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Running and Lifting: How to Do Both For Best Results

Coaching allows me to change people’s mindset and even their bodies through running and lifting. These transformations are the most rewarding part of being a coach.

running and lifting kirsten

And today, I’m thrilled to share a powerful example of what happens when you commit to smart training.

The photo above is Kirsten. She’s a runner just like you. But after some health problems, her running was in the gutter. She told me:

I had some health issues several years ago, which gave me very low energy and caused me to lose a lot of strength. I was all of a sudden an extremely slow runner.

To my body, I was not only a beginner, but extremely out of shape. When I started running again I could do 19 minute miles. Slightly faster than I walked!

Being out of shape – both aerobically and muscularly – makes it seem like you’ll never rebuild your fitness again. It’s a steep uphill climb.

Kirsten felt frustrated because her running was taking so long at this slower pace. She used to be able to run twice as far in the same amount of time!

Not only that, but she was drowning in information overload. She had so much information about how to lift weights properly but still felt unsure of what to do.

I was tired and frustrated with having SO much information at my fingertips and yet still feeling like I wasn’t sure what to do. I’ve read so many books and made my own training plans so many times.

I’m very familiar with progressive training plans and so I was looking for something that was more than just “do these same 8 generic exercises over and over.”

She knew that running and lifting worked well together. The research is conclusive on its impact on running economy, power, and injury prevention.

So Kirsten made the decision to invest in High Performance Lifting – the only strength program created by both a USATF certified coach and a USA Weightlifting National Coach.

Her progress is remarkable – but also achievable for other runners like you.

“The strength I gained made me feel unstoppable!”

Kirsten wasn’t exactly your typical gym rat. While she usually engaged in running and lifting, she didn’t even have a gym membership! Most of her strength training was previously done at home with bodyweight exercises like squats:

To be honest, going to the gym was really challenging, especially being a smaller woman in a room full of large bulky men trying to find my way around the weights.

Over time, it actually boosted my confidence and the strength I gained made me feel quite unstoppable!

Of course, getting comfortable in a gym wasn’t the only obstacle Kirsten had to overcome to transform her training. Even though her confidence grew, she had to establish an entirely new routine.

You see, Kirsten would rather be outdoors (I’m guilty of that, too!). She didn’t want to spend time in the weight room every week.

But soon, she had an epiphany:

This was the greatest lesson that I repeat to myself regularly: it is well worth it to take 2x a week inside to do strength training so that the time I spend outside running is not only injury free, but is also extremely fun!

I have way more fun when I can run with bounding strength.

Once Kirsten got comfortable in the gym and with spending extra time inside not running, her progress started to accelerate.

She was training for her second half marathon of the year and was hoping her training would feel better, result in fewer injuries, and be more fun. High Performance Lifting helped make that possible:

I went through my 2nd half marathon training of the year with the HPL strength program. I felt stronger and stronger as I went through it. My runs got faster and I felt solid. I actually had way more “kick” during my runs even half way through.

Productive training usually leads to productive racing.

So how did Kirsten run in her second half marathon?

Running and Lifting: The Proof is in the Racing

Kirsten half marathon

Kirsten ran her half 29 minutes faster than her previous race (at 6,000 feet altitude!) and thinks she could have been even faster at sea level.

Her progress of being nearly two minutes faster per mile in a half marathon is surreal.

She credits her experience with High Performance Lifting for such a breakthrough:

I really really loved how HPL worked progressively through the workouts. Each week had 2 separate workouts that were each different and each week those workouts changed either slightly or completely, all building off of each other.

That was wonderful! I felt challenged every week and was never bored. I learned a LOT about progression, variation, and building.

It’s made me really excited to do it again to see how much more I’ll improve because you can do it over and over again!

Just as importantly, she ran so fast without any injuries!

Why Was Kirsten Successful?

Kirsten Weight Lifting Transformation

Kirsten’s experience highlights exactly why the High Performance Lifting program is so successful for runners. It’s not because you’re going to be lifting heavier weight than ever before.

HPL is effective because it’s uniquely designed for endurance runners and models sound exercise science:

  • It will progressively get more challenging over time
  • It is periodized to focus on different things at different times during the season
  • The programming is specific to the needs of runners (power, neuromuscular coordination, and injury prevention)

Despite its effectiveness, Kirsten was hesitant about the price:

I was hesitant to buy the program at first because of the cost but the more I thought about it, it wasn’t actually expensive at all if you consider the cost of a running coach.

This program is like having a coach. Since I’d already done a SR program, I knew these were well worth it.

Ultimately, Kirsten understood that if she wanted to experience progress, she must take action.

She signed up to learn more about strength training and took the next step of investing in a proven program specific to runners.

You can take that first step, too. Sign up here and you’ll get your first coaching lesson on strength training right away.

Thankfully, Kirsten didn’t pigeonhole herself into the “beginner runner” category.

Despite her health issues and 19-minute miles, she realized that progress would be faster if she expected more from herself:

Even though I ran cross country in high school, I really started this program as a beginning runner physically. It gave me a lot of perspective on starting from nothing. I learned that the body is way more resilient than we can imagine.

And what does she think of High Performance Lifting?

I would absolutely recommend this to any runner. This isn’t just for high performing runners. This is for runners. Beginners and advanced runners alike will get a lot out of this program because it builds on your current ability.

Start here to learn more about strength training, lifting for power, and how you can transform your running just like Kirsten.

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