Great topic of conversation. Most any sustained endurance activity is going to result in loss of unnecessary strength specific to that event, often significantly, over time. I think the the key to balancing these two (somewhat opposing) aspects of fitness is to dedicate some amount of time during your off season to pure strength training and go into your running (or whatever endurance sport) season much stronger than you need to be so that, as you inherently get weaker, you are still stronger than you would be otherwise.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.
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.
Bare in mind that this advice is for someone who is a amateur endurance athlete. If you are a pro, it may not apply. Also bare in mind that a pro athlete may be willing to sacrifice certain aspects of their overall health to perform at the highest level. Also, I’m not advocating that a endurance runner needs to be a powerlifter, look like a powerlifters or be strong as a powerlifter. If you are a “skinny sport” athlete, it’s more like it is perfectly reasonable that you might do a 6-10 week strength cycle during the off season with no running, biking etc, and you peak at squatting the equivalent of your Bodyweight for 5 reps and you deadlift 1.5x your Bodyweight for 5 reps. (Approximate numbers here, you might be stronger than that). You may also gain 5 lbs during that time which you will surely lose during your first 2 weeks back into endurance sport training.
During your season, your strength training may drop to 1 or two days a week and you are simply trying to maintain what strength you can. Since you are not a pro competitor, you might even take a week off from endurance sport training here and there and progressively squat, bench and deadlift 3x that week just to “refresh” your strength levels a little bit.
I think people tend to get “lost in the weeds” of attempting to do pro athlete levels of training volume and maintain that approach year around. And if you lose a little bit of time on your 50k time in competition, you will surely gain in longevity and body health. You also may experience less aches, pains and injuries, more easily adapt to putting that 100# pack full of venison on your back and still be able to take the trash out when you are 80 years old.
I am not knocking running at all. If you enjoy it, you should do it. And I also pursue endurance based sports throughout the year (big mountain ski touring in the winter and alpine Mtn biking in the summer). But, if you’re not strength training in some capacity (at least seasonally), there is a big hole in your training and it will likley only become more apparent as you age and, assuming you are not a pro endurance athlete (or an aspiring one), you have 0 reasons to sacrifice your overall health and longevity for a singular endurance sport.