Can Running Build Muscle?

In this article, we are diving into the science behind running’s relationship with your body and how it affects the muscles in particular. 

Can Running Build Muscle?

Want to find out if running will build muscle throughout your body? You’re in the right place. Read on to find out some fascinating facts about running and muscle building! 

How Does Running Help To Build Muscle?

A study was done on 20 university students who did a high intensity interval training.

This type of training involved running at a consistent pace for 30 seconds then stopping for 2 minutes, repeating this cycle for about 15 minutes.

After doing this for 10 weeks, researchers found that aerobic exercise is an effective mode for promoting cardiorespiratory capacity and increasing the size of the entire muscle group.

Running improves your muscles by using repetitive motions. You should do cardio exercises for about thirty to forty minutes four to five times per week if you want to see results in a short time frame.

Your cardio workout should be done at an intensity level of seventy percent to eighty percent of your maximum heart rate.

HIIT workouts will help you build muscle faster. You should incorporate sprints into your workout routine as well. 

Also, make sure you listen to your body and that you get enough sleep. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water is also very important.

How Long Does It Take To Build Muscle?

Can Running Build Muscle?

Building muscle can be done in 6 to 10 weeks depending on what kind of workout program you follow. Your body needs to adapt to the new exercise routine before you see results.

For example, if you start running every day, your body will need about 2 months to adjust to this new activity. Afterward, you’ll see results. 

Power athletes tend to be leaner than endurance athletes because they emphasize high intensity workouts. Running builds muscles on the lower half of your legs and arms.

You should eat lots of protein and other nutrients to help build muscle. Consult with a professional trainer if you want to learn how to train properly.

How To Build Muscles Through Running

Running is an excellent form of exercise because it helps build muscle. But, since running is a repetitive activity, you should vary your workouts in order to avoid losing strength.

Here are some examples of runs according to Jordan: 

  • High Resistance Interval Running – Run with resistance (on an incline or using weights) for 5-12 seconds, and then switch over to 60 seconds of active recovery. This pattern should be repeated 10-20 times. 
  • High Intensity Continuous Training – Run with high resistance for 5-20 minutes, and sprint intervals for 15-30 seconds, followed by a 1-2 minute rest period. This pattern should be done 10 times. Long distance runs are great for building slow twitch muscle fibers. Recovery runs allow for the body to recover. Mixing up the type of run helps to prevent overuse injuries. Weightlifting is an effective way to build muscle. Running schedules vary from person to person.

The Optimal Nutrition For Building Muscle

Can Running Build Muscle?

Nutrition is very important when working out. You should consume plenty of carbohydrates before a workout to give yourself enough energy.

Protein rich foods like chicken or fish are excellent post-workout meals because they help repair your muscles after you work them out.

The recommended amount of protein for gaining muscle is 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. For a 150-pound person that means 75 to 120 grams of proteins per day.

Protein Supplements

Protein powders can help you boost your daily intake of protein. Supplements can help you limit the number of amino acids you lose as a result from training.

They also provide an easy way to get your daily quota of protein in one meal. For those trying to gain mass, choose whey. It’s been shown that whey is most beneficial for bodybuilders.

Does Low-Impact Cardio Have Any Effect?

Can Running Build Muscle?

Low impact cardio helps athletes build muscle as well as reduce post workout soreness. Long distance running can also help runners get ready for races. Running can even help speed up recovery time.

Combine Endurance And Strength Training

Running on an empty stomach is not recommended if you want to grow muscle. You need to eat something before a run.

You also need to rest after your run. Training three times a week is a good idea. Make sure you recover properly after each workout.

Important: Make sure your break between training sessions is at least six hours. The day after is reserved for regeneration and recuperation.

This is vital because this is when your body really starts seeing results (not while you are working out, as many assume).

The combination of cardio and strength training is a heavy burden for your body, making two rest days per week mandatory.

It’s worth it however – as soon as your body gets used to the new training routine, you’ll start seeing results real soon.

Final Thoughts

Running is a great sport because you get to work out while enjoying something else. You also get to enjoy other people as well as nature.

However, there are many things you need to know about running to make sure you stay safe and healthy. 

After a few weeks of a new running regime, you should start to build muscle in certain areas of your body and start to feel better mentally!

Go and try it for yourself!

Megan Rinzel
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