Are Marathon Running and Weightlifting Compatible?

The balance between all of the athletic activities that the market offers, leads us to ask ourselves which we want to practice? Among them, we can observe enormous functional and physiological differences. So, are marathon running and weightlifting compatible?
Are Marathon Running and Weightlifting Compatible?

Last update: 28 April, 2020

The first thing we need to keep in mind when we practice any leisure or sports activity of our choosing is avoiding our number one enemy: sedentarism. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be ready to choose between marathon running and weightlifting.

In order to catalog the different types of activities, we can do so based on a number of different aspects. However, one of the most representative is the physiological aspect. What changes does choosing one type of sports activity produce in our bodies ?

Some activities have a longer duration, which we know predominantly as aerobic exercises. Others, however, are based more on momentaneous efforts, with or without an external load. These are known as anaerobic exercises. And finally, some activities offer the best of both worlds.

The variety of sports that we can choose from is immense and depends on our personal goals and preferences. But what happens when we’re considering two activities that are very different from one another? This leads us to another question: are marathon running and weightlifting compatible?

Comparing marathon running and weightlifting

It’s clear that the physical features of those who run marathons and those who lift weights are completely different. So we’ll look at which of the two activities best fits what you’re looking for:

The characteristics of marathon running

Marathon running involves running long distances and is considered an Olympic track sport. Marathon runners normally possess an ectomorphic physique, with low levels of fat. As a result, they are at lower risk for heart disease.

What’s more, their bodies display a predominance of type I fibers–those that develop for low-intensity activities with long durations.

When it comes to the cardio aspect, these runners are at a magnificent advantage. This is the result of the pumping of blood and the lung adaptations that come with this exercise. The volume of air that enters the lungs is quite large, which is beneficial for the respiratory system.

The benefits of running marathons.

Given all we’ve mentioned about marathon running, these athletes possess great muscular oxygenation. Their cardiac walls are very strong. However, it’s important to point out that, according to studies, such an extenuating sport can produce other problems. For example, low testosterone levels and premature aging.

The characteristics of weightlifting

Unlike marathon running, the increase of muscular fibers and their size is the basis of this weightlifting. Training revolves around exercises that are relatively short but extremely intense.

The bodies of weightlifters are predominantly mesomorphic, with a high percentage of type II muscle fibers. These fibers are more prepared for specific strength exercises and have a high capacity for improving the appearance of muscles.

Therefore, this is a great activity for combatting sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass over the course of time. It’s a problem that all people may face at some point in their lives.

Muscles are a nonexistent element without their corresponding bone mass. Therefore, lifting weights also involves preparing the mineral density of bones, thus creating structures that are more solid.

In regard to the heart, the weightlifting series and their corresponding recovery time produce improvements in cardiac health. What’s more, it’s an excellent way to release stress from our daily lives.

The bodies of weightlifters.

Choosing between marathon running and weightlifting

If you’re planning to put your body and soul into training for a specific sport, then you’ll need to make this choice. Otherwise, keep in mind that life and its functions encompass a broad spectrum. Sometimes we need to break into a sprint to catch the bus, and other times we need to lift furniture to move to a new home.

With this in mind, common sense in good measures will bring us to alternate between different activities that improve different physical activities. In other words, it’s all about keeping things in balance. Each individual should choose wisely.

In fact, these two activities are completely compatible. In order to perform in marathons, runners need to do strength exercises. And in the same way, in order to obtain lower levels of body fat–a characteristic of a good weightlifter, it’s important to do some sort of aerobic exercise.

In other words, why limit yourself to just one of these activities when you can broaden your range of abilities? The overall health of human beings isn’t exclusive to one organ or muscle. Rather, it’s the sum of many parts.

Avoid becoming obsessed

Before we conclude, it’s important to use good reason. Studies have shown that practicing any sport without controlled guidelines or while consuming illegal substances can cause irreparable damage, both physically and mentally.

Don’t play around with your health, take advantage of healthy habits to improve it… never to put it at risk. Measure the consequences of your actions and use your head. So, after everything we’ve explained, what interests you the most? Marathon running, weightlifting…. or both?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.