Getting big while still raising mileage


Anyone have any advice? I’d probably think consistency in lifting, but how much more protein should I be consuming? I’m at 45 mpw this week and I’ll be at about 75 by the end of the summer. I’m a mid-distance guy and my focus is on the 4 and 8, but I run cross for base.


If you’re lifting just to be stronger for your event, then my advice is to not gain any mass. You want to be stronger, but stronger doesn’t always mean bigger. I’m not certified to give you the ideal lifting routines, but obviously you want to be favoring more reps over more weight. The protein rule is 1 gram/day for every kg of body weight, and you want to make sure you’re getting the 10 essential amino acids throughout the day, any whey or soy products are a good idea (I eat edamame and usually have 1 serving of whey muscle milk a day, just to make sure I’m getting all the amino acids). There are plenty of ways to get the right proteins but the bulk of it will come in your diet if you don’t eat like an idiot.

If you’re trying to bulk up rather than just get stronger, then first of all running is going to be miserable, especially running more. But the process of bulking up would still be the same as if you weren’t running, it just might take longer to gain mass. For mass gain obviously you want much more protein, especially right after lifting. Also, don’t run right after lifting. And again, gaining mass will only slow you down; you can get stronger without getting heavier.


Your body can digest 45g of protein every 3 hours, anything more than that just goes straight through your system, so try to eat a meal with a good amount of protein in it but dont overkill it. and everything else ray ray said is entirely true, definetly more reps than weight since you run mid distance events and need more endurance than raw speed.


I completely disagree. Studies have shown that high weight and low reps is the best way to gain strength without bulking up too much. Doing high reps low weight is the definition of hypertrophy, meaning muscles getting larger.

However, I do agree that if any lifting should happen, it should be a focus on pure strength. But I’ll be honest, lifting at a high intensity would probably interfere with mileage at all. Why not talk to your coach about it?


I guess I should rephrase what I meant originally. To speak more specifically, the best way would be yes, low reps, but many sets of low reps (so 2-6 reps per set, depending on the muscles being worked). Ideally these sets would be done with not too much rest in between, so as to incorporate endurance with the power output. Mass gain is directly correlated with the amount of work done, so doing a lot of reps will result in mass gain IF you’re using a decent amount of weight. I’m not a 4/8 guy, so I don’t know the ideal way to lift for those events, and everyone’s body is going to respond differently to workout styles. I would say you can’t go wrong with a solid core routine, but for the 4/8 or at least the 4 I’m sure there’s something to be gained by lifting.

I will say at least with the right core routine you can be sure you’ll get stronger and not gain mass.


The latter is essentially what I wanted. My main goal is to bulk up, but I figured that raising my mileage would somewhat counteract a loss in fitness that would be attributed to weight gain. That might be a wrong conclusion, but I want to simultaneously get bigger and fulfill my coach’s training plan.


If you can handle doing that much mileage along with quality workouts in the weight room there is no reason why you couldn’t bulk up. The key to gaining muscle and mass is to simply add more mass via your diet. Increasing your protein intake is a start. However, not only will you have to consume more protein, but also more carbs and quality/healthy fats.

Ideally you’ll want to be eating no less than 6 meals per day. Obviously each meal is smaller than traditional 3 meals per day portions. Having quality protein and carbs in each meal is pretty essential. Fats should mostly come from nuts and vegetables (oils). Basically, just eat a lot and eat healthy. You’ll be burning up loads of energy throughout the day so you’ll need to refuel just to break even and then eat more to build tissue and recover.


Hypertrophy + High Mileage = Impossible. Why do you want to bulk up?


Is your main event the 800 or 400?? If it’s the 400 you really have no need for doing 75 a week, especially if you truly don’t care about cross really and just using it for base. If it’s the 800, then we would really need to know your PR’s/weight/body type in general, before giving too much advice because for all I know you could be a skinny 135lb guy or a 175lb guy with decent muscle mass already. Need more info.


Eat a shitload.

Do recognize that your goals, while not necessarily mutually exclusive, are very difficult to accomplish simultaneously.


Thanks so much, the advice seems sound!

I feel like I’m too scrawny (5’ 6", 123 lbs) and I eventually want to transition down from distance events to sprinting events to phasing out running totally so I don’t destroy my knees like one of my high school coaches did (even though he was a national 10k champ). I feel that bulking up would give me raw speed and I just want to get bigger anyway, so the former is my official justification. And you’d probably think that it doesn’t make sense for me running 75 mpw if I’m trying to get bigger. I’m just accommodating my coach in this circumstance, and I feel that if I’m heavier, but I’m doing higher mileage, I won’t have as hard a time doing workouts as I would if I were doing lower mileage.

Main event is 800. PR is 2:05, weight is 123, and I’d probably say that I’m an endomorph. I eventually want to get into the sprinting events and phase out of running, but I want to do it gradually.

I hear you dude, I’m going to try my absolute best.


Bulking up would not give you raw speed. Strength training would. As in improving your strength to body weight ratio. Lots of muscle means nothing if it’s not functional. Plus, how old are you? There’s no such thing as phasing into sprinting, you just have to make that decision. Phasing into distance is very possible, not the other way around.


Wait… you don’t want to run anymore? Why don’t you just stop running then?