. Secondly, it strengthens the entire body, the again particularly, and facilitates posture when accomplished nicely. Thirdly, it trains a robust hip hinge motion which is the first sample a runner wants.

I additionally selected barbell navy press as my second exercise. Running is just not solely about legs. A good running sample requires a steady torso, with straightforward, environment friendly arm motion. The traditional standing press, with toes on the ground, teaches the body easy methods to successfully switch power all the best way down from arms to toes. Additionally, the comparatively low absolute depth of this carry, in comparison with the bench press, would forestall me from gaining weight. Admittedly, for me particularly, one more reason was that I merely prefer to carry heavy objects above my head.

SFL barbell military press
The barbell navy press is a whole-body carry

For most runners, strategy can be to observe Pavel’s Power to the People plan from the StrongFirst Barbell Course handbook, which additionally makes use of deadlifts and barbell presses. Actually, any wise, severe strength program will do, so long as it not too draining. or PTTP are good selections; Sheiko’s squat routine is just not.

Being a comparatively skilled lifter, I adopted a strategy, with 2 to 4 classes every week. Most of my lifts had been round 75-80% of 1RM. Intensity and quantity diverse independently in each doable mixture. I recommend attending a Plan Strong™ seminar or to study extra about any such programming.

Understanding Endurance, Energy, and Intensity

Fundamental endurance is all about cardio capability and cardio capability is finest constructed at low depth. This is the aim of lengthy runs in a typical running program. However, to maintain running all the way down to the minimal efficient dose, I wanted a substitute. This is the place strolling comes into play.

We are so used to mechanical transportation that now we have forgotten that people had been designed to stroll more often than not. Fortunately, I already stroll lots to get round. It is quick sufficient to lift my coronary heart charge however gradual sufficient that it doesn’t exhaust me. It is low affect and really accessible. This efficient—but typically ignored—cardio training additionally suits completely in any busy person’s schedule: a stroll in your office or to the retailers turns into a part of your training.

To maintain a run for almost two hours, at tempo anyway, I additionally wanted to pay attention to my lactate threshold. Following Strong Endurance™ rules, it’s higher to delay lactic acid manufacturing than to develop a better tolerance to it.

How can we delay the burn reasonably than really feel it? We repeat an exercise at excessive depth for a short while, adopted by loads of relaxation to permit our cardio system to cope with the metabolic byproducts of intense effort.

Staying in line with my minimalistic strategy, I wanted one thing that will work with my busy schedule, present a excessive degree of variability, and be efficient. My selection: low repetitions of one-hand swings (28kg to 40kg), each minute on the minute. I stored the reps low in order that I stored excessive energy on a regular basis. For occasion, I had no downside swinging 28kg and 32kg for 10 reps; however I reduce it to 7 reps for my 40kg swings. I set my length by the roll of some cube and selected the bell weight by how I felt on that day. This stored issues so simple as doable.

heavy two-hand kettlebell swing
Performed nicely, the hardstyle kettlebell swing builds sturdy legs, stability, hip energy and good posture

Improving the Skill of Running: Quality of Movement

Running was not reduce utterly from my program. However, I’d be running to apply the talent, to not enhance my endurance or pace. I had initially supposed to start running 6 to 8 weeks previous to the race, however life not often goes as deliberate and I started my runs with solely 4 weeks to go. This was to be the epitome of minimalistic half-marathon training.

March 10th, 2018: I went for my first run in years—just below an hour, and at a tempo that didn’t go away me too drained. I may have run for for much longer. Then, each sixth day, I went for one more run, specializing in high quality of motion, not pace nor length. I grew to become acutely aware of what my limbs had been doing, how my toes touched the bottom, how I used to be respiratory. The running classes grew to become a type of mindfulness meditation.

My run training consisted of 5 classes, overlaying 44.4km, and lasting lower than 4 and a half hours in complete, over 4 weeks.

Jean-Francois easy training run
After one among solely 5 pre-race running classes

The Result

Race day. I awakened early, carried out my morning mobility routine, ate my eggs, drank my espresso, and walked to the occasion to fulfill my co-runners.

I did a bit extra mobility work—Super Joints, leg swings, prying squats, Cossack squats—and some straightforward 20-meter jogs. After the official talks and the nationwide anthem, energetic music started to play.

1 minute to go. While my fellow runners danced, I settled, eyes closed, visualizing my running sample.


Less than 1 hour 47 minutes later, I crossed the end line within the quickest 25% of my age class. Not dangerous, contemplating my minimalist training. I additionally outran my pals though they’re all common runners.

Jean-Francois with post-race beer
Post-race restoration is necessary. Post-race beer is elective.

A Strength Training Recipe For Runners

Would I like to recommend a minimalist training strategy to everybody wanting in direction of a half-marathon problem? No, to not everybody. Let’s be clear: this was an experiment. Nonetheless, the experiment yielded some beneficial take-home classes:

  1. The effort my muscle tissues had to offer was extraordinarily low relative to their capability. Consequently, I may simply keep posture and a correct running method as much as the end line with much less total fatigue. Additionally, increased strength means increased running economic system. The precise strength program and modality selections are secondary. Choose what suits your schedule and constraints, so long as it’s strength-oriented
  2. Aerobically, it was straightforward. After the race, I recovered in a short time (the post-race beer most likely helped). Walking lots is a straightforward, accessible and efficient elementary endurance apply.
  3. Swings and snatches for low reps and loads of relaxation develop energy and delay lactate manufacturing. It allowed me to run quick sufficient with no burning sensation. The ‘A+A’ (alactic and cardio) strategy to interval training from Strong Endurance™ merely works.
  4. The SAID (particular adaptation to imposed demand) precept applies: you continue to must run. However, high quality is extra necessary than amount. We can run to enhance our running sample, to not blindly accumulate miles.

I can hear detractors saying that my time is just not a unprecedented achievement. Agreed. A quarter of the gang ran sooner than me, however what we don’t know is how a lot time they needed to commit to their training main as much as the race; time they may have probably spent on different actions like high quality household time, restoration, hobbies, or work.

Most common middle-aged individuals who register for such an occasion will not be aiming to interrupt data. The occasion is secondary to the first purpose they hope it’s going to ship—higher health. Why not change our strategy and train with this major purpose in thoughts?

Follow a severe strength training program; stroll lots; swing heavy bells for low reps with numerous relaxation; deal with running as a talent. It will do lots to your well-being, save time, lower your danger of damage, and you may nonetheless obtain a efficiency to be pleased with.

Jean-Francois Lopez


Jean-François is a French teacher primarily based in Bratislava, Slovakia. He teaches strength, flexibility, and respiratory strategies to real-life people, who’ve a job, a household, and wish to keep in good bodily situation with out spending all their time on the gymnasium. Leading a full-time consultancy function and having a household himself, he understands first-hand the necessity for environment friendly, minimalist training.

As nicely as being StrongFirst Certified, he’s a Flexible Steel Level 2 teacher, FMS2 specialist, and the primary French Oxygen Advantage teacher. He will be reached by means of his web site strongmobility.eu.

Source link

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Shahid Khan
Load More In Strength Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

How to Use Trekking Poles (Like a Boss)

There are few issues lacking from this video that I will likely be updating within the clo…