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Squats and running.

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  • 31-05-2018 4:43am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭


    What effects do squats have on running?

    I started bringing squats into my weekly gym routine over the winter. Started at being able to do 5×8 reps @50kg, but worked it up to 80kg now ( which is still relatively weak for a male)

    Did not run as much since the DCM in October due to the horrendous winter and a month long flu in January. Averaged 2 runs a week between November and April.

    But now getting back into building up the millage and I have noticed two things.

    1) My recovery from runs is much better. My legs don't feel as worn out after a run. After 3 marathon failure where I stoped at 18-20 mile mark, I finally was able to run a full one last October but it took me having to train at 90km the weeks before it. Most people can run a marathon doing 50-60 km a week. I am wondering now was my failures due to part having relatively weak leg muscles. Aparently the stronger your leg muscles the quicker recovery will be and the longer you can run on them. This might be worth noting for people who find it very hard to run a marathon despite putting in the weekly millage in before hand.

    2. Despite being able to run longer and having better recovery times, my running speed is lower and feel my running gate has changed. This could be due to the lack of running over winter but my 400m track time is about 8-10s off where I was before DCM which is a huge drop, and my tempo runs are done at slower pace too. It does not say squats should make you slower but for me it has. Possibly I was squatting to much, around March and a April, I was doing it 2-3 times a week so perhaps it was too much of a change to the system.

    Anyone else experience a change in thier running if they took up squats?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,773 ✭✭✭Nuttzz


    I experienced a change, it ruined my running. I took up the weights thinking it would make me stronger and therefore quicker.
    However I found I got injured easily and I have given them up this year and my mileage is now (this year) where it was last August and my pace is about a minute to a minute and half quicker. Running consistently I found is much better, I could be too old to both weights and running


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    Your 400m time is 8-10s slower. Is this a flat out 400m time trial, or an average 400m time from a set of reps?

    If it's the former, then no, doing squats shouldn't make you run a 400m slower, particularly 8-10s, which is an eternity over one lap. Every sprinter does squats to build strength and power.

    As for distance runners, Mo Farah squats in the gym and it hasn't done any harm for him. Vast majority of recreational runners never touch a gym though, rightly or wrongly.

    I wouldn't call 5x8 at 80kg weak at all. Suppose it depends what weight you are. But if you are the size of person necessary for 5x8 at 80kg to be weak, then I'd suggest shot putt or discus throw over marathon running!!


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    my 2 cents, and what worked for me (note this winter weights program was given to me by a buddy who is a national level tri )
    I think 5x8 Reps is too low, your weight is too high . If your main focus is running then your weights should allow you to do 12-15 reps, as in the weight is quite light.
    If your main focus is running then your winter program should be progressive , involve high reps. And increasing number of SETS , not increasing the weight. Over 4 weeks , lifting 3 times a week grow from 2 up to 6 sets, 12-15 reps , with the same weigh, approx 50% of max and then do a reset. 
    Add weight to 80% of max, drop back to 2 sets, and then over 4 weeks with the same weights go to 6 sets. 
    Thats about 8-10 weeks of weights over winter, but no need to finish the whole program. 
    Dont do much running during a weights program 
    It will take you 4 weeks to recover from a weights program , but you should notice a big difference. 
    Its not surprising your 400M time is down if you were trianing for a Marathon. 
    And if the weights program is part of your weekly running program , then the key is high reps , higher sets and low-medium weight otherwise your running will suffer.

    And yes squatting 2-3 times a week, at 5x8 reps , your pushing a heavy weight, is too much if you want your running to improve.

    But its all good, you have developed good strength , now cut out some of the weight session or lower the weight , and go back to running.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ittakestwo


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    Your 400m time is 8-10s slower. Is this a flat out 400m time trial, or an average 400m time from a set of reps?

    If it's the former, then no, doing squats shouldn't make you run a 400m slower, particularly 8-10s, which is an eternity over one lap. Every sprinter does squats to build strength and power.

    As for distance runners, Mo Farah squats in the gym and it hasn't done any harm for him. Vast majority of recreational runners never touch a gym though, rightly or wrongly.

    I wouldn't call 5x8 at 80kg weak at all. Suppose it depends what weight you are. But if you are the size of person necessary for 5x8 at 80kg to be weak, then I'd suggest shot putt or discus throw over marathon running!!

    Yeah this is lap reps. Did no track training over winter. My track does not have night lights so hard to run in winter aswell. So a lot of speed loss was due to lack of training on track too. But even starting back on to it I am much slower than usual. My gate has changed I think from the squats

    BTW compared to what other guys at my gym squat, I think 80kg after weeks of building up is not that high.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ittakestwo


    RIGOLO wrote: »
    my 2 cents, and what worked for me (note this winter weights program was given to me by a buddy who is a national level tri )
    I think 5x8 Reps is too low, your weight is too high . If your main focus is running then your weights should allow you to do 12-15 reps, as in the weight is quite light.
    If your main focus is running then your winter program should be progressive , involve high reps. And increasing number of SETS , not increasing the weight. Over 4 weeks , lifting 3 times a week grow from 2 up to 6 sets, 12-15 reps , with the same weigh, approx 50% of max and then do a reset. 
    Add weight to 80% of max, drop back to 2 sets, and then over 4 weeks with the same weights go to 6 sets. 
    Thats about 8-10 weeks of weights over winter, but no need to finish the whole program. 
    Dont do much running during a weights program 
    It will take you 4 weeks to recover from a weights program , but you should notice a big difference. 
    Its not surprising your 400M time is down if you were trianing for a Marathon. 
    And if the weights program is part of your weekly running program , then the key is high reps , higher sets and low-medium weight otherwise your running will suffer.

    And yes squatting 2-3 times a week, at 5x8 reps , your pushing a heavy weight, is too much if you want your running to improve.

    But its all good, you have developed good strength , now cut out some of the weight session or lower the weight , and go back to running.

    Thanks, so 4 weeks recovery from a squats program, so I could still be recovering from the change in squats from the last few months.

    I will rest from the squats now until hopefully get the speed back, when I do maybe bring in one session of squats of higher reps with lower weight, Or when your back in running season should you stop squats all together?

    As I said I noticed I got back into the longer distances easier and recovery is quicker too. I Did a 21k long run 2 weeks ago, and my recovery was remarkably better considering the lack of running over winter.

    So the change between this summer and last summer when getting back into the running is that I am slower but able to run for longer.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    ittakestwo wrote: »
    Yeah this is lap reps. Did no track training over winter. My track does not have night lights so hard to run in winter aswell. So a lot of speed loss was due to lack of training on track too. But even starting back on to it I am much slower than usual. My gate has changed I think from the squats

    BTW compared to what other guys at my gym squat, I think 80kg after weeks of building up is not that high.

    What weight are you?

    Height?

    Marathon PB?

    400m Rep Times? How many reps? What recovery?

    Are your squats ass to grass or parallel?

    Back squats or front squats?

    Far more information needed.

    These guys you are comparing your squats to in the gym are probably tanks who couldn’t run very far. Wouldn’t be comparing to people like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭chasingpaper


    I come tothis from a powerlifting background and can say beyond a certain point squats (and strength in general does not help running, especially distance running). I squatted 190 and deadlift 250 at 80kg but that didn’t make me fast, even over 30m. I lift less now and have much improved times over all distances from 10m-400m.
     
    5x8 at 80kg may be weak from a strength sports perspective but it isn't from a marathon runner perspective (assuming you are at a bodyweight appropriate marathon running). 5x8 is a bodybuilder, high volume, rep scheme, designed to increase muscle mass not necessarily max strength or power.
     
    To the person recommending 12-15 reps, why? What will this achieve? This would be a 30-40sec set with not enough weight to stimulate max strength and too many reps for power work. If it is to address power endurance this should be done on the track so it is relevant to running (his sport). You are telling a guy who failed to finish 3 marathons to run less and prioritise lifting weights?
     
    Also, how do you perform your squats, full, half, quarter, bar placement, box or no box, pause or no pause? All of which will have impact on their effect. 
     
    In general squats (concentric portion) could be talking up to 1 second to complete. 
    A ground contact in running including eccentric, transition and concentric portion will be a few tenths. It is a completely different expression of force when running.
     
    I believe strength work for runners should be about injury prevention, correcting imbalances, and providing some training variety, it has very little direct carry over. For sprinters there is some direct transfer in the acceleration phase, but power work, jumps, squat jumps, cleans etc are more relevant once a certain base level of strength is reached. The squat has taken on mythical status in S&C, but unless you are a powerlifter or olympic lifter you do not need to squat, there are other ways to address your own particular needs as an athlete.
     
    It is a complex issue and way beyond the scope of a thread here. There is a mountain of information out there to research on the topic, it will take time to learn how to separate the junk info from good info. There are also many runners who have run fast marathons without specific S&C. I see many runners wasting hours in the gym messing with foam rollers and doing their S&C, when they actually just need to run more and lose some weight.
     
    Sorry, this is more of a general rant as I have been in both camps now, strength sports and running. I’m not saying it is bad to increase strength, just that it comes at a cost. It can increase mass, decrease co-ordination (different firing patterns to running), and impact recovery for your running sessions.
     

    As Chivito says you are comparing to wrong guys in the gym. It seems to have influenced your perspective. It is difficult to train as a bodybuilder and marathon runner simultaneously and you cannot do both without one hurting the other. 


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    ittakestwo wrote: »
    Thanks, so 4 weeks recovery from a squats program, so I could still be recovering from the change in squats from the last few months.

    I will rest from the squats now until hopefully get the speed back, when I do maybe bring in one session of squats of higher reps with lower weight, Or when your back in running season should you stop squats all together?

    As I said I noticed I got back into the longer distances easier and recovery is quicker too. I Did a 21k long run 2 weeks ago, and my recovery was remarkably better considering the lack of running over winter.

    So the change between this summer and last summer when getting back into the  running is that I am slower but able to run for longer.

    Not quite, I meant  give yourself 4 weeks to recover from a intensive (2-3 times per week) winter weights program, expect your running form to come back after 4 weeks. Perhaps that also applies to a shorter or continuous intensive weights program.
    I think if your squatting 2-3 times per week (low reps , high weights) its too much to expect your running form not to suffer.  
    If you really want to get running form back, cut the squatting down to 1x a week. 
    And come next winter,  go back to your weights program if you wish, think of last winter as a base for next winter and next year too. Its your choice if you want to do high reps and core , or want low reps and bulk up. 
    But you sound like your in great shape, 21k runs and multi-weights sessions cant knock that, just dont think you can expect weights power, endurance and sprint speed all to be at their peak at the same timeframe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ittakestwo


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    What weight are you?

    Height?

    Marathon PB?

    400m Rep Times? How many reps? What recovery?

    Are your squats ass to grass or parallel?

    Back squats or front squats?

    Far more information needed.

    These guys you are comparing your squats to in the gym are probably tanks who couldn’t run very far. Wouldn’t be comparing to people like that.

    33 m, 1.88m, 78kg

    Last year did DCM in 3.01 which was a PB (previous best was 3.55 but stopped running around 20m mark with worn out legs)

    My 8x400m reps with 200m recovery averaged 1.15s before DCM last year, On Sunday I started back on the track. first lap at 1.20s and fell to 1.28s for the 8th. So a lot of speed a fitness has been lost.

    I do Back squats, About halfway between parallel and ass to the ground. Able to do them with no rest up untill about the 6th rep where at the top I will take a few second break at the top.

    Some of these guys at the gym see squatting 100kg-110kg are quite small, I always thought squats was a bit of an Achilles heel for me.

    It would be ideal if I got my pace back while keeping the muscle strength from squatting for the long distance runs and recovery. But maybe this is wishful thinking I can have both. As Chassingpapper says strength comes at a cost. Suppose its about finding a balance


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    ittakestwo wrote: »
    33 m, 1.88m, 78kg

    Last year did DCM in 3.01 which was a PB (previous best was 3.55 but stopped running around 20m mark with worn out legs)

    My 8x400m reps with 200m recovery averaged 1.15s before DCM last year, On Sunday I started back on the track. first lap at 1.20s and fell to 1.28s for the 8th. So a lot of speed a fitness has been lost.

    I do Back squats, About halfway between parallel and ass to the ground. Able to do them with no rest up untill about the 6th rep where at the top I will take a few second break at the top.

    Some of these guys at the gym see squatting 100kg-110kg are quite small, I always thought squats was a bit of an Achilles heel for me.

    It would be ideal if I got my pace back while keeping the muscle strength from squatting for the long distance runs and recovery. But maybe this is wishful thinking I can have both. As Chassingpapper says strength comes at a cost. Suppose its about finding a balance

    If the marathon is your goal, then you don't need to be worrying about the numbers you are squatting. Small or not, those guys in the gym are likely gym-heads, who are in there 5 days a week, and do no form of competitive sport. Not the type of people to be comparing against.

    You might want to ask yourself the question "why the marathon?". You might be far better suited to short distances if you are squatting that much. The shorter the distance, the more beneficial the time in the gym is. It's beneficial for all distances, but you'd probably get better use out of your strength over short distances.

    By short I mean 100m to 1500m. I do not mean 5k and 10k.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ittakestwo


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    If the marathon is your goal, then you don't need to be worrying about the numbers you are squatting. Small or not, those guys in the gym are likely gym-heads, who are in there 5 days a week, and do no form of competitive sport. Not the type of people to be comparing against.

    You might want to ask yourself the question "why the marathon?". You might be far better suited to short distances if you are squatting that much. The shorter the distance, the more beneficial the time in the gym is. It's beneficial for all distances, but you'd probably get better use out of your strength over short distances.

    By short I mean 100m to 1500m. I do not mean 5k and 10k.

    The marathon is not my main aim, but I do love running the DCM ( it is the best annual race in the country) I will concentrate on improving 10k time, that is my favorite distance. But in training for a 10k you should be doing a long run of up to 21k in your training anyway, so will concentrate on improving 10k time up until beginning of September. Then will increase the long runs up to 32k on the run up to DCM, which is not to much of a jump from 21k.

    1.10s is my flat out 400m PB time so would not be a shorter distance runner. Plus at 33 age would not be on my side for those distances.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,638 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    I hope you don't mind if I jump in with a related question, are squats (with or without weight) useful for stabilising the knee and preventing knee injuries? There is so much junk info out there when you google..


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    I hope you don't mind if I jump in with a related question, are squats (with or without weight) useful for stabilising the knee and preventing knee injuries? There is so much junk info out there when you google..
    Absolutely , without weight has almost as much benefit as with weights, particularily if its applied well. 
    You can do drills with a normal squat, hands joined and out in front, and then do off-centre squats, facing forward both feet still on the ground but put one foot to the side so your squatting predominantly on one side , then alternate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭chasingpaper


    rifffmongous 
    Knee issues could be related to ankle or hip control or imbalances. 
    If healthy at the minute I would say you could add some single leg work, step ups, lunges, single leg squats or deadlifts. They are more challenging in forcing the hip to control the knee properly. 
    But if you already have an injury it is probably best to get it checked to see underlying cause. A good physio with running knowledge or personal trainer who knows about sports not just lifting is worth seeking out. However I am neither of those things so I could be wrong:)


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,638 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    RIGOLO wrote: »
    Absolutely , without weight has almost as much benefit as with weights, particularily if its applied well. 
    You can do drills with a normal squat, hands joined and out in front, and then do off-centre squats, facing forward both feet still on the ground but put one foot to the side so your squatting predominantly on one side , then alternate.
    rifffmongous 
    Knee issues could be related to ankle or hip control or imbalances. 
    If healthy at the minute I would say you could add some single leg work, step ups, lunges, single leg squats or deadlifts. They are more challenging in forcing the hip to control the knee properly. 
    But if you already have an injury it is probably best to get it checked to see underlying cause. A good physio with running knowledge or personal trainer who knows about sports not just lifting is worth seeking out. However I am neither of those things so I could be wrong:)
    Thanks guys, I don't want to take over someone elses thread but I'll just say at the moment there are no injuries, but I only starting running 2 months ago and I recently started to.. 'notice' my knee after some runs, so I'd like to head off any injuries with some stabilising/strengthening exercises if I can. I spent yesterday searching the internet but it's hard to know what you can really trust


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    @riffmongus - the last thing you want to do is jam yourself up with an injury, if your new to running, so yes you should do some stabilisation exercises, a bit of cycling will transition your legs and muscular-skeletal to doing more running without injury. and congrats 2 months, think short term , long term and also very long term like it might be 2-3 years time when Im really flying


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭ittakestwo


    Thanks guys, I don't want to take over someone elses thread but I'll just say at the moment there are no injuries, but I only starting running 2 months ago and I recently started to.. 'notice' my knee after some runs, so I'd like to head off any injuries with some stabilising/strengthening exercises if I can. I spent yesterday searching the internet but it's hard to know what you can really trust

    Don't worry not taking over the thread. Find your question useful to know aswel. I wish I could advise you but cant. The posters here tho have great knowledge about squats.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,717 ✭✭✭YFlyer


    ittakestwo wrote: »
    33 m, 1.88m, 78kg

    Last year did DCM in 3.01 which was a PB (previous best was 3.55 but stopped running around 20m mark with worn out legs)

    My 8x400m reps with 200m recovery averaged 1.15s before DCM last year, On Sunday I started back on the track. first lap at 1.20s and fell to 1.28s for the 8th. So a lot of speed a fitness has been lost.

    I do Back squats, About halfway between parallel and ass to the ground. Able to do them with no rest up untill about the 6th rep where at the top I will take a few second break at the top.

    Some of these guys at the gym see squatting 100kg-110kg are quite small, I always thought squats was a bit of an Achilles heel for me.

    It would be ideal if I got my pace back while keeping the muscle strength from squatting for the long distance runs and recovery. But maybe this is wishful thinking I can have both. As Chassingpapper says strength comes at a cost. Suppose its about finding a balance

    What is 33 m for?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    YFlyer wrote: »
    What is 33 m for?

    33 years old, male I’m guessing


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,717 ✭✭✭YFlyer


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    33 years old, male I’m guessing

    Thanks man.

    Need a coffee.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,426 ✭✭✭italodisco


    All that exercise might be burning out your CNS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    My view on this, strength training, not just squats, has changed a lot over the years. I think unless youre relatively young theres not much point coming at it from a do what the professionals do perspective. They are on a different planet in terms of nutrition, rest, personal trainers, coaches, basic strength etc.

    Talking about ourselves, mostly amateur 400 to marathon runners, most of us masters or almost masters, i think everyone would benefit from having a basic level of strength and after that just keeping up some general strength training twice a week is ideal. Not some crazy hard crossfit class that leaves you wrecked for running. A routine or class that works your leg muscles and core. Some bonus upper body work no harm either. This should look after your running form as you tire in a race and help prevent niggles.


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