Can You Build Muscle While Running Consistently? - MTN OPS Can You Build Muscle While Running Consistently? - MTN OPS

Can You Build Muscle While Running Consistently?

Jan 30, 2024

By Truett Hanes

Yes, it is possible to build muscle while running consistently, but it depends on several factors, including the type of running, your overall training program, and most importantly your nutrition. It also depends on how committed to fitness you are. If you're halfway interested in gaining muscle while staying in running shape it won't happen by accident. It takes an every day dedication to your diet and a very consistent strength training/running split. Let's dive into it.

Here are some key considerations:

  1. Strength Training: While running primarily engages the cardiovascular system and lower body muscles, it will not provide enough resistance to effectively build muscle mass. To target muscle growth, incorporate strength training exercises into your routine. Sticking to a particular split in the gym while running is of most importance and one that hasn't failed me is the split of shoulders, arms, legs, back, chest, legs, rest. Staying consistent with your weightlifting program will benefit you greatly when trying to pack on size and staying in running shape. The difficulty will be making time for strength training and also getting your miles in. I typically go for the weightlifting before your work day and then logging some miles after your work day. It's typically easier to force yourself through some miles on a tired body than it is to lift heavy with a tired body. 

  2. Nutrition: Building muscle requires proper nutrition, including an adequate intake of protein to support muscle protein synthesis. Ensure that your diet includes enough protein-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. For an easy addition to ensure you hit your protein goals is to implement protein powders. Protein powder such as our MAGNUM gives you 23G per serving and you can easily get 1-3 down per day to help you come closer to your daily protein intake goal. Also, maintain a balanced diet with sufficient calories to support both your running and muscle-building goals. While running and gaining muscle is certainly possible, it will all be dependent on nutrition. An employee at MTN OPS who has a background in bodybuilding said this, "Nutrition drives everything." You will not obtain the goal you're after when your diet is off, it just won't work. Be intentional with everything you eat or don't eat if you wish to gain muscle and stay in cardiovascular shape. This is an all-consuming task, but if it were easy... everyone would do preparing mtn ops magnum protein shake in kitchen

  3. Progressive Overload: To stimulate muscle growth, you need to progressively increase the intensity or resistance of your workouts. This principle of progressive overload applies to both running and strength training. Gradually increase your running distance or intensity, and progressively lift heavier weights during strength training sessions. There is a balance you must find between both sessions. Say you do a tempo run of 10 miles on Monday, you shouldn't try to do a heavy leg day at the gym the following day. Give your body a rest so you can have full strength when it comes time for your heavy leg day session. You may find it is difficult to progress in the gym with increasing weight per movement while packing on the weekly miles... this is simply how it is. It is hard and you will struggle, but you will become stronger mentally from it if nothing else. Don't give up when it becomes hard, but adapt and overcome.

  4. Recovery: Recovery is crucial for muscle growth. Ensure you get enough rest between running sessions and strength training workouts to allow your muscles to recover and adapt. Prioritize sleep, as it plays a significant role in the recovery and repair of muscles. If you struggle with getting a good nights rest even after training and working all day then look into our Slumber products. Over 500 5-star reviews for a reason, it has helped thousands get sleep when nothing else could. Getting enough protein in your daily diet is also paramount in how well you'll recover and be ready for the next day. Ensure you have a high protein diet and you'll find that gaining muscle and strength will become easier. If you're interested in fighting soreness then look into our BCAA's. BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) support your body’s muscle building & recovery processes. Again over 400 5-star reviews for a simple reason, it works; taste great too.

  5. Balanced Approach: Striking a balance between running and strength training is essential. Too much cardiovascular exercise without adequate strength training may lead to limited muscle growth. On the other hand, focusing only on strength training may compromise your cardiovascular fitness. Be cognizant of both goals you're after and don't neglect one for the other unless your goals are primarily revolved around building muscle, or vice versa. You have to be intentional and training and while it's possible to become better with both (building muscle and becoming faster) you'll find it will take up a lot of your time and energy per day. Create a routine that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is the name of the game and you won't get the results you're after without it.

Remember that individual responses to exercise can vary, and it's crucial to listen to your body. If you have specific fitness goals or concerns, consider consulting with a one of our fitness professionals here at MTN OPS and we'll be happy to give you some pointers and how to maximize your efforts.