Post # 1
I’m considering training for a full marathon this spring and honestly one of my fears, ironically, is weight gain. When I first started 5k training and then 10k training 2 years ago about 15lbs just flew off me with no other change in diet. However I gained 10 of them back when I trained for my halfs. I’m very aware of calories out vs calories in and you burn less then what you think and I know strength training is key (I’ve been doing that for at least 5 years now). I also accounted for burning less as your body becomes more effeciant at running and even started only counting half my run on my fitness pal but alas I gained weight anyway. As anyone training this much knows you have to properly fuel yourself and I thought I was. The only tangible reason I can think of is once my mileage got past 8 or so miles I found myself spending more Saturday afernoons on the couch as opposed to being out and about…and marathon training will be worse. Anyhow please share your experiences and wisdom if you’ve got some.
Post # 2
I’ve never had a problem with weight gain and marathon training. I don’t lose anything either though. I think it really depends on what you do on the days you’re not running. I never gained on a training plan until I started training for an ironman but that’s only bc I can’t stop eating and I crave carbs like never before.
Post # 3
Post # 4
lfranke: I’ve run 6 marathons, and I’ve gained weight during 5 of them. Not many more things make me want to cry more than running 50+ miles per week, and GAINING weight. Oy vey.
Anyways, I didn’t gain during my most recent, and I had a totally different strategy than my usual “I ran 18 miles today, and deserve Chinese food/ soft serve/ 6 slices of cake.” I tracked my macro-nutrients, and kept as close to a 40-30-30 ratio as I could. It was sort of against the old school of thought that tells us that we need to eat a ton of carbs. With tracking, I was eating way more protein than usual, which kept me satiated (versus being ravenous all of the time). I also found that it helped a lot with recovery.
So many things about running are personal, so I’m not sure tracking macros works for everyone, but in my case, it did. I PR’ed by 15 minutes and ran a 3:45 marathon. AND I FIT IN MY PANTS! Yippeeeeee!
Post # 5
lfranke: I’m training for my third full. My best advice would be to stop tracking your calories and listen to your body. I find I need about 500 calories more per day and I never binge after a long run. If I’m hungry, I have a snack, but it is never crap. My body does not handle junk food while running (which is sad–I may burn 3000 calories during the marathon, but all I want afterwards is fruit and chipotle).
One thing to watch as you run is your cravings and adversions. I can not do long runs 18+ with meat in my system and milk and I need a 4 hour break after a run. I find that replacing chicken with beans and milk with yogurt helps me keep my weight where it needs to be. I give my body what it wants and it behaves much better. I gain weight when I eat what I think I am supposed to, even when I have no desire to eat it.
FWIW, I normally drop 5 lbs in training, gain 2 back during taper, and gain 3 after the race.
Post # 6
Thank you! I do bet i get carb heavy when training so i bet trying to up my protein and fat ratios will help, even if I’m keeping calories the same. I love running and will probably do it regardless, but what a bummer to have to work so hard to avoid weight gain!
Post # 7
I’ve done four marathons in the last four years, and I do gain a couple pounds each time. But it’s all muscle! Muscle is heavier than fat. I love seeing my abs, butt, and legs get firmer and stronger (not bulkier) as I ramp up the training. Unless you’re really overeating, marathon training is almost certainly increasing your fitness and strength – and that’s a good thing regardless of the number on the scale.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
lfranke: Hmmm everyone I know who trained for a marathon (myself included) ended up weight. Research says you should not need to be eating any more than normal. You really shouldn’t need to re-fuel very much at all, maybe 100- 200 extra calories. Way less than you would think. I personally, in all my years and races, consumed any of those gel bloc things or god forbid those toxic sports drinks. I would pound some water, then run 8-10 after eating Greek yogurt with some cottage cheese. Then I would eat a small protein lunch probably 3 hours after running.
FWIW also, I purchased a Garmin Forerunner with the HRM and plug everything I eat into myfitnesspal.com. It took about a year but I got to my lowest weight ever.
Post # 9
I’ve been marathon training for about 4 months, and I’m up about 4 pounds, but like msowl said, it’s muscle. I was excited stepping on the scale and seeing a slightly higher number because I know how much training I’m doing and my body’s working hard!
I’m super interested in FutureMrsHarris2014‘s strategy though!