Rob Murphy

August 10, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesRob Murphy's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


Salt Lake City,Ut,

Member Since:

Feb 11, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I had some success in high school and college. Winner 1985 Rod Dixon Run 

Had a fair amount of success as a Masters runner for most of my 40s. 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Have fun, not get fat, stay fit.

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Keep running in some fashion.


I teach AP European History and other courses at Alta High School. I coached the track and cross country teams at Alta for 16 years.

Married, two kids - Abby and Andy

My Twitter  @murphy_rob

Miles:This week: 6.25 Month: 76.35 Year: 1582.79
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Two easy miles on the treadmill with some hard strength training in between over my lunch "hour".

I have some thoughts on weight training and strength training that I want to throw out there. Particularly as it relates to the Masters runner.

I never did any strength training when I was in college or in my 20s or 30s. About 3 years ago, I added weights and a lot of body weight strength training to my training. I did this as an experiment at first, but I continued it because I loved the way it made me feel. For example, I haven't had a back ache in about 3 years. In my 30s (I'm 47 now), I had chronic back pain and I generally chalked it up to aging. Funny!

As far as running goes, I reasoned that a loss of muscle mass and the corresponding loss of speed and power was a big contributor to slower times after 40. If we loose about a half % of muscle mass/year after 35 and close to 1% annually by about 55, can't weight training counteract that? At least for a while?

 So I would generally say that weight training is more important to the Masters runner than it is for youngsters. I remember way back in 1980 when I was in 9th grade, reading an interview in Runner's World with fitness pioneer Jack LaLane. I remember him saying that he admired the achievements of marathon runners like Bill Rogers, but he wouldn't concede that they were fit. "What if we could add 20% to Bill Rogers overall strength from head to toe without adding significant weight?". His reasoning was that Rogers would be a much better runner.

I also believe that strength training helps my aging body stand up to the rigors of hard training better and builds bone density which makes it much less likely that I will suffer through things like stress fractures. I personally have a hard time training above 70 or 80 MPW consistently because my body just gets that general beat-up feeling. I think strength training helps me avoid that.

It's also great for those of us with excess flab. Weight training gives a superior metabolic burst to running.

I'm conscious of the idea that any excess weight/bulk can be detrimental. However, the older you get, the less likelihood there is of that and lots of mileage makes it unlikely for any of us.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any thoughts about anyone's attitude towards strength training.

More running this afternoon - not sure how much more. My daughter has started running and wants to do the Beat the New Year 5k. So I'm running with her some. Fun. 


PM: 100 floors on the stair master and 6 miles on the treadmill 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00Calories: 0.00
From Jake K on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 15:49:11 from

Lots of great points here Rob. I think your thoughts on this subject are right on the money. While its impossible to stop the "again process" you can definitely change the rate at which it happens. I agree that strength training is really crucial to maintaining muscle and keeping bones strong.

My dad is 56... he still lifts weights about 3 times a week... nothing too hard... but he does it to keep his muscle mass from going away too rapidly.

I know personally, when I am training like I am right now, there are only so many hours in the day, and I'm unwilling to add in anything that will take away time from the actual running. But there is a huge benefit to it - that's why so many elites (even the young guys) do it. I'm hoping to incorporate some new stuff into my routine this winter in hopes of being more explosive, leaner, and faster next year.

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 16:16:56 from

I agree Jake. If I were your age and a sub-elite runner seeking to be elite and I was choosing between 100 mpw and no strength training and 80 mpw with strength training, I'd probably go with the former.

But I think an 80 year-old runner (I know, and extreme example) would actually be better off with a 50-50 mix of running and weights.

From JG on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 16:32:29 from

Thanks for the reminder I need to incorporate strength training this winter! My high school soccer coach used to insist we did weighted toe raises. Just thinking about it logically ... I don't know how doing even just that one exercise could do anything but make one faster!

From Rob Murphy on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 at 19:31:00 from

JG - Yes! I think toe raises are the best way to avoid a whole host of lower leg problems as well.

Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):