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Losing weight while training

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veganbettie
veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
Is there anyone that is actively trying to lose weight while training for a race?

I have give or take 10 more pounds to lose and i'm about 4 weeks off from my first half marathon. I'm trying to decide if I should stay at a calorie deficit, or give myself a break until after my half.

I really want to lose the last 10 pounds but I've been at this for a year and quite frankly I feel a bit burnt out and I was just instructed to eat more protein because my cholesterol is too low, and I've just been freaking tired.

Any advice or experience?

I've been tracking my calories so long it feels so wrong and weird to go into maintenance, i'm scared i'm going to gain all my weight back.
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Replies

  • Charliegottheruns
    Charliegottheruns Posts: 287 Member
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    I am, but only 5 more pounds by Aug, I can drop it in two weeks easily, My advice is to continue at a deficient as long as it doesn't affect your training. I always race better the lighter I am.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    Okay thanks. I think I need to focus more on WHAT i'm eating, which i haven't really been doing.

    I think i'm looking for an excuse to stop, which i don't really want at the same time. I just want this losing weight stuff to be over with already!!!!
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    Yep! I've got my 2nd marathon coming up on the 31st, and since I started training Feb 1 I've lost about 6 lbs. I've been eating a consistent 1400-1600 net most of the time, which is not a very big deficit since I'm only 5'3" and nearing 130 lbs. Enough to make a solid .25-.5 loss per week, and it adds up over the course of a training schedule!
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    Yep! I've got my 2nd marathon coming up on the 31st, and since I started training Feb 1 I've lost about 6 lbs. I've been eating a consistent 1400-1600 net most of the time, which is not a very big deficit since I'm only 5'3" and nearing 130 lbs. Enough to make a solid .25-.5 loss per week, and it adds up over the course of a training schedule!
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
    edited May 2015
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    Yep! I've got my 2nd marathon coming up on the 31st, and since I started training Feb 1 I've lost about 6 lbs. I've been eating a consistent 1400-1600 net most of the time, which is not a very big deficit since I'm only 5'3" and nearing 130 lbs. Enough to make a solid .25-.5 loss per week, and it adds up over the course of a training schedule!

    Edit to add: If you're feeling burned out, try adding 200-300 calories more per day, or eat at maintenance. You can always eat at a deficit again once the race is over.
  • Carrieendar
    Carrieendar Posts: 493 Member
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    My coach has me trying to be done with the weight loss thing 8 weeks out from goal marathon.

    I think, in your situation, you are in peak weeks. I would eat even for two peak weeks and then maybe you could do a little deficit in the taper weeks which would help ensure you don't gain in the taper.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
    edited May 2015
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    Yes, I've been doing it for months. Down 25 pounds so far and ready to run my first HM in 2 weeks. I'm sure the benefit if carrying 25 fewer pounds "outweighs" :wink: the negative effects on my training.

    I have another 15-20 pounds to lose after my race. I'll be doing that while preparing for my second HM in September.

    FWIW, when I started running in January (at 217 pounds) I could barely run 2 miles. Saturday for my final long run I did 12.1 (tapering now for the race). The miles came slowly until I really started watching my diet (with MFP). Once I started losing 1-3 pounds per week the mileage increased as did my speed.
  • theglencoegirl
    theglencoegirl Posts: 69 Member
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    i was losing wt at the beginning of my training (had set at 2lbs loss a wk)- now that i'm 3 wks out from my 1/2- i set it to .5 a wk- i found with a low cal intake i was soooooooo tired as my long runs got longer. it has been better since i uped my cals. but with the above suggestion--i might put it back to 2lb wt loss for taper wk!!
  • brandiuntz
    brandiuntz Posts: 2,717 Member
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    I have about 8 pounds to go. I sometimes get close (only 4 left), but I've essentially been at 8 pounds to go for a couple years now (not very disciplined with my eating). Right before a race, I will eat maintenance. The key is to make it maintenance and not a gain. So, no more than an extra 200-300 calories per day (depending on one's deficit).

    If you're tired and been advised to up protein, you may want to focus on maintenance for a few weeks and adjust macros to see how you feel. That extra 200 or so calories may help you feel better, and you won't gain weight on that. You can always drop back down after the race.
  • Stoshew71
    Stoshew71 Posts: 6,553 Member
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    I have give or take 10 more pounds to lose and i'm about 4 weeks off from my first half marathon. I'm trying to decide if I should stay at a calorie deficit, or give myself a break until after my half.

    I really want to lose the last 10 pounds but I've been at this for a year and quite frankly I feel a bit burnt out and I was just instructed to eat more protein because my cholesterol is too low, and I've just been freaking tired.

    I am not sure what you mean exactly at giving yourself a break. Mental break or physical break? How are your recoveries in between run workouts? If you find yourself not recovering fast enough then you have to take a look at your rest schedule and diet.

    You run and workout to stress your body so that on your recovery time you can build it back up. This includes nutition as well as rest. Are you giving your body sufficient amount of nutrition to recover from your workouts and still be at a calorie deficit? If not, then you have a decision to make? Postpone losing those last 10 pounds until after the race or be under prepared for your race.

    If you continue training at a calorie deficit, then you have to be really good with your nutrition, cause that means you don't have a lot of calories to spare. Make sure you get enough protein and good fats in. Make sure you have good sources of complex carbs and cutting the simple carbs out as much as possible. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Make sure that each run is at different paces, some are specific workout paces but most should be easy runs.

    It's hard to give the proper advise when I don't know much about your diet and workout schedule, but these are the things you have to take a look at.

  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    by break i meant going into maintenance. I'm trying to follow the Novice 2 plan, so i'm running about 4 times a week with one long run on the weekend.

    I definitely need to pay better attention to my diet and nutrition and more sleep....and probably less wine.

    I haven't really trained at different paces I just run at the pace that feels comfortable.
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    Whoa just looked back at this thread and sorry about the triple post, you guys! My laptop keyboard got all wonky yesterday and apparently got carried away with hitting "post reply"!

    @veganbettie: Since you're close to your HM, try eating at maintenance and see if that boosts your energy.
    I don't know how you pace your runs, but you could also try doing your runs 20-30 seconds/mile slower than you are now. I was feeling a bit burned out a month or two ago and finally listened to folks on here about consciously running slower, and that helped me get back into the swing of things. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to realize that comfortable and easy aren't necessarily the same thing.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    Whoa just looked back at this thread and sorry about the triple post, you guys! My laptop keyboard got all wonky yesterday and apparently got carried away with hitting "post reply"!

    @veganbettie: Since you're close to your HM, try eating at maintenance and see if that boosts your energy.
    I don't know how you pace your runs, but you could also try doing your runs 20-30 seconds/mile slower than you are now. I was feeling a bit burned out a month or two ago and finally listened to folks on here about consciously running slower, and that helped me get back into the swing of things. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to realize that comfortable and easy aren't necessarily the same thing.

    i'm SO slow already... lol Thanks for your advice, i think i'll stay where i'm at for now and just focus on my macro, and then if i don't feel better within two weeks switch to maintenance for the two weeks before my half. My longest run so far has been 8.65 miles and i felt so dead after that....but maybe i'm supposed to? I'm not sure. That was this weekend.
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,982 Member
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    Whoa just looked back at this thread and sorry about the triple post, you guys! My laptop keyboard got all wonky yesterday and apparently got carried away with hitting "post reply"!

    @veganbettie: Since you're close to your HM, try eating at maintenance and see if that boosts your energy.
    I don't know how you pace your runs, but you could also try doing your runs 20-30 seconds/mile slower than you are now. I was feeling a bit burned out a month or two ago and finally listened to folks on here about consciously running slower, and that helped me get back into the swing of things. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to realize that comfortable and easy aren't necessarily the same thing.

    i'm SO slow already... lol Thanks for your advice, i think i'll stay where i'm at for now and just focus on my macro, and then if i don't feel better within two weeks switch to maintenance for the two weeks before my half. My longest run so far has been 8.65 miles and i felt so dead after that....but maybe i'm supposed to? I'm not sure. That was this weekend.

    "Slow" is relative. Could you have a conversation with someone running next to you during your long run? When I learned to slow down my training pace, I found I didn't feel so exhausted afterwards and enjoyed my runs more.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    Whoa just looked back at this thread and sorry about the triple post, you guys! My laptop keyboard got all wonky yesterday and apparently got carried away with hitting "post reply"!

    @veganbettie: Since you're close to your HM, try eating at maintenance and see if that boosts your energy.
    I don't know how you pace your runs, but you could also try doing your runs 20-30 seconds/mile slower than you are now. I was feeling a bit burned out a month or two ago and finally listened to folks on here about consciously running slower, and that helped me get back into the swing of things. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to realize that comfortable and easy aren't necessarily the same thing.

    i'm SO slow already... lol Thanks for your advice, i think i'll stay where i'm at for now and just focus on my macro, and then if i don't feel better within two weeks switch to maintenance for the two weeks before my half. My longest run so far has been 8.65 miles and i felt so dead after that....but maybe i'm supposed to? I'm not sure. That was this weekend.

    "Slow" is relative. Could you have a conversation with someone running next to you during your long run? When I learned to slow down my training pace, I found I didn't feel so exhausted afterwards and enjoyed my runs more.

    Yes I can.

    When I started running I started with the idea that I just wanted to be able to run and never stop, because prior to last year I had never even ran a mile straight....so I've just never really pushed myself to go faster, once in a while i'll do my first mile as fast as I can and I'll normally average about 9:30, but I normally average between 10:30 on short runs (5ks), and like 11:40 on my longer ones (6ks +)....

    I think after I complete my half I'll start working on picking up my 5k speed, but until then my only goal is to finish the half without walking.
  • kozinskey
    kozinskey Posts: 176 Member
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    Whoa just looked back at this thread and sorry about the triple post, you guys! My laptop keyboard got all wonky yesterday and apparently got carried away with hitting "post reply"!

    @veganbettie: Since you're close to your HM, try eating at maintenance and see if that boosts your energy.
    I don't know how you pace your runs, but you could also try doing your runs 20-30 seconds/mile slower than you are now. I was feeling a bit burned out a month or two ago and finally listened to folks on here about consciously running slower, and that helped me get back into the swing of things. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to realize that comfortable and easy aren't necessarily the same thing.

    i'm SO slow already... lol Thanks for your advice, i think i'll stay where i'm at for now and just focus on my macro, and then if i don't feel better within two weeks switch to maintenance for the two weeks before my half. My longest run so far has been 8.65 miles and i felt so dead after that....but maybe i'm supposed to? I'm not sure. That was this weekend.

    "Slow" is relative. Could you have a conversation with someone running next to you during your long run? When I learned to slow down my training pace, I found I didn't feel so exhausted afterwards and enjoyed my runs more.

    Yes I can.

    When I started running I started with the idea that I just wanted to be able to run and never stop, because prior to last year I had never even ran a mile straight....so I've just never really pushed myself to go faster, once in a while i'll do my first mile as fast as I can and I'll normally average about 9:30, but I normally average between 10:30 on short runs (5ks), and like 11:40 on my longer ones (6ks +)....

    I think after I complete my half I'll start working on picking up my 5k speed, but until then my only goal is to finish the half without walking.

    Have you ever done any LT work? When I started doing those it was eye-opening to me how much faster I could go for short distances. I do 3-5 repeats of 5-10 minutes at a comfortably hard pace (10k pace-ish, hard to talk) with 2 min recovery in between. Add in a short warmup and cooldown and that is a solid mid-week run. Hill sprints can also be a fun way to switch things up and build speed. Pick a long, reasonably steep hill, sprint up it, and jog slowly down. Do that 6-8 times and you'll feel the burn later.

    Re: food -- are you following the MFP macros & calorie recommendations? Are you eating back exercise calories? If you're feeling that tired I'd recommend looking at some BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculators and figuring out what your body burns / what kind of calorie deficit you're eating, then making sure you're eating enough protein to build muscle (usually 1g protein per lb of lean body mass). Fats are also awesome for increasing energy -- lots of vitamins are fat soluble, so eating veggies with some fat helps our body absorb all the good stuff.
  • LittlePinkShotgun
    LittlePinkShotgun Posts: 101 Member
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    I'm in the same situation as you... except my race is this weekend. I stayed in a calorie deficit until this week. I felt it was better to get the weight off. I'm not planning to 'race' as much as complete the event, get the race t-shirt, and burn an additional 1300 calories :)

    I have done a couple of 'tempo' runs but meh... I'm slow right now because I'm heavy.

    Once I get the last 8-5 lbs off... I'll start working on maintenance and speed work.

  • mzbek24
    mzbek24 Posts: 436 Member
    edited May 2015
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    I have been losing weight throughout half and full marathon training, but I think its best to try and knock it out in the early stages of training. The first 4-5 weeks, ideally. That is what I've read.
    Its probably going to be a different experience for everyone, but you will know when its time to increase your calories, I think. I was okay with Half Marathon training, but when it came to full Marathon, what happened about 10 weeks into the 20 weeks of training, I just became super hungry all the time after runs, and would eat and eat and eat, I couldn't stick to the deficit I was eating. My stomach was bottomless. At that point I was bashing myself up mentally like "Omg why cant I just control it anymore?" "I'll put on weight!" and would punish myself by eating less the next day, and so on. But I realised I needed to put my health and training first. I already planned on being here a long time anyway, so who cares how long it takes me to lose the rest of the weight? After the race there'll be all the time in the world to get back into that. I was only about 5kg from goal weight anyway. So, I upped my calories and ate at a very very small deficit, with eating a bit more during carb loading before the race. If you're prepared to put your weight loss at a slower rate and perhaps even temporarily on hold in the later weeks of training, it might be the best thing for your performance. And sanity. And also the little bit of break has made me feel a bit more refreshed now its over and I feel more motivated to lose the rest of the weight :)
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
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    So this past week I tried to eat a bit more since I was 2 weeks out from my HM. Turns out it is not as easy as it sounds. After eating less over the past 3 months it is really hard to change. I actually lost 3 more pounds.

    It hasn't really impacted me in any negative way so I am not going to be concerned. I'm sure part of it is that my metabolism is ramped up from the better diet and exercise. Plus I will be spending the next week in San Diego where I'm sure I'll find some good food (lots of good food :) ).
  • pobalita
    pobalita Posts: 741 Member
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    Matt Fitzgerald's "Racing Weight" is a great source for balancing weight loss with training.