Run Before or After Workout – What Should You do? UPDATED
Not everyone focuses on running as their choice of fitness activity. Many people use running to warm up before a workout or to get in some extra cardio after leaving the gym. Knowing this, which is the right time to run? Should you run before or after a workout?
In this article, we look at the pros and cons of running before and after a workout. So keep reading to find out more.
Should You Run Before or After Workout?
There is no quick answer to whether you should run before or after a workout. A lot of it depends on your goal or the session.
If you are looking to build strength and endurance as a runner, it is better to run after a workout. Doing so will allow the body to run with fatigued muscles. That will make you work harder at the same intensity level as running before a workout. It will also mean that you will have to focus on your form as it will slowly deteriorate towards the end of the run.
This will ultimately make you stronger throughout the back end of the run. However, this should only apply if you are doing a recovery, distance, or long run and not interval, tempo, or hill workout.
If you are planning to do a more intense running session, you should try to plan your run before your workout. This will allow you to perform as you need to without the fatigue of lifting weights beforehand. Because these types of sessions are primarily designed to build speed, doing your intervals after a gym workout will end up hurting your leg speed and recovery.
Alternatively, if you are using running as a form of cardio and running isn’t your main goal, you should plan your run before or after a workout based on your weight session. That means if you are focusing on leg day, you should move the run to after the workout (if long) or before the workout (if short). Both runs should be easy and used primarily as a warm down, warm-up exercise.
If you are using running to lose weight, it is recommended that 90% of your runs should be after a workout. Doing so will help stimulate your metabolism and increase muscle growth. It will also increase the rate at which your body burns fat.
Running Before Workout – Is it the Right Thing To Do?
Like we just discussed already in this article, running before a workout should only be done if used as a warm-up. The only other time it should be used before a workout is if you are focusing on your core or upper body.
For most people, there is no point in running before a leg workout day. It will just fatigue your lifting technique and prevent you from holding good form when lifting weights.
However, as we discussed running before a workout can be good if you are using it in your warmup routine. That means keeping the intensity and distance down and primarily using it as a way to warm up the body before a workout.
Should you Run Before or After Leg Workout?
If your main goal is to increase leg strength, muscle mass or improve definition, you should stay away from running before a workout. Doing so will limit both the weights your can lift and also your lifting form.
However, if your main sport is running and you’re looking to improve aerobic strength, running before a leg workout may be beneficial. Although, this is not 100% documented and requires some trial and error to see if it works for the person or not.
But in general, if your goal is to improve strength, lift more weights or hold form, stay away from running before your workout. Instead, look at other ways to warm up, such as rowing, or an elliptical machine.
Better to Run Before or After Workout – What is the Best?
If you are still confused about whether it is better to run before or after a workout, you should speak to a personal trainer or coach. They can help you plan your running warm-up and cool-down routines based on the type of workout you are doing. It will ultimately help you to plan you’re running around your weight training program.
Alternatively, try to focus on running when you are training the core and upper body. Then when you are training the lower body, move the easy runs to after your workout. That way you won’t end up affecting your leg session.
How Long Should I Run Before a Workout or After?
The distance you should run before or after a workout should generally be 30 minutes or less. Running more than 30 minutes will typically add too much fatigue to the body and slow down the recovery process after a workout.
If you run more than 30 minutes before your workout, you may find that it will affect your technique and power, even if taken easy. So try to keep the runs easy and short, no matter if you are running before or after a workout and you should have no problem combining running and weight workouts together.