I want to build size and run races
There is no reason why running has to result in a loss of muscle mass.
I used to be into weight training and since I have got into running I have been trying to lose a bit of bulk to help improve my speed a bit. I've managed to shed about 2kg but I'm still carrying about 10kg too much muscle to be an ideal runners build. It all comes down to genetics and what you eat (calories in compared to calories burned)
Muscle doesn't make you run fast - that's a common mistake from looking at sprinters. All the muscle is for is helping them accelerate as quickly as possible. Acceleration isn't so important above 400m hence skinny middle distance runners.
I've found that my build (and by the sound of it yours too) makes me more suited to marathon running than shorter races like 5k or 10k. The reason for this is that muscle stores glycogen and so we can keep going like the proverbial duracel bunny. You'll notice that ultra runners tend to be a bit more bulky. This effect means that my marathon pace is only marginally slower than my 1/2 marathon pace
Now then Jamie, its an interesting debate you started!
I love the gym and lifting big weights but I also love running, mountain biking and playing a variety of sports. I think you should just do what you enjoy. Life is for living and if you enjoy running do it. You can still go to the gym and pump the weights.
I think it is good to do a variety of sports. It is best to have all round general fitness rather than just concentrating on one thing in my opinion. You will also build a good sporty looking physique which is what I strive for.
I laugh to myself in the gym when I see the big guys benching 100k, I think come out for a run with me now and you wouldn't make it out of the car park!
I currently run 20-25 miles a week and do full body work outs in the gym three times a week. And I reckon I'm in good shape - the missus will back me up! Doing a marathon next year as well and will pretty much stick to the same regime.
Just make sure you eat loads and rest up. Also listen to your body as well. If you need an extra rest day take one.
So my advice is dust them running shoes down and get on the open road as well as in the gym - cant beat it!
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