Is there room for lifting when you are training for a half marathon?

Liss and Jenny

Liss and Jenny


This past weekend, I met up in Memphis with Coach Jenny to run the St. Jude Half Marathon. The run was really an excuse to go see her, meet her family, and vacation. And by vacation, I mean eat at all the great places in Memphis!

Jenny and Liss at the Arcade Restaurant

Happy, happy, happy! Jenny and Liss at the Arcade Restaurant

It turned out to be a little experiment to see what would happen if I did the bare minimum training for  the race while continuing my Venus workouts. I did not want to:

  • run more than I had to
  • experience the hunger that comes with all that cardio
  • give up any of my normal 5 days a week of lifting


The plan

So my plan was to:

  1. Lift Monday-Friday
  2. Do one long run on the weekend
  3. Take a rest day each week
  4. Maintain metrics

I try to run most weekends whether I have a race or not. It keeps up my lung capacity and  helps my asthma.  It has its purpose but I  don’t love running; I love lifting.  The change I experience from lifting is more tangible.  I can see it, feel it.


I wrote up my own running plan to taper up a mile every few weeks before the race, topping out at 12 miles. Unfortunately, I got sick and wasn’t able to run for the 3 weeks before the race. I saved what energy I did have for  lifting.  It took priority.

Liss running in Memphis

Liss running in Memphis

The results

I did a pretty good job of maintaining my metrics.  I stayed within a half inch. I tried to make sure to save extra calories for the day of the run and the day after to help with hunger.  I kept up with my weekday lifting schedule, although some days  there just was not much gas in the tank.

I didn’t have a personal best time for the race but it was not my slowest half either! I finished the half marathon in 2:05 which was a pleasant surprise. John has always said that a strong muscle is a fast muscle. Lifting does pay off for running!

The best part of the race was the course.  It was amazing! We ran by the Mississippi River, down Beale Street, and through the St. Jude campus where millions of children have been and will continue to be cared for.   I will never forget it.

In the corral before the race started

In the corral before the race started

The memories

Though Jenny and I have hung out many times together as we have become close friends, our families had never met. Our kids and husbands became fast friends.  We hit all the sites and spent our down time learning how to finger knit along with the kids. We even went to an NBA game.  Everyone had a blast!

Liss and her husband at the Grizzlies game

Liss and her husband at the Grizzlies game

It was an amazing trip!  I am so thankful for the friends I have found through Venus and I look forward to more trips in the future.

Liss and Jenny at the Wolf River

Liss and Jenny at the Wolf River


X- Liss



About Liss Graham

Liss is the girl next door who juggles a job, a husband, and two young kids. She had a lifelong struggle with her weight from a young age, constantly yo-yo dieting. Even though she would lose weight, she was never able to get beyond average with any workout or diet she tried. The Venus Index is the only thing that took her beyond average, and she now maintains Venus. From her success, she is now piloting Venus Index gym classes and coaching other women to attain the bodies of their dreams.
You can check her out at: Liss Graham's Venus Index Transformation

Facebook comments:


  1. Congratulations to these two beautiful women! In addition to completing the half marathon, they also raised money for St. Jude’s! I’m so proud of them both!! And I just love seeing pictures of you. <3 - Coach Lita

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