Marathon training and weight

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 2
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

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 # 4
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

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 # 7
76 posts
Worker bee

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
4690 posts
Honey bee
  • 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 It took about a year but I got to my lowest weight ever.

Post # 9
1721 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

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!  

Leave a comment

Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

Find Amazing Vendors