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Marathon Training Does Not Equal Eating Free For All

Monday, February 11, 2013

I’m frustrated with myself. I know better, but I keep feeling like because I’m doing so much running recently, I can eat pretty much whatever I want. I haven’t been really consistent about tracking and I’m seeing the results of that on the scale. I’m going to be the only person ever to GAIN weight while training for a marathon if I don’t knock it off. I know what I need to do and just because I’ve ramped up my workouts, it doesn’t give me clearance to eat a bunch of junk. In fact BECAUSE I’ve ramped up my workouts, I should be eating more mindfully.

I had a better day yesterday, ate responsibly and tracked everything. Today is Day #2 of getting my eating back on track. I gained a couple pounds back and I need to turn this train around. I’ve also been avoiding the scale until today. To me, that’s a tell-tale sign I’m being stupid about my diet. From this point on, weekly weigh-ins are Wednesday mornings again. I have a pretty strenuous workout week with my marathon training plan so I should see the scale drop if I can get the eating back in check. Maybe I can try to sneak in some extra cross training time at night if I get a run or two done in the morning and that will help too.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    When my Grand son and I ran our first 10km together we had a little family dinner. My Brothers wife said, "I guess you can eat anything you want."

    I said, "I can but not due to the calories burned in the run."

    She said, "How many calories did you burn?"

    I said, "Maybe a big mac and small fries."

    She said, "Why bother?"

    Yeah, we sometimes tend to think a little running burn way more calories than a little run burns.
    1925 days ago
    when i picked up running i gained too with the same mind set but now i know and so do you we can do this!!
    Great work with the marathon training!!!

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    1928 days ago
    Looks like you have gotten a lot of good comments and feedback. I wish you well as you continue this journey! emoticon
    1929 days ago
    Something that was helpful to me while training for my first marathon was to IMMEDIATELY refuel after the run. I live in a year round hot climate and would often feel nauseated after a long run, but I drank a recovery drink (Recoverite) with a 4:1 carb to protein ratio and that helped enormously to shut down the all day hunger after a long run.
    1929 days ago
    I know nothing about running, let alone marathon running, but I don't think gaining while training that hard is odd at all. I think you're probably retaining a lot of fluids from all the muscle building you're doing.
    1930 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    If you are hungry EAT. Your body is telling you something. Just make SUPER SMART food choices. I like to keep greek yogurt, fruit and hard boiled eggs available for when I am snacky.
    1930 days ago
    I'm right there with you. I'm just at the beginning of Week 5 and I am ravenous. All the time. Eating upwards of 1800 calories a day--which makes my former 1300 calorie eating self close her eyes and cringe--and I still feel like I cannot get enough food in me.

    Right now, I'm experimenting and trying to front load my days. (I do most of my runs and other exercise first thing in the morning.) The hope is that if I eat a hefty breakfast and a substantial lunch, I won't feel the need to tear apart the kitchen for more food after dinner. We'll see how it goes.

    That kind to yourself. Training for a marathon is no small feat. Take care of your body so it can take care of you through the whole process.

    Best wishes.
    1930 days ago
    Yep, I'm with PMRunner! I lost not an OUNCE last year while I was training so hard. That level of training requires FUEL. Just give it the right fuel and don't stress about it. :)
    1930 days ago
    I agree with PMRUNNER. Of my running buds from my 1st time marathon training group, half of them gained weight while the other half lost weight.
    1930 days ago
    You can do it! I am so excited for you. I am no expert, but I am sure the extra training is making you extra hungry. I can tell you are tenacious, so I'm sure in no time you won't only be mindful of what you are eating, but you will make those healthy choices more consistently. New level, new devil, I always say :D Best wishes!!!
    1930 days ago
  • LYNSEY723
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    1930 days ago
    I don't know the statistics, but I don't think it is uncommon to gain weight during marathon training. In fact, when I was marathon training, I was told by more than one nutritionists that the goals of losing weight and marathon training were inconsistent. They recommended that I focus on the marathon training and eating wisely to support the extra caloric needs of training and recovery and put the weight loss goals on the back burner. I did end up losing some during the train up, but it was not at the same rate a weightloss focused program would achieve.

    Unless you are totally overboard about eating, your body comp should be improving even if your scale is going the wrong way. You are right that it doesn't give you free reign on eating, but you certainly get to boost your range calorie range a bit. I know after a big run, I tend to be ravenous and eating everything in sight. Plan for that so that you have good things on hand when you get back from your runs. Give yourself some of the carbs, protein, and fatss that your body needs to replenish and recover, but also have a lot of fruit and veggies to help you feel fuller without as many extra calories. I find that if I have a decent amount of fruit and veggies to help fill me up, it is easier to stop at a half a bagel with peanut butter than a full one (or more!).

    Good luck! Sorry if this is TMI, but I can empathize after being there a few times.
    1930 days ago
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