long distance running

Poser

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,737
Location
Durango CO
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.
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.

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.
 

P Carter

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2016
Messages
182
Location
Idaho
That is a very reasonable answer, with which I agree. Particularly your point about not being a pro athlete. No need to sacrifice longevity or anything else, if you are not a pro, for some arbitrary goal of shaving down some time, increasing your max lifts, or otherwise. (Obviously, some goal-setting is good but should not be to the detriment of overall health). All things considered -- eat well, get out and do what you love to do, be conscious in your fitness routines towards longevity, sustainability, and consistency. I've enjoyed learning a bit more about strength training here and have tried to contribute a bit of what i've experienced on the running end.
 

Elkfitness

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
1,164
Location
Colorado
I love running the trails in the foothills where I live. I could never stand to run on pavement but have done 50k’s in the mountains.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mtwarden

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
3,243
Location
Montana
I started trail running pretty late in my life, mid 50's, but I soon got hooked and before I knew it I was running mountain ultras. What I found even more satisfying was running adventures of my own or with like minded friends. I've done the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim, a traverse of Joshua Tree NP as well as Zion NP and whole host of others. We're getting together this August and doing the Rae Lakes Loop in the Sierras.

My running has backed off some, but still hitting the trails for 30-40 miles/week (mix of running/hiking/backpacking/snowshoeing/whatever). I lift weights twice a week (Wendler) and also include some miles on the trails with pack on my back.

It's taken me a while, but I'm pretty happy with where I'm at as far as my training goes. I'll never be a great ultra runner, but I move around in the mountains pretty well :)
 

EastMont

Junior Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
45
I think one of the things that draws me to running over other forms of training is that it only takes a pair of shoes.

No gym membership, no drive to the gym, no bike to fix, flats to repair. Just shoes.

I'm not the best at staying motivated so if I get off work, mindlessly put on my shoes, and get walking out the driveway- my work out will happen. Seems to be less of a mental barrier. Same could be said I suppose for walking with a weighted pack in the evenings.

If anyone from NM is around- shoot me a PM and lets get out
 

OXN939

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
812
Location
VA
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.
There's a lot of valuable input in here already, but one thing I'd add is to underscore the physiological effect running has on your body. Contrary to some of what you hear, running does more than just burn fat. It changes a lot of things about your body down to the histological (cellular) level; endurance athletes have higher hematocrit (Red Blood Cell count per volume of blood) than the general population, one of the effects of which is a better VO2 max. This is basically the key to athletic resiliency, and helps everything from recovery to how much one is effected by altitude sickness to daily energy levels.

There is certainly a balance between endurance training and resistance training for backcountry hunters- Eliud Kipchoge probably wouldn't do very well packing an elk out from the depths of Raspberry Island. A solid base in endurance athletics, though, which is most efficiently developed by distance running, is unquestionably one of the most helpful things you can do to get in shape for strenuous backcountry hunts.
 

npaden

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
31
I became a runner to get in shape for hunting back in 2011. As a flatlander it is pretty hard to train for hills otherwise IMO and IME. I guess there is a chance you could end up getting weak if you were doing a ton of long runs but I don't think the average person has much of a chance at that. At my peak I was running just over 2,000 miles a year and felt like it did more for my hunting in the mountains than anything. I do enough other activities that it never seemed worth while for me to work on my strength, my cardio was always what was getting me, huffing an puffing going up a hill. I didn't run as much last year (750 miles) and I could tell. I didn't have any big mountain hunts so I got away with it, but I'm paying the price getting back in shape this year.

One of the biggest things that I think running consistently does for you is gets your body into active recovery mode. Before I got into running I could always make myself push it for a day or two or even three but I was taking ibuprofen and struggling a bit more each day. Since I'm used to running pretty much every day it doesn't seem like a big deal to get out and hit it when I'm hunting anymore whether it is day 1 or day 6.

My 2 cents.
 

bayangler

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
14
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.

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.
I tend to agree with you about people sometimes getting lost in the weeds following the training regimens of pro athletes. I’ve been guilty of that myself and it can lead to injuries, which means time off, which means starting again. Repeat. I now always think of the quote “The best kind of ability is availability.” At least I try to :)
 

npm352

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
193
I run 3 miles, every 3 days. I lift twice/week. I have found this combo keeps me in shape without losing weight and mass and does not cause me overuse injuries. During hockey season fall and winter, my runs become variable speeds with sprints, then jog, the sprints because I am working on recovery time versus a sustained mid-range heart rate.

I am in best shape in winter because I hike and snowshoe to find lion tracks for my hounds, then follow them. I try to keep in shape all year, because I hate starting over. You can lose a huge amount of cardio fitness in just 14 days off.

Running works the kinks out, helps build some little muscles that are missed lifting but important in mountain hunting....but IMO, if you do just a decent amount of cardio work, the biggest thing that gets a hunter up a mountain, day after day, is the will power to keep going and sucking wind and being uncomfortable.

It is best, IMO, to find somewhere between marathon runners and flat-brimmed wearing meatheads. You dont have to be able to run a 3 hour marathon to do well in the mountains, and being able to bench press your truck wont help much either.
 

PaulieNY

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
16
It’s not so much long distance, but I know I can hammer down a 40 minute run and accomplish the workout I need.

I would best 2-3x that amount of time to accomplish the same effect and benefit hitting the gym.

But I do like to mix bucking and hiking mountains in as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jkuhn22

Newbie
Joined
Jun 14, 2019
Messages
4
Running has been my main training tool along with road biking. The only downside i see with running, is that my legs get conditioned to ultralight running shoes, and when I through the boots my legs wear out quicker. I am going to add ankle weights when I do my backpack hikes to build endurance so that my boots will begin to feel light.
 

Djenkins37920

Newbie
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
8
I’ve been running for the last couple months. COVID19 has our gyms shut down so I’ve just been running. They’ll open our gyms here in TN in a couple weeks. I rock climb a lot. I feel like this works out all my muscle groups and gives me a break from running. The only thing I feel I need more of is “leg” days.
Good Luck y’all
 
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