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  1. #1
    Registered User squarepusher13's Avatar
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    Gain Muscle While Training for Marathon

    I wanted to know if it were possible to gain muscle while training for a marathon. If I were to just eat all of the burnt up calories from the running and get enough protein could I still building muscle?
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    Registered User titdoctor's Avatar
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    Why do you want extra muscle mass to carry around? Your legs will naturally get stronger and leaner but, that's all you need for a marathon.
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    Registered User flipnch1nese7's Avatar
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    It's possible, but you'd sacrifice one or the other seriously.

    If you're training for a marathon, you're probably gonna have to pick one alone, it's just not good trying to up your calories by the thousands.
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    Registered User squarepusher13's Avatar
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    the reason i need to build up muscle is that I have been working in ****ty areas of town and need to be more muscle/intimidating. I have already signed up for a marathon in the fall and i'm not looking to get huge, just more muscular. I have seen many runners who have very muscular bodies. do you think they used to be into weight training and then went into running? also you see a lot of triathletes with big muscles and they are also burning up a ton of calories. what do you think?
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    Registered User willicd's Avatar
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    It is possible for some but not for many. Normally when i am in training for a marathon, although i still go to the gym for my regular routine, the running itself burns off so many calories that gaining muscle is just not an option. I have seen runners as well that are very muscular, but my theory to that is they have good ass genetics that allows them to burn fat without losing too much muscle. The only solution I have come up with is to try to maintain the muscle you have while in training by eating a ton of healthy food, and protein shakes, and protein bars, fruit, etc. By doing this, you should have enough to burn off while training that it will not have an effect on your muscle growth. And depending on how much you eat versus how much you train, you may or may not see new muscle growth.
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    Registered User mclad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by squarepusher13 View Post
    I wanted to know if it were possible to gain muscle while training for a marathon. If I were to just eat all of the burnt up calories from the running and get enough protein could I still building muscle?
    From my experience, yes. Putting on muscle is a slow process anyway you won't notice an extra 5kg.

    This is basically what I am doing, 6 weeks to my first marathon, I have been lifting and running since Easter and have actually put on 4kg as my appetite has gone through the roof. Check my journal, was originally training for a half-marathon, now a full. At first I was trying to full-squat 80-95kg twice a week, but that just didn't leave me enough gas to take my running to the next level, so I stopped for a bit then reduced to 50kg. Now that I can run a half-marathon distance no problems, I am starting to move my squat weight up gradually. The main thing is just listen to your body really I reckon.

    My current training plan is:
    Sunday - long (30km+) slow-ish run
    Monday - chest (hitting it hard) + lightish squats
    Tuesday - back (hitting it hard) + lightish deadlifts
    Wedsday - medium (~15km) mid-pace run
    Thursday - shoulders/arms (hitting it hard) + lightish squats
    Friday - fast ~10km run
    Saturday - rest

    I'm going for a 3:30 marathon which is decent for a first go, and I will be stronger than when I started (except perhaps on squats/deads, which will be possibly the same but certainly no weaker)
    New workout journal: The Running and Lifting Experiment
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    :: 34 days till my first marathon ::
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    Registered User labradarep's Avatar
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    Wink

    OP you are probably going to be very limited in the amount of muscle you are going to gain while training for a marathon. The amount of aerobic training that you will be performing is not conducive to gaining muscle. You will primarily be training type 1(slow twitch) muscle fibres which have a limited capacity to gain size. Also your type 2A (Fast twitch) fibres which have a combonation of aerobic & anaerobic characteristics will be trained to "lean" towards the aerobic side because of the nature of your sport. Thus, not giving you the size increases you are searching for.

    Your training will have to change drastically if you want to hypertrophy. Alot more weight room work and less mileage on the road. Plus hypertrophy takes time & patience it will be limited in just a few short months.

    Best of Luck in your race!!!
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    Registered User thefourharmons's Avatar
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    bodybuilder/marathoner/triathlete

    It is possible to maintain muscle mass as well as add muscle mass while training for a marathon. Of course genetics do play a huge roll but smart training and diet can help you achieve your goal. Keep your weights heavy, lift on your shorter run days, eat lots of protein and get plenty of sleep! I am a 36 year old women and have run 5 marathons, several 1/2's, 6 sprint triathlons, and too many 5k's to count. I competed in my first bodybuilding competition this year and did very well. The best way to participate in both is to do it in phases. Bulking phase- heavy weights, higher calories, very little cardio. cutting phase- heavy weights, lower calories, increased cardio. Every time you come off a cutting phase your body is a sponge and you will increase in size tremendously. So if you add 5% more muscle every bulking phase and lose maybe 1-2%( worst case cenario) during marathon trainig you still end up ahead and bigger year after year. Good luck, you can do anything if you listen to your body and adapt.
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    Registered User mjlindne's Avatar
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    It is very hard to do. I've ran multiple halves, fulls and even an ultra. I try to lift hard and eat like crazy during training for my races but I always end up losing size despite my efforts. Just the way it goes for me. However, I don't really notice myself getting weaker. Not real science but it feels as if you get more dense and compact if you continue to try to add muscle. Size is going to be hard though.
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    Registered User zrb95's Avatar
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    Muscle and Marathon

    I actually run half marathons quite often. Im 18 and I have ran 23 of them and I can tell you that it is possible to do both. It takes more dedication and more work though. I have ran 4 or 5 half marathons under 1:20, but I also weight 169 lbs. now (which is quite heavy for a runner). What I do, and it wont work for everyone is this: I work extremely hard in the gym and work hard running, but I also recover a lot.
    Mon:Stretch morning- easy 5 miles / Chest and back
    Tue: Fast twitch aerobic day (sprinting or fartleks) Fartleks will help a lot building endurance. 5 minutes easy 5 minutes hard, or whatever you want. Then that day I do explosive workouts with legs and core
    Wed: Easy 5 miles with bicep/triceps
    Thurs: OFF - I usually take an ice bath for 10 minutes. The time I usually workout is stretch nicely. Dont overextend yourself though. That will just make the day worse.
    Friday: I bump up miles to 8-10 depending on how you feel. The first half is a warm up and the last half is balls to the wall. I also do a shoulder and core workout this day.
    Saturday: Rest on running but I do Start the cycle back over with chest and back and let it restart as you go through your days of the week.
    Sunday: Loooooooong run. Depending on your race. Halfs i do 15-16 miles. I dont go super fast, but fast enough to where my heart rate is up and Im feeling the workout. In the gym on sundays, I generally go easy because I dont want to over train them.

    My calories, I take in a butt load. I eat 4 or 5 energy bars in my workouts so I get in my calories. I also take a shake after. I eat 5 medium to small sized meals because I feel bloated when I eat 3 general meals. But really.. This isnt for marathon training, its just what I do. My goal is to run the CowTown Marathon in Ft. Worth Texas in February of 2014 hoping to run a 2:59 Good luck training everyone.
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  11. #11
    Registered User krakkerz's Avatar
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    Original post was four years ago. OP probably weighs 270 and runs a 2:10 marathon by now.
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    I'm up for the same type of training recently. I have been working out in the gym for about 10 years now. On and Off. I'm 30y.o, 5'6, 155lbs with 15% of body fat (i think). I ran 2 half marathons (21km) within the past 10 months. I'm new to running and wants to join triathlons in the future. Anyone can help me with a specific program that could help me (at least) retain my muscles? Thanks!
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    Registered User dyardreloj's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thefourharmons View Post
    It is possible to maintain muscle mass as well as add muscle mass while training for a marathon. Of course genetics do play a huge roll but smart training and diet can help you achieve your goal. Keep your weights heavy, lift on your shorter run days, eat lots of protein and get plenty of sleep! I am a 36 year old women and have run 5 marathons, several 1/2's, 6 sprint triathlons, and too many 5k's to count. I competed in my first bodybuilding competition this year and did very well. The best way to participate in both is to do it in phases. Bulking phase- heavy weights, higher calories, very little cardio. cutting phase- heavy weights, lower calories, increased cardio. Every time you come off a cutting phase your body is a sponge and you will increase in size tremendously. So if you add 5% more muscle every bulking phase and lose maybe 1-2%( worst case cenario) during marathon trainig you still end up ahead and bigger year after year. Good luck, you can do anything if you listen to your body and adapt.
    I'm up for the same type of training recently. I have been working out in the gym for about 10 years now. On and Off. I'm 30y.o, 5'6, 155lbs with 15% of body fat (i think). I ran 2 half marathons (21km) within the past 10 months. I'm new to running and wants to join triathlons in the future. Anyone can help me with a specific program that could help me (at least) retain my muscles? Thanks!
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    Yeah, my training program is called #dontrespondtosevenyearoldthreads

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    I don't know if gaining muscle to look more intimidating is the best plan. There's nothing wrong with wanting to gain muscle and run but I would limit my longer runs and focus on shorter more intense workouts. I like crossfit endurance for this type of workout.
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    I know this is an old thread but speaking from someone who body-builds and runs marathons as well as ultra marathons it is totally possible to do both. You will have more cut muscles rather than bulky size, but that's a good thing in my opinion. The problem with doing both is there are only so many days in the week and you need a ton of REST in-between your running to be able to get any gains from bodybuilding. Running breaks your body down A LOT and you need not just a ton of calories but hydration and electrolytes. I cannot emphasize hydration enough. I have to make a serious effort to drink water all the time just to stay hydrated and there is a risk to lacking electrolytes. The way I do this is by doing only 2 runs in a week and the rest is strength and weight training. I do, however, do extremely long distances on those 2 runs with about 30-45 miles a week. Strength training can actually help your marathon running, contrary to popular belief as now we have seen people who do nothing but cross-fit to prep for a marathon. Am I super fast or have huge muscles? No. I slowly grow in muscle size and slowly better my running distances and time. It's worth it to me to be able to wake up on Sunday and do a 22 mile run then on Monday hit the gym and power through a 75 minute workout. I do not do ANY leg presses, squats, lunges, etc. All upper body and core at the gym. I do not have great genetics for this, the human body is just more capable than most people think it is.
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    Cybergenics...it's bomb! lucia316's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jcole.w View Post
    I know this is an old thread but speaking from someone who body-builds and runs marathons as well as ultra marathons it is totally possible to do both. You will have more cut muscles rather than bulky size, but that's a good thing in my opinion. The problem with doing both is there are only so many days in the week and you need a ton of REST in-between your running to be able to get any gains from bodybuilding. Running breaks your body down A LOT and you need not just a ton of calories but hydration and electrolytes. I cannot emphasize hydration enough. I have to make a serious effort to drink water all the time just to stay hydrated and there is a risk to lacking electrolytes. The way I do this is by doing only 2 runs in a week and the rest is strength and weight training. I do, however, do extremely long distances on those 2 runs with about 30-45 miles a week. Strength training can actually help your marathon running, contrary to popular belief as now we have seen people who do nothing but cross-fit to prep for a marathon. Am I super fast or have huge muscles? No. I slowly grow in muscle size and slowly better my running distances and time. It's worth it to me to be able to wake up on Sunday and do a 22 mile run then on Monday hit the gym and power through a 75 minute workout. I do not do ANY leg presses, squats, lunges, etc. All upper body and core at the gym. I do not have great genetics for this, the human body is just more capable than most people think it is.
    Why would you bump this post with a super strong join date to first post?

    "Cut muscles" are created by losing fat. Loss of fat is created by a caloric deficit to TDEE. The problem with marathon training and bodybuilding is that increases in mass (hypertrophy) require a caloric surplus to TDEE. By running that much you create a giant deficit. If one is able to out eat that deficit, then fine, carry on. But it's overcomplicating a situation.

    Unless you're just looking for that skinny, cut look and you're eating at maintenance and meeting your macro, you'll maintain what mass you have. If you're looking to gain size...running and burning calories like that makes the situation more complex.
    MAN Sports Forum Rep

    Disclaimer: The statement above reflects that of my own opinion & in no way that of MAN Sports. MAN products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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    Originally Posted by jcole.w View Post
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    Holy fuk. Strongest join date to post ratio I've ever seen! Mirin' hard brah! Srs.
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