Marathon Running Question - Age and Weight Lifting

by Joey
(Walla Walla WA)

I am 47. Long time weight lifter. Just started (about 6 months ago) to train for a marathon. Can I and should continue to lift- "somewhat heavy"? Also, is there a big difference between a 47 year old and a 37 year old?

running tips

Answer by Dom:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question.

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

I don't have a lot of time for answering questions these days.

I'll first answer the age-question: yes, the difference of ten years is quite a big one.

Compared to ten years ago your recovery will take longer, you can't be as aggressive with your mileage build-up, etc.

You are not necessarily going to be a lot slower though.

Especially for endurance events like the marathon the older guys can keep up with the younger ones quite well. Many 40+ age groupers are faster than the 30-40 age groupers!

It comes down to years in training, but also time available for training. The 30-40 year olds more often have to factor in small children and dependents. 40+ age groupers more often have gone past that stage and have more time and energy for their training.

Now with regards to the weight lifting question. Weight lifting has got tremenduous benefits for runners. It helps to improve posture and can help prevent injuries. I am a big fan of compound movements, squats, deadlifts, the Javorek dumbbell complexes or circuit-type training in which you get strength and aerobic benefits.

Heavy lifting is fantastic for runners. The only thing I'd look out for is that you don't want your weight lifting to interfere with your running training. When preparing for a marathon, your focus should be on that marathon. You can lift, but stick to two workouts per week. That’s a great amount to maintain and even build strength, but leaves enough time for running.

Want to lift more? Then just keep in mind that your running shouldn’t suffer. So, when you feel that you can't do your running sessions at the right intensity or you can't complete your running training because of the weight training, then it is probably time to take it down a notch

What I definitely wouldn't do is to try and chase two competing goals, e.g. run a marathon and work on building more upper body muscle. It's just going to be too hard when you are going to mix endurance event training with power/explosivity building training.

It's probably a good idea to get into maintenance mode with the weights and use them as a cross-training activity, whilst training for this marathon.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck.
Kind regards,

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Marathon Training Questions.

Like this page:

Share this page:

Like this site:

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

What's New?

  1. 8 Essential Distance Running Tips for Beginners

    New to distance running and looking for guidance? Look no further! On this page I have compiled 8 essential distance running tips for beginners that will get you off to a flying start!

    Read more

  2. Best Running Tips :: 10k Running Program for Beginners - A 12 Week Training Program for Your First 10k

    Check out the perfect 12-week 10k running program for beginners. This training program is guaranteed to get you ready for your first 10 k race!

    Read more

  3. What is the Right Running Technique?

    I have started using your Beginner Running Program 3 and I have a question about my running technique. I've never run before. I read on many running

    Read more

  4. 70 Years Old - Want to Start Running

    I am 70 years of age. Started on one of your beginner programs am now in Week 2. Really excited at the prospect of getting to run a 5k. I play golf

    Read more

  5. Five Tips for Running the Mile

    Want to improve your mile time? Here are some tips for running the mile that should help make you faster.

    Read more