Running | Strength & Conditioning

Living in Both Worlds: A Strength Athlete’s Journey to the Marathon, Episode 4

Join us as we follow Bar Malik, Director of Performance for a team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), on the journey to his first marathon. Click here for Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3.

Episode 4: “Make sure you’re consistent and disciplined in your routine, and you’ll certainly see that finish line coming.”

Successfully 30 days into his training, Bar’s legs are finally on board. Mercifully, their deep and lingering soreness has lifted. That’s not the only adaptation he’s experienced. Bar is running longer distances at lower heart rates, and he breezed through an 8-mile run on Saturday.

Heartened by his cardiovascular gains and improved lower body muscular endurance, Bar receives another exciting piece of news: Meb Keflezhigi has heard about his Misogi, and he wants to help.

Of the many topics Bar wants to pick Meb’s brain about, mentality is at the top of his list. In distance running, training of the mind is as important of that of the body. Bar wants Meb’s outlook on tenacity and resolve as he increases mileage and disrupts his own boundaries.

Next week we will hear exactly what Bar and Meb discuss, but in the meantime another renowned runner and coach has caught wind of Bar’s journey. World-class running coach Greg McMillan has worked with Olympians, Boston Marathon qualifiers, and thousands of first-time marathoners. He offers some encouragement and advice as Bar enters the second month of training:


Weeks to Oh Boy Marathon: 10

Weekly training program:

  • Two easy pace runs (8:30min/mile) not exceeding 8 miles each
  • Two strength training sessions
  • One strength training session using blood flow restriction training
    • Increases strength endurance and helps increase VO2 Max aerobically without pounding on joints
    • Isometric squats, leg extensions, and split squats for 20 minutes
  • Foam rolling before and after all workouts

Biggest obstacle: I had to think big picture to get through training this week, because it was so tender to walk after the half marathon that I ran last week.  Keeping the unwavering faith that the soreness would pass was my biggest obstacle.

Pre and Post fueling:  MCT oil + essential amino acids + UCAN powder shake prior to my runs, and I’m still eating a UCAN bar early evening prior to dinner.  Next week, I’ll start using multiple scoops of UCAN as my miles go up.

Scale of 1-10 (1= extremely easy, 10= maximal effort), rate how difficult your program was: My body has actually bounced back from the 13.1 miles. My runs felt great this week: 2 out of 10.

Biggest inspiration for workouts: My business course with Jesse Itzler inspired my running this week. I just had to reflect upon why I chose the course and how much impact those 6 weeks of coaching has had on my life thus far. I sent Jesse a DM and I also re-visited my class notes to keep me inspired during the obstacles this week.

What kind of warmup do you do before runs? I have a 5-minute dynamic yoga routine that I do indoors before going outside to run. Once I’m outside I do walking lunges, butt kicks, hamstring/calves stretches, lunge with spinal twist, skipping and bounding before I run. It’s my movement prep routine; between the indoor and outdoor components it’s a total of 12-15 minutes of yoga and dynamic stretching.