I agree Trillium22. Plus, when you exercise a lot, you tend to be so hungry all the time. I had a difficult time in the last two months of marathon training with my body screaming for food, especially during those high volume run weeks.
I think lack of tracking calories has a lot to do with peoples problems with losing weight while training. They assume they can eat anything because they're burning so many calories without actually calculating how many calories they actually burn. Some people have almost fear that they're not going to eat enough after every workout. There's also this idea that they need to be reward themselves for hard workouts.
I have managed to lose some weight training for two marathons one in the beginning of March and one at the endof July. I didn't lose weight very rapidly but I didn't lose about 10 pounds in seven months.
I just finished reading a book by Matt Fitzgerald called RACING WEIGHT, How to Get Lean for Peak Performance.
It is a good book. A lot of the information in the book is reflected in Spark suggestions...
Here is a summary from a post on a different running team.....
RACING WEIGHT or OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE WEIGHT. Everyone is different. At what body composition (weight and body fat percentage) would a person perform their best. The only way to discover what this is, for most of us, is to lower one's body fat percentage, and this usually involves lowering one's weight. Having a healthy body composition has many advantages other than peak race performance.
From what I remember of Matt Fitzgerald's book - the keys to achieving this are....
1) Increase running volume of mostly moderate intensity workouts. Do this gradually. 2) Nutrient Timing is very important. (If you time your nutrient intake well, you will store less fat in your fat cells, store more protein and carbohydrates in your muscle cells, and use more calories to supply immediate energy needs. (page 132)) (Know your pre; during; and after workout nutrient needs - remember the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein for during and after runs) 3) Eat primarily high quality foods (fruit; vegetables; lean protein; whole grains; low-fat dairy; and essential fats.)
The book has a couple of formulas to figure out one's carbohydrate needs based on one's workouts and one's weight. After this one adds enough lean protein and essential fats to round out the daily calorie needs.
"It's not how old you are, it's how you are old."
"I am still learning." Michelangelo
"You aren't old until age becomes your excuse." Joe Friel
I recently wrote a blog about this topic. My experience is that you can lose weight while training. I have lost 12 pounds in 2 months (since June 21) training for an October 7th marathon and my first almost Olympic Distance Tri in September. This will be my 6th marathon. In all but one training cycle for past marathons I have either gained weight or stayed the same for the simple reason that I overeat when I am training. The only way I do not do so is to track my food religiously. I am running faster and stronger with that 12 pounds gone and my training is going great. The one thing that I do differently when training hard is I do listen to TRUE hunger cues (for me it has taken a lot of time for me to learn the difference between physical hunger and emotional or stress eating or I just wanna eat hunger!) and if I am really hungry I will eat over my calorie allotment because I believe my body is really telling me I need fuel. This has only happened to me 3 times in the last two months and all three times were weeks that I burned over 5,000 calories and the calorie deficit I was creating for weight loss was just too much. If I could not lose weight while training I would never lose weight because I am always training for something. I have never had to do anything special with my running or stay in any special heart rate zone to lose weight. I simply have to stop eating so much, but if I don't track my food I am not honest with myself and I play games about how much I am really eating. Tracking keeps me honest and shows the facts. Karen
I apologize in advance if this has been answered previously. If so I could not find it. At least not here on our Team page.
Here where I live on Maryland's Eastern Shore, "Racing Season" is primarily focused on two parts of the year, mid-Spring and early Fall. The Fall Season is nearly here so for better or worse, I'm pretty much in the shape I'll be in for whatever slate of races I enter. Once this season ends and before I start training for the Spring 2013 race season, I would like to lose some weight that I have gained since reaching my goal weight. That was just before I started running more than just 5 and 10K's and added 10-milers and HM's, with a weekly long run typically in the double digits. Since that happened I have gained (albeit slowly) about 15 pounds of the nearly 40 I had originally lost. I have learned enough to know that I don't need to lose all of that again, but I would like to lose 10 pounds or so during the next "off-season."
So my long-winded question is simply this - what exactly is the difference between running to lose weight and running to train? I've long heard (and certainly it has been my experience) that it is difficult to lose weight when training, so what changes when you focus on weight loss? Is it just shorter, more frequent exercise or what?
The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong. - Thomas Carlyle
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