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Distance Running vs Resistance Training

Questions

I used to lift a lot but I’ve been thinking about making the switch to long distance running because of my age. My daughter runs and sort of got me into it, so I’m wondering if you have any
tips?

Answer

Yes, my first tip would be not to get into long distance running at all. It’s not that there aren’t any benefits to long distance running, but they pale in comparison to resistance training.

Running versus Resistance Training

Here are the facts: Long distance running (miles) is a low intensity, high volume activity which is the exact opposite of what resistance training requires.

The problem is that there’s not much upside in it for you. For example, if you take up long distance running, you will absolutely lose muscle. Not only that, you will lose strength and your joints will take a pounding, especially if you are heavy to begin with. In fact, I think losing muscle and strength at advanced age would set a dangerous precedent.

Better Options

Instead, continue to train hard in the gym pursuing strength. To make the most of your joints, get on the bodyweight train – and stay there for MOST of your movements. Perform HIIT cardio versus long distance and eat a reasonable diet to keep the fat off.

That can take the form of bicycling, sprinting, sled pushing/pulling, hitting a heavy bag, tire flips, sledgehammering the tire, medicine ball ballistic throws, battle ropes, loaded carries or any other similar activity. In fact, a circuit of anywhere between 2 and 5 of those would be fantastic, gradually building your work capacity up over time.

Recap

Long distance running doesn’t provide a ton of benefits in comparison to resistance training. Performing the suggested training instead of long distance running will give you all the cardio benefits of running, without ALL of the downsides.

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Coach Rob Regish

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

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