I recently started running and do 3-4 miles 3-4 times a week.

On the days I don't run, I lift weights. I typically train pretty intense both compound and isolation exercise.

My diet is pretty normal, mostly fruit and protein foods, although, I will say, I don't eat a ton throughout the day. A good breakfast and probably one-two large meals.

I am concerned that my new running routine is interfering with my ability to build muscle / interfering with protein synthesis. Is this a legitimate concern? Does my diet need to be adjusted or should I take a supplement to ensure I am building the optimal amount of muscle for the effort I put in, despite my running routine? Do I need to run less?

  • You have to do some research about what/when to eat after each training sessions. For instance I eat carbs after cardio exercises, and you need proteins after strength sessions. Consult for sure a sport nutritionist about your diet. And of course you have to do some experiment to find what works for you, It took me six whole month to build my own nutrition plan. Just stay consistent.
    – user28281
    Dec 31, 2019 at 6:09
  • This is such a complicated question. First, congratulations on the cardio routine. Benching a transfer truck does you no good if you're winded going up and down stairs. Second, there is a reason you don't see Mr Olympia finishing at the top of the pack in marathons. You should probably separate this question out into Cardio while building muscle and put the nutrition concerns into another post. Note: Professional bodybuilders do cardio.
    – BryceH
    Dec 31, 2019 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


Complicated question and I fear no definite answer. Depends on your recovery capacity, your genetics, ...

You can find some information about how to optimize your hybrid training (endurance & strength) by searching through google with terms like mTor or AMPK pathway. You can also read alex viada "Hybrid Athlete" book which may help you go faster in making your training routine.

However, don't forget to include the most important variable : yourself. You are the only one who sees himself everyday, who feels himself every time and can therefore judge what works and what does not. When to increase the load and when to decrease.

I am a firm believer you can definitely achieve good results in strength and endurance. However, I am also a firm believer than you can't reach very high level results (understand : be among the bests) in both fields. At some point, to increase your performance, you have to tax your system so much that you could not withstand doing this in both fields. You would in the end be in overtraining and lose on both sides because you would not be able to recover properly.


The number one culprit is probably your diet. I eat 5 to 6 meals a day while some people eat every two hours. Eating 2 meals or 3 meals, large or not may be wasting calories as your body can obl process so much before converting to fat. Your muscles are then hungry the rest of the day. Even if you didn't run I'd suggest eating a lot more and upping your calories. Cardio is fine but typically the magic number is no more than 3 times a week if you're doing moderate to high intensity(running, jogging, jump roping). Walking is fine. Excess cardio can be known to ruin muscle but if you stick to 3 times a week and eat a lot of calories(plus even more to make up for what your cardio is burning).. then you will be ok.

If you're a beginner than you could be overtraining as you need to slowly build up that intensity. Otherwise this is fine

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