Combining Strength + Endurance training in a Masters athlete

Over the time between episodes 013 and 390 of the AACC podcast, there has been some significant scientific discovery that would help answer the question of how best to combine strength and endurance training.
As a Masters athlete ( almost 52) I intend to continue regular strength training through both the off and race seasons; I appreciate the benefit that heavy lifting brings to bone density, endothelial compliance, sleep quality etc…

However, I also would like to be as fast as possible in my planned events this season. SPecifically, my A event is a 100km MTB race on April 23rd, followed by a 125km ( 3500m of climbing) gravel race on
May 13th.

My work and family demands only allow me to follow a Low Volume plan.
The days that would work best for me to train on the bike are Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

So I am looking for advice as to where best to fit a strength / lifting session in to the weeks’ program?
My lifting workout consists of something along the lines of : squats, dead lifts, glute resistance band exercises, and then some upper body work including bicep curls, tricep dips and dumbell rows ( rehabilitating a shoulder injury).

I am thinking of doing the strength session on a Monday afternoon. I am hopeful that this will not impact negatively on the cycling training.
Would it be better to do both the strength and a cycling session on one day, separating them by 12 hours, and then have a better rest between the Sunday and Wednesday training ride?

I would appreciate any thoughts on my situation.


An entire thread as well as links to other threads:


I’ve always lived by the rule: NEVER do any kind of training inside a Master’s athlete.

Oh nice, thank you!

In general - during base (assuming riding intensity is relatively low) prioritise lifting and do your strength work after a rest day. In build and specialty, prioritise riding and do your harder intervals after a rest day. As the riding stress goes up, the lifting stress will need to come down.

Beyond that, you’ll need to experiment and see what works best for you. You may find, for instance, that riding the day of lifting or the day after is easier than riding two days after lifting because DOMS is often worst two days after lifting.


Yes that sounds like good general advice.
Thank you

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You’re welcome. Get swole. Get fast. :sunglasses::blush::sunglasses:


hey Bob, honestly if you’re on a low volume because you are busy, don’t overthink the exact perfect scenario, but get the work in when you can!

so that Monday session sounds great, since you’re then riding Wed Fri Sunday. Maybe you can add a lift to One of the ride days also?

Mon: lift
Tues: rest
Wed: Lift Am, Harder intervals PM
Thurs: rest
Friday: medium ride (tempo etc)
Sat: Rest
Sunday: Long endurance ride

many ways to do it. have fun and good luck!


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I appreciate your comments and advice Brendan

My biggest leap forward in scheduling has been understanding that a heavy weights session is my most taxing workout of the week. Certainly not part of a rest day!


Have a listen to 341 which addresses when to lift.

Just listened yesterday myself.

… and then listen to Ep 345 which is the second half of what is effectively a two-parter.

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55 y/o. mostly racing gravel these days, w/ some aquabike (swim/bike portion of a triathlon). currently on a high volume gravel plan. Schedule is:

Mon am core and weights
Mon pm 30-60 min recovery/endurance spin on rollers. this gives me about 10 hours btw the weights and the aerobic components

Tue am swim (~1500m right now), hard TR workout (threshold etc)

Wed am core/weights
Wed pm recovery/endurance ride

Thurs same as Tue

Fri same as Wed

Sat hard TR workout

Sun 3-4 hours road bike (50-60 miles w/ ~3,000 ft climbing) or gravel race

Totals around 10 hours +/- cycling, ~450-550 TSS (cycling portion only)

In the spring, I’ll cut the weights to 1-2 x/week but keep the core part at 3x

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That is a very impressive training program and load. I tip my hat to you.

Clearly you are able to combine lifting / core on the same day as an endurance ride, separated by about 10 hours. Can I ask how long you have bene following this protocol?

In general, I’ve been doing multi sport since the mid 80s, so I’m used to doing 2 (some times 3) workouts in a day. It’s more about the spacing not just between the 2 workouts that day, but how you structure the whole week. My running has been sporadic due to multiple knee surgeries.

The 3x/week core and 5-7x/week bike I’ve been doing at least since the pandemic started (the core routine includes some leg strength stuff like goblet squats and pistol squats w/ 25# dumbbell, which I started doing when the gyms closed down). I finally convinced myself to start using the weight room in our apartment complex about 5 weeks ago. Was pleasantly surprised that after doing squats on smith press, kettle bell deadlifts, double and single leg press, seated calf raises and some upper extremity stuff, I wasn’t sore/no doms. so I guess the core routine was more challenging/helpful than I thought.

I use some of the exercises from Tom Danielson’s book, plus things I make my patients do in the clinic. The addition of the weights I’m hoping will help me bump my FTP a bit (sitting at around 3.8 w/kg right now), and improve bone health/increase crash survivability long term. hope that helps

Austin you have shared a wealth of information that I find very useful AND inspiring!

glad to share. should also add that I’m single, sold my house, cherry pick my work hours around my training schedule and really have no life outside of training and racing :laughing: