Disproportional Body

I picked up running about two years ago, and I’m loving it! Just completed my first 40-mile week, and I’ve been noticing my abilities improving. I can run longer and faster, and with much less exertion than before.

However, I picked up running because my legs were fat. They were huge. Even though I can do 7-8 miles a day now, my legs have only slimmed a bit. My upper body remains comparatively tiny, and my head is a bit on the large side to compound problems. :smack:

Is there a way to bulk up my upper body without affecting my running abilities? I’d love to pack some muscle onto my chest, shoulders, and arms without having to run slower. It’s not that I lack muscle in my upper body; it’s just that it’s not exactly bulky … I can do 40 push-ups no sweat, and I’m 170 pounds, mind you.

Wait, why would having a more muscular upper body make you run slower? I have honestly never heard that before.

Lowers your power to weight ratio. I’m not a cyclist, not a runner, but there’s a reason you don’t see many competitive cyclists who look like body builders.

You lose about 2 seconds per mile per pound(for runners).

Properly training your upper body ought to be, at worst, neutral for your times. Obviously, if you just throw on bulk just for the sake of it, you’ll hurt your times. What is your routine now? Do you just run 7-8 miles 5-6 days a week? Do you do any resistance training?

I think you’ll probably see better proportion and possibly even improve your running if you do some resistance training. For your purpose, I’d suggest focusing mostly on the major muscles, complex movements, and sticking more to lighter weight, higher weights. You can also do some functional exercises, with light weights or exercise bands.

A one mile tempo/fast run each night, and 7-8 miles on weekends/days off. No resistance training, just running, stretching, and more running. And a lot of push-ups interspersed between running and stretching.

Will this make my chest bigger?

I meant to say I AM a cyclist. Lower weight makes it easier to get up hills too. It makes your power to weight ratio better…

I need to take a nap after lunch before posting!

Muscle hypertrophy is what you are after. Considering the running/endurance activity that is already using up a big chunk of the calories you may have in excess (available to be put to use building muscle), you’re going to need to adjust your nutritional habits to better support your goals. More complex carbs before and after training (with simple carbs reserved only for immediately postworkout), with lean proteins and modest healthy fats throughout the day.