Marathon Weight Training: Stay Strong During Marathon Training

Weight training is often overlooked as part of marathon training. Some running coaches have historically dismissed it because it was thought that any extra weight or bulk is bad for a runner. However, now many top runners and coaches have come around to the realization that muscular strength and conditioning are important both for runners’ performance and their overall health.

Running long distances is hard on the body. Many runners begin to lose lean muscle mass during marathon training, but a good weight training program can help you stay strong throughout your training and help you transition to your post-marathon workouts as well.

Of course your highest priority while training for a marathon is running – you need to get your running schedule, your recovery days, and your nutrition plan in place. But don’t forget to schedule time for the weight room too. Schedule your weight training on days when you aren’t doing long runs. Running long distances is physically draining, and adding weight training to that burden risks overstressing the body and decreasing your conditioning. Runners who exert too much find themselves dragging and weakening toward the end of their training.

Preserving lean muscle doesn’t require the same lifting intensity as building bulk. A program where you hit each muscle group once or twice per week is enough. Following a workout program that targets all major muscle groups is important in maintaining muscular balance and avoiding injury, but it can help your marathon performance as well. Most running injuries are caused from muscle imbalances.

In addition, try a post-workout stretching or yoga regimen to minimize the aches and soreness that come with training. Consider taking hot Epsom salt baths or going in for an occasional massage. Both of these are fantastic recovery techniques, and after a long, difficult run, you’ve earned it.

Finally, mix in a few rest days from all workouts. It’s imperative that you give your body the time recover and repair the damage done by intense training. Take steps to ensure you recover optimally between each session to better prepare yourself for the runs ahead. Sleep is critical in building of muscles and their recovery as well. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you will not recover — remember, you can’t get stronger if you don’t recover and may possibly get injured.

Don’t run away from the weight room while preparing for the big race. You don’t want to feel weaker at the end of the race than you were at the start. Incorporate weights and finish the race as strong as you started…hit the gym and the road!

If you need help with a marathon strength training program (or any fitness goals), would like information or want to sign up for a complimentary consult and introductory workout contact us at 770-330-2126 or email

Paula Jamieson

Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutritionist, Exercise Therapy Specialist

Bodyrich Fitness Company



New Year’s is often the perfect time to start a new page in your life, which is why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. But why do so many resolutions fail?


Researchers have looked at success rates of people’s’ resolutions: the first two weeks usually go along perfectly but by February, people are backsliding and by the following December, most people are back where they started, often even further behind. Why do so many people not keep their resolutions?  A professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada says that “resolutions are a form of cultural procrastination, an effort to reinvent oneself.” People use resolutions as a way of motivating themselves to change even though deep down, they aren’t really ready to change their habits, especially bad habits. Another reason resolutions fail is because people set unrealistic goals and expectations.

Psychology professor Peter Herman identified what he calls “false hope syndrome,” which means the resolution is simply unrealistic and out of line with one’s views of themselves. Unfortunately, people make promises that they never really believe that they will achieve. This not only sets them up for failure but can also be damaging to their self-esteem.

A final aspect of failed resolutions lies in the cause and effect relationship. You may think that if you lose weight, reduce your debts, or exercise more, your entire life will change, and when it doesn’t, you may get discouraged and return to old behaviors.

There is good news though, resolutions do not have to fail!  In order for them to work you have to change the way you look at them. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Focus on one resolution rather than several
  2. Set realistic, specific goals: losing weight is not a specific goal; losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be
  3. Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve to make resolutions, make it a year long process-every day
  4. Take small steps – many people quit because the goal is too big requiring too big of a step all at once
  5. Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you that you have to report to
  6. Celebrate your success between milestones – don’t wait for the goal to be completed
  7. Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits
  8. Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?
  9. Be mindful: become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each event happens…moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future
  10. And finally, don’t take yourself so seriously. Have fun and laugh at yourself when you slip, but don’t let the slip hold you back from working at your goal.

If better health is one of your resolutions this year, we can help.  Contact us for a free consultation and introductory workout.  One of our certified personal trainers and/or nutritionist can help you get started and reach your fitness goals. 770-330-2126 or email

Paula Jamieson

Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutritionist, Exercise Therapy Specialist

Bodyrich Fitness Company