Pairing Stronglifts 5x5 With Running

Hybrid training is extremely beneficial for health as it allows us to concurrently build strength and cardiovascular capabilities. That being said, when we train both for strength and running, we will be making trade offs that need to be taken into consideration. In this article I will outline the positives and negatives of pairing running with stronglifts 5 x 5 and look at some practical factors you should take into consideration.

3 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
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In This Resource
  • The Dosage of Running Matters
  • Recommendation
  • Running Programme Depends on Previous Training
  • Advantages of Doing Stronglifts and Running
  • Health
  • Hybrid Training
  • Disadvantages of Doing Stronglifts and Running
  • Running Performance
  • Strength Performance

The Dosage of Running Matters

The amount (dosage) of running being paired with stronglifts is essential to assess if running and stronglifts can be paired together. Performing one low intensity run alongside the stronglifts programme is an excellent idea whereas performing 4 runs to prepare for a marathon alongside stronglifts 5 x 5 is a terrible idea. You need to make sensible decisions about the dosage of running that will allow you to achieve your training goals, just make sure that your goals arn’t so aggressive they are a sure way to get you injured.


I think for individuals performing the stronglifts 5x5 training programme performing 1-2 easy runs per week will be a great health intervention. As the stronglifts 5x5 is an intensive training programme it should not be matched with those looking to run for performance (e.g semi-marathons etc). Running alongside the 5x5 should be for health and longevity purposes, not performance purposes.

Running Programme Depends on Previous Training

The running programme you design for yourself heavily depends on your running experience. If you are a complete beginner then this needs to be reflected in the training programme and if you are very advanced then this will also heavily influence the training programme.

Advantages of Doing Stronglifts and Running


The biggest advantage from pairing stronglifts with running will be the health benefits that come from running. If you are training to be a very healthy individual, then cardiovascular training will be part of your physical practice as it is such an important component to physical health. Running can be used to increase VO2 max through both high and low intensity training, both of which will be beneficial to running performance and health.

Hybrid Training

For those looking to achieve performance in both running and have good strength metrics then these sorts of programme combinations can help you build both physical characteristics at the same time, when they are done correctly. Training multiple physical characteristics is extremely challenging and needs to be done with consideration of recovery. This might mean having blocks of training where strength is the emphasis while running is maintained and visa versa.

Disadvantages of Doing Stronglifts and Running

Running Performance

For those looking to maximise their running performance doing the stronglifts programme will be way to much strength training and take far too much away from actual running training. This is not to say that runners should not perform strength training, however it is to say runners should not perform stronglifts 5x5. It is too barbell and powerlifting specific. Runners need to have a good foundation of strength, but not be ready to compete in a powerlifting tournament, this amount of strength training will take away from their running performance.

Strength Performance

The same principle goes for those trying to be at their peak levels of strength. Most powerlifters would not use running as their cardiovascular modality choice because it is weight bearing. A much easier to manage version of cardiovascular training would be the air bike or stationary bike. This would mean that you do not take the risk with small niggles that runners can often suffer from which would effect your training.

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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

Sean Klein


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