A friend of mine was complaining to her father one day in the kitchen, when she was rummaging around for a post-run snack.
Daughter: I don't understand why I'm not losing weight. I'm running so much now.
Father: That's what happens when you train with one foot in the refrigerator.
I don't have trouble losing weight when my workouts stay under about 50 minutes, but when I get into the later stages of training for a half marathon (and start to have weeks with a 100 minute, 80 minute and 60 minute run in the schedule), I get hungrier and tend to eat more carbs and junk.
I also find that my body reacts by retaining water when I do long or hard workouts (including races) and the temporary weight gain can be a bit demoralizing, even though I KNOW that it's just temporary. Sometimes, I'm tempted to fall of the wagon at those times. (What!? I just ran 13 miles and I've gained weight? What the h@#! I might as well eat whatever I want.)
What I have done to manage these situations is as follows:
1) I don't eat a lot of gus, gels, blocks, etc. The only workouts where I consume Gu etc are those that last more than 75 minutes (about once a week). I try instead to eat real, filling, healthy food before and after a workout as needed. And caffeine helps. I'll have a coffee before I work out, and sometimes I'll have one afterward.
2) I recognize that on the day of a long workout (and maybe the day after), I'm liable to be hungrier. So I plan my week accordingly, with my calorie budget being toward the high end of my range on those days and toward the lower end of the range on other days. I try to satisfy that hunger with healthy food (e.g., a somewhat larger serving of brown rice, lean protein) etc, not junk. I try to stay lower carb on less demanding days. Although I do treat myself a bit (e.g., to ice cream) on race days or long run days if I feel like it.
3) After my immediate post-race refueling (when I know my body needs food as well as liquid), when I feel hungry on long run days (or the day after) I try to start with a big glass of water and wait 20 minutes. Often what I need is liquid, not food.
4) Sometimes what I need is sleep, not food. So I'll nap on long run days (on weekends) and wait until I wake up (and have a glass of water) to see if I really need more food.
| current weight: 4.0 over