long distance running

yojo.3

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Dec 12, 2019
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Anyone else enjoy long distance running for their training? live in really flat land so long distance run is my go to for most of my exercise. But i think i found that it helped me from getting winded and getting tired easily.
 

Jxferg7

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Feb 14, 2019
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Only been heading West for four years so far soooo not too much experience. First couple years I tried the long runs/steady state cardio to prepare but felt like I didn’t have the “OOMPF” to push through unwinded. The last two years mixed it up. Starting weights 6 days a week and cardio in sleet are sessions. Starting 2 or 3 per week extra as the season gets closer would be doing an additional 4-6 cardio sessions per week but would do vigorous cardio sessions in 20-40 minute time frames. It’s either the echo bike, running max incline on the treadmill, or fast paced stair-mill. I feel like the last couple years has been PERFECT! Then again whatever works for you is all that matters!
 
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@Jxferg7 what type of weights are you doing 6x per week? I am a flatlander like OP and will have my first western hunt in Sept. Cardio will be part of my training no matter what, just curious what weight program you found that fit you.

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Jxferg7

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Man I had light years of ground to make up so kinda a long sorry HA. Went from fat to skinny fat to finally coming around lol. For the last year and half I’ve gone a muscle group split and do Shoulders, Chest, Arms, Back, and two Leg days to split everything up and Sunday Off as my “ReFeed” day lol. Eat everything and all things then fast for 24 hours after my fat fest haha. Whether it’s the appropriate way or not I didn’t have anything to go off of so I bought a body building book and just sketched out all my workouts. Aside from back day mostly everything is with Dumbbells. After my first year in the mountains I realized I was still nowhere close to where I needed to be to be satisfied with my output in the backcountry. This past year I killed it physically and mentally so it felt good. Now around 14-15% BF so I know there are tons of dudes on here actually qualified to insert there educated opinion this is just what has worked for me so far.
 
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Man I had light years of ground to make up so kinda a long sorry HA. Went from fat to skinny fat to finally coming around lol. For the last year and half I’ve gone a muscle group split and do Shoulders, Chest, Arms, Back, and two Leg days to split everything up and Sunday Off as my “ReFeed” day lol. Eat everything and all things then fast for 24 hours after my fat fest haha. Whether it’s the appropriate way or not I didn’t have anything to go off of so I bought a body building book and just sketched out all my workouts. Aside from back day mostly everything is with Dumbbells. After my first year in the mountains I realized I was still nowhere close to where I needed to be to be satisfied with my output in the backcountry. This past year I killed it physically and mentally so it felt good. Now around 14-15% BF so I know there are tons of dudes on here actually qualified to insert there educated opinion this is just what has worked for me so far.
Congrats on last season man, sounds like you are in a good place to crush this one too. I appreciate the reply.

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brotherhood_venatics

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Jan 7, 2019
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New Mexico
I try to run 5-6 times a week and lift but rarely have leg days. I found for me running long distance has helped me a ton in the mountains and so I continue that. I try to hit 100+ miles per month.
 

P Carter

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Count me in. Running is my mainstay. The last few years, I’ve rotated flat pavement during the winter; mix in some speed sessions in the springtime; hit the trails in the summer. I do strength work 2-3x per week and a calf/hip stretch routine 3x per week and some weighted hikes in the late summer, along with a set of 50 pushups before every shower year round. It’s a good balance that has kept me pretty trim and fit year round but not so intense that I burn out.

I did a few ultra trail runs, which were great, but the training burned me out a bit. I may do another one this year, we’ll see. The sweet spot for me is 30-40 miles a week running, with the strength work and bike commuting in the summer. Training for ultras in the 60-70 mile per week range got burdensome but I may hit it for a month this summer for a run in July.

Overall, I think consistent running is great, both for hunting and overall life health. For hunting, I’d for sure add in some strength and mobility sessions, as well as some interval or other high-intensity stuff rather than just aerobic-level running.
 

EastMont

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May 30, 2019
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Same as above, I've done a few 50k trails and would like to step up too 100k but man, that is so much time spent reunning when I'd rather be dinking around in the woods.

Most my training is running. 3-4 days a week, some times 6 days, sometimes 1 day. Depends on the work schedule. This winter in NM has been pretty mild so I've have good consistency.

The biggest thing I found is signup for for a event. A trail 5k, 10k, half marathon-something. This will keep you motivated and give you a goal. For me, just running for the sake of running usually ends in poor consistency and missed days. I've got the zion half marathon here at the end of feb, a trail race memorial weekend in Colorado, then probabaly another 12-15miler race in august. Money and time well spent.
 
OP
yojo.3

yojo.3

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Dec 12, 2019
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i only started 4 or 5 years back when i realized i was overweight and just didnt feel good in general. i dont think i could ever do any ultras just out of sheer boredom. ive done a few half marathons and done pretty well in them. i like my half marathons to be a few under an hour and a half and thats long enough for me to be out running. normal runs for me are around 5 miles a day. plus the weights afterwards.
 

beer

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Jan 22, 2020
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Bozeman, MT
I live in Montana and feel that trail runs and ski tours when there's too much snow on the ground help immensely in anything I do in the outdoors. I can regularly outpace most folks into preferred glassing spots, hunting zones, etc. Also, it just helps keep a person sane.
 

mtnwrunner

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Lowman, Idaho
Well, it was my mainstay for many years. Kept me focused and man, there ain't nothing better than running in the mountains. Did a lot of ultras at various distances with a bunch of 100 milers...…....Its perfect training for hunting.

Randy
 

pods8

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Running is fine for cardio but it doesn't really do much for me when it comes to hills and a pack. For me it seems like different portions of muscles are engaged going up steep terrain and for ME adding weight really tears them up if I've not trained for it and running never trained for it. IE at a time when I was running 8-12 mi a few times a week I went scouting in steep and felt the same ripped up legs, it was then I went looking for a better way for me to train for fall.

Now I try to run the first half the year (usually do a fun 10k memorial day) and then transition to more packing/box stepping/core work with just a bit of running after that. The packing/box stepping is what makes a big difference in how my legs handle the steep stuff.
 

P Carter

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Running is fine for cardio but it doesn't really do much for me when it comes to hills and a pack. For me it seems like different portions of muscles are engaged going up steep terrain and for ME adding weight really tears them up if I've not trained for it and running never trained for it. IE at a time when I was running 8-12 mi a few times a week I went scouting in steep and felt the same ripped up legs, it was then I went looking for a better way for me to train for fall.

Now I try to run the first half the year (usually do a fun 10k memorial day) and then transition to more packing/box stepping/core work with just a bit of running after that. The packing/box stepping is what makes a big difference in how my legs handle the steep stuff.
I agree with this, by the way. I find that running hills goes a long way towards helping. However, running on trails along doesn't cut it for hiking off trail. For me, running lots of vertical, plus strength training, plus loaded pack hiking works quite well. Along with plenty of noodling around off trail, of course.
 

Poser

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Way back in 2002, I had an epic summer. Climbing road trip planned full of backcountry climbing in the Wind River range and the Tetons. I was living in TN at the time and doing a lot of rock climbing and LSD running, often in the 100+ miles a week range. 20-30 mile runs were the norm, usually 4 days a week in conjunction with climbing. At the time, I thought I was in the best shape of my life.

I met up with my partner who had been peak bagging lots of 14ers in addition to rock climbing. Since we were doing backcountry routes, we would hike in with bivy gear + climbing gear for 2-5 days at a time, so packs were often very heavy, easily in the “hunting pack weight” range. I got my ass absolutely handed to me on the approaches. Quit running, haven’t run since. Unless you are running in the mountains or using running in a sprint or hill repeat type approach, I don’t think you’ll find much transfer to packing weight in the mountains.

If you do a lot of running and only running, your body will become more efficient at running. A body that has been made efficient for running long distances, unless you have some kind of genetic freak advantage, is not well adjusted to carrying heavy loads since your muscles will tend to adapt to the minimum strength needed to perform such an arduous task over and over again for long periods of time. That does not bode well for your posterior chain. LSD/distance runners tend to be very skinny and good at one thing: running long distances. As a hunter carrying heavy weight, your ideal profile is being bigger and stronger than a LSD runner.

In the simplest possible terms, your athletic profile for backcountry hunting would benefit from looking more like the ideal Marine vs. the ideal marathon runner. Ideally, you are bigger and stronger and have a Bodyweight closer to 200# than 100#. But, if you want to run and like running, then Run, but the more of it you do, the more your returns will diminish for performance as it relates to hunting.
 

P Carter

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Poser, let's see if we can find some areas of agreement here, narrowing in on a few things.

-Solely doing long runs will not get you in shape for hunting. Agreed.
-Trying to get closer to 100 pounds than to 200 pounds will not get you in shape for hunting. Agreed.
-(Edited to include: Solely doing LSD, without sprints or anaerobic work, is not ideal. Agreed.)

Let's take my profile. I'm 5'11, 170 pounds. If I were trying to be a competitive ultra-distance runner, I'd try to slim down to probably 150. If I were trying to be a marine, I'd probably get up to 190. I don't like getting below 165...I boxed at 160 one year and was weak. Boxing at 165 was perfect.

Let's say that, year-round, I maintain a strength routine such that I maintain some level of strength. Say, 3 sets of: 50 pushups, 10 pullups, 10x80-pound walking lunges, 10x60-pound goblet squats, and 10x60-pound pound single-leg deadlifts. Along with that, 30-40 miles a week of running.

Here's the question:

In your opinion, does running long distances actively hurt strength (or actively detract from packing/hunting)? In other words, in your opinion, would it be "better" (better meaning, "make me more suited for hunting") to 1) stop running and supplement the above strengthwork; 2) add more strengthwork and continue running, or 3) something else?

For what it's worth, I'm not looking for argument or to change up my routine. I run for a variety of reasons, and this routine seems to work really well. I may mix things up and go back to an ultra-run volume this year and I'll report back how it goes. Just trying to tease things out a bit more rather than keep falling back to the 100-lb marathon runner versus 200-lb marine.
 
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pods8

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Let's say that, year-round, I maintain a strength routine such that I maintain some level of strength. Say, 3 sets of: 50 pushups, 10 pullups, 10x80-pound walking lunges, 10x60-pound goblet squats, and 10x60-pound pound single-leg deadlifts. Along with that, 30-40 miles a week of running.

Here's the question:

In your opinion, does running long distances actively hurt strength (or actively detract from packing/hunting)? In other words, in your opinion, would it be "better" (better meaning, "make me more suited for hunting") to 1) stop running and supplement the above strengthwork; 2) add more strengthwork and continue running, or 3) something else?
You didn't ask me but I'll answer anyways. :p I'd be inclined to do your routine whenever hunting season ended till 3-4mo before. Then I'd start running less (still keep 1-2 longer runs if you like running alot or want to maintain the baseline) and swap in box stepping with some weight / fairly heavy pack workouts / and body grind sessions that keep the pulse elevated for 30min or so. Most of the latter is taken from MTI's back country hunter training program which has worked well for me when I've been able to work in a lot of it. Then once seasons are over back off the weight and angular stuff and run more. That's what I THINK would work well and still appeal to me as someone who doesn't mind running (once I have that initial baseline established).
 

Mike from MO

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Missouri
In your opinion, does running long distances actively hurt strength (or actively detract from packing/hunting)? In other words, in your opinion, would it be "better" (better meaning, "make me more suited for hunting") to 1) stop running and supplement the above strengthwork; 2) add more strengthwork and continue running, or 3) something else?
To me, it's all about how much time are you able and willing to commit to training? Personally, I am all about maximizing the efficiency of my training (you can find my thoughts on a recent thread on the Training forum). I would certainly not sacrifice any strength training or high intensity interval training (HIIT) to do long distance runs, and I am with @Poser wrt importance of strength vs. pure cardio. But, if you can do both and are willing to commit that extra time, and as long as you don't see a plateau in your strength training, then go for it! My personal experience is that when I try to incorporate long-distance cardio of any kind into my strength routine, it leads to diminished performance on my strength lifts but YMMV.
 

P Carter

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You didn't ask me but I'll answer anyways. :p I'd be inclined to do your routine whenever hunting season ended till 3-4mo before. Then I'd start running less (still keep 1-2 longer runs if you like running alot or want to maintain the baseline) and swap in box stepping with some weight / fairly heavy pack workouts / and body grind sessions that keep the pulse elevated for 30min or so. Most of the latter is taken from MTI's back country hunter training program which has worked well for me when I've been able to work in a lot of it. Then once seasons are over back off the weight and angular stuff and run more. That's what I THINK would work well and still appeal to me as someone who doesn't mind running (once I have that initial baseline established).
No worries, good discussion. For what it's worth, I don't disagree with you. More of a periodization-type idea rather than a black/white. That's more what I've been doing the past few seasons, swapping runs for twice a week weighted hikes from midsummer on. Funny also that you mention the heartrate up for 30 minutes--in late spring, I've been doing tempo runs with about 5 miles of an 8-or-so mile run elevated to ~175 bpm, which is very different from long, slow distance. Early spring is speedwork, 400 meters or 800 meters and then mile repeats.

We'll see this year - I had the hankering to swing for another ultra, probably 40-miler, in July so we'll see. Thanks for chiming in.
 
OP
yojo.3

yojo.3

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In your opinion, does running long distances actively hurt strength (or actively detract from packing/hunting)? In other words, in your opinion, would it be "better" (better meaning, "make me more suited for hunting") to 1) stop running and supplement the above strengthwork; 2) add more strengthwork and continue running, or 3) something else?
unless im reading things wrong, i think this got a little more controversial than i had intended. it seems like there might be some strong feelings towards running one way or another. i will say though that during times when i focused on becoming a better runner i put more effort into it. but i still would continue to lift. and in doing so i know that after a 5 mile run @ 6.30 miles i definitely cant lift as much as when i focused on my lifting. In talking with a guy that works at my gym, if you want to improve on either running or lifting, make your main goal the first thing in your workout. simply put, your using up your energy for your first exercise. for as far as what would be better, i would say a combination of running and lifting, running to help increase your endurance for how far you can hike, and lifting for packing and help with hiking steeper terrain. i dont think theres really a perfect combination that fits everyone. were not all on the same hill and some of our hunting methods are going to be different.
 

P Carter

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To me, it's all about how much time are you able and willing to commit to training? Personally, I am all about maximizing the efficiency of my training (you can find my thoughts on a recent thread on the Training forum). I would certainly not sacrifice any strength training or high intensity interval training (HIIT) to do long distance runs, and I am with @Poser wrt importance of strength vs. pure cardio. But, if you can do both and are willing to commit that extra time, and as long as you don't see a plateau in your strength training, then go for it! My personal experience is that when I try to incorporate long-distance cardio of any kind into my strength routine, it leads to diminished performance on my strength lifts but YMMV.
Fair enough. I don't track "progress" on strength, and my ultimate strength goal is: feel good, be able to perform 3x50 pushups and 3x10 pullups, be able to carry a 50-lb pack comfortably offtrail on the steep and an 80-pound pack on steep though with great efforts. Just different goals I suppose.
 
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