How hard would it be to gain muscle while running cross country?
I think you need to make a decision:
Do you want to be a good, lean (cross country) runner, a bigger weight lifter, or mediocre at both?
Once you've made this decision, you have a goal to strive for, and you must adjust your diet and weight routine accordingly.
If you want to be a good runner, simply put, you must be lean. It's possible to gain weight and build muscle while running, but it's extremely difficult, and it works counter to being a good runner. I have done this myself in the past, and I was able to build muscle and run well, but as soon as I started to focus in on running, lift weights less, eat less, and lose weight, I was able to run a lot faster. I took 25 minutes off my marathon time after losing 20 pounds (I'm 5'9", I went from 165 to 145). It's long been established that runners must be lean to run well. Supposedly you'll run a second a mile faster for each pound of weight you lose, so long as you stay in the healthy range. That doesn't mean you have to give up lifting weights, as they can help you maintain muscle while losing fat. However, if this is the path you chose, you really shouldn't be trying to bulk up, it'll only make you slower.
If you do want to bulk up and be a better weight lifter, bear in mind that running a lot will impede your progress. If you're trying to bulk, ideally you should do cardio 30 mins 3 times a week, just to maintain good health. It's also long been established that cardio beyond that can be detrimental to developing larger muscles. I've gone through periods where I've eased off on my running, and noticed huge gains in the weight I could lift, and the size of my muscles, particularly upper body. I couldn't do it when I was running more.
If you're going to go with the "both" route, note that you won't reach your body's fullest potential in running or lifting. Maybe this is ok with you, as you'll have decent size, but a pretty good lifter, and a pretty good runner, but don't expect any personal records unless it's for something you're new at.
So I think you have a personal decision to make here. Your two interests are diametrically opposed, to succeed in one, you will have to make sacrifices in the other.
Last edited by nsoules; Oct. 07/08 at 09:00 PM.
I have to disagree a bit, nsoules...you're talking marathon distance. Cross country is a lot different than that.
How many miles a week do you run pinoyballa?
The same principles apply. I did cross country in high school. Carrying extra bulk will even slow you down in a mile run. Alan Webb may look like a beast, but keep in mind, he's only 5'9", 145 pounds. He's just very lean.
Originally Posted by theGOOCH
But yes, it would be interesting to hear how many miles your running, pinoyballa.
Well I'd say I run between 20-30 miles a week depending on how many races I have that week. But I have around 13% body fat so I know I can loose some of that, and would like to replace it with muscle.
i know this isn't really the route you're wanting to take, but i don't know too many cross country runners that are 13% body fat. most are in the 7% range. have you thought about cutting?
Originally Posted by pinoyballa
yea I would like to cut some of the fat out but I want to gain muscle first because I am pretty light for my height. Anyway the season ends in about a week and I have a 2 week window until winter track, so I should see some gains in those days.
i also do xc and i was wondering the same thing, but i am more interested in gaining body mass being 5'5'' and only 108lbs im to light for my height and weight. So running xc does effect my abillity to gain muscle? What about track will that effect it as much? I plan on skipping winter track this year and going to the weight room so by spring track i can be in good shape, also pinoyballa what is your 5k time? im just curious[:
my best 5k time is 20:32 I'm hoping to break 20 at counties on Tuesday though.
No bulk up...
i have been wanting to bulk up for a long time now but i realize i cant because i am more devoted to my running.. pretty good i think you can rate me..
15 years old (softmore)... best 400 = 57sec... best 800 = 2:13... best mile = 4:50 .... best 5k = 17:42 (5:21 pace) ... i never ran 10k might be fun idk
you will need more than 2500 calories for sure how tall are you? I don't think it will hurt your running in the long term but I agree it will make it much harder to improve race times during the season. Make sure to add extra plant food every day fruits and veggies and carbs will help you gain and eat as soon as you can after running or lifting. Balanced meals will fuel your muscles better for example fish with rice or veggies, peanut butter on white bread (try to only eat white bread after you workout as it is used up quicker than whole grain), beans and couscous, sesame tofu, chicken and rice, epic salads
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