What Should I Do First: Strength Training or Running?

What Should I do First? Strength Training or Running? 

First of all, congratulations for incorporating both running and strength training into your weekly routine. As a running coach and a personal trainer, I believe the strongest runners are the ones who make time for strength training.

What comes first? Running or Strength Training?

What comes first? Running or Strength Training?

I understand that it can be tricky fitting it all in, it is something I have to work at in my own training. I want to put in enough miles to stay consistent and improve in my running, but I also want to make sure I am doing at least the basic strength, balance and stability exercises to stay strong and healthy. Not to mention I still need build scheduled rest days into my weekly training schedule. How do I make it all fit?

One great way to do this is to perform some strength training moves on the same day as you run. Then the question arises, what should you do first, run or strength train? You should do whatever one is most important to you. Think about your goals and which activity will bring you closer to achieving your goals.

If your main goal is to run a marathon, then running should come first, since running is your primary goal. You could then choose to do some strengthening moves after you run and allow for a full rest day after this hard workout. Remember that rest is essential in order to improve.

If your main goal is to build strength, then strength training should come before you run. You will have the most energy for the activity you choose to do first, so it should be the most important to you based on your goals. 

If your main goal is fat loss, I think that both running and strength training are equally important. Cardio exercises that gets your heart rate up (like running) will help you lose fat, but you want to make sure you are not also losing muscle, so strength training is important. I usually recommend to my fat loss clients that they do their cardio work first, so they have the energy to raise the intensity enough for fat loss. 

If I am training for a race then running will be my priority, but in my off-season (aka hot summers), strength training takes the front seat. There is no right or wrong answer. It's up to you to decide what is best for you, based on your current goals. 

What do you do first? Running or strength training? 

Coach Lea

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