RUNNING can be catabolic. "Catabolic metabolism (catabolism) breaks down complex compounds and body tissues. This releases energy. The body uses catabolism when a source of energy is needed. Sustained high intensity exercise, such as running a marathon, can result in catabolism of muscle as the body needs to break down protein for an energy source. Exercising hard for a long period of time without replacing energy with food and drink can lead to the breaking down of muscle for fuel."
When was the last time you saw a buff marathoner? I know, I haven't seen many either.
The typical body type of a person who runs marathons regularly is one with FLAT muscles. The muscle belly is not round and full as the muscles seen on a bodybuilder or a person who lifts regularly. Actually, some bodybuilders use running as a method to lose bodyfat in prep for a competition (generally does not exceed 45 minutes) or "run off" excess muscle mass to achieve muscular symmetry.
As a long time marathoner myself, I have been trying to reverse the effects that long distance running had on my glutes, quads and hamstrings,in preparation for my first figure competition in April 2016....and it has been a long, challenging road! In my case, I ran my butt off...literally.
Currently, I run for 40 minutes tops and sometimes for only 20 and that is only 2-3 times per week. My runs are hill sprints or tempo runs. This is quite a change for me given that for the past 20 years, I was running on average 40-80 miles a week. If anything, I can currently run a mean 5k or 8k☺.
The truth is that in order to be a successful bodybuilder, I wont be running any marathons anytime soon.
Then there is the nutritional aspect...protein, protein and more protein. I'm only 2 weeks into this prep and I'm already sick of chicken, turkey burgers, and salmon! The typical diet of a marathoner is high in carbs to sustain good energy levels for the distance. My favorite used to be chunky granola and yogurt....yum.
Oh well, I'm excited about my new challenge and maybe one day I will run Boston again...but for now I'm loving the IRON