Success losing weight while long distance running?

rubrink
rubrink Posts: 43 Member
Hey everyone

Has anyone maintained a consistent weight loss while training for a half or a marathon? I've had problems losing while training before, and I'm assuming it's just bad nutrition. I took a break from running (other than like 3-4 milers) since February, and since then I've maintained a steadier weight loss than when I was in distance training (I'm sure it's due to my nutrition being more in check). About to start back, and am just wondering what everyone else's experiences have been like.

It's been fun doing mostly weights and HIIT type cardio, but I'm looking forward to getting back out there!
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Replies

  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,474 Member
    Though not training for a half (or anything, really), I was running pretty consistently up until I had surgery in April. As long as I kept my calorie deficit, I lost pretty much weekly. Several years ago, I trained for and ran a 10k, did not pay attention to my diet at all, and gained weight.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    i ran a half in may (so was training Feb to May) and while i was ok maintaining a 0.5lb deficit at first, once my long run got into double figures i got too rungry.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,191 Member
    It's one of life's little paradoxes.......training for any endurance event takes fuel. It's easy to maintain a caloric deficit in the early stages of a training plan but once you're putting in the mileage it can be very difficult (on long run days I'll have a 1,200 or 1,300 calorie breakfast....)

    Track your food and with a little discipline you can at least avoid putting weight on (other than the normal water weight gain if you carb load during your taper - 1g of glycogen bonds with 3g of water for storage in muscle)
  • StealthHealth
    StealthHealth Posts: 2,417 Member
    I was not able to lose whilst mara training and neither were the few in my running circle that were trying to do the same :(

    I'm not saying it's impossible, but that it's difficult.

    Successful training for a distance race (or at least training to complete a specific mileage) seems to be very reliant on not getting ill or injured and IMHO the two best ways to get injured are:
    • Failing to follow a decent plan and doing too much too soon
    • Training whilst at a deficit
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    It depends on training volume, and level of Rungriness....


    You'll likely need to be more active in managing CICO and satiety on a higher volume of training.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    rybo wrote: »
    I seem to be an outlier in this realm. Marathon training causes me to drop weight easily. Sometimes so much that during my highest mileage weeks, I am eating ice cream nightly to pack as many calories as I could to slow it down.

    I'm similar. Marathon and ultra training fueled by pizza, pies and beer, still losing weight.
  • Joanna2012B
    Joanna2012B Posts: 1,448 Member
    My weight loss had stalled for the past year and when I started training for my half I lost 10lbs. I'll be starting to train for another half in September...maybe another 10lbs will come off!! Fingers crossed
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,191 Member
    rybo wrote: »
    I seem to be an outlier in this realm. Marathon training causes me to drop weight easily. Sometimes so much that during my highest mileage weeks, I am eating ice cream nightly to pack as many calories as I could to slow it down.

    I'm similar. Marathon and ultra training fueled by pizza, pies and beer, still losing weight.

    It's not fair! B)
  • AmyOutOfControl
    AmyOutOfControl Posts: 1,425 Member
    edited July 2017
    I am half marathon training right now. My weight loss has slowed / halted these past two months. Two pounds in two months -lol.

    Once my miles creeped up to 35-40 a week and I start throwing in speed work - forget it. There is not enough food in the world to fill the black hole that is my stomach.

    I am over 40 though. Maybe that has something to do with it? I could drop weight quick until I hit middle age.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,449 Member
    A couple years ago I started running again and decided to lose weight at the same time. I was able to drop 50+ pounds over a year while training for 2 half marathons. During this time my focus was on weight loss and fitness. Completing the races was a bonus.

    Now when I train for races I am purposely training to get faster. Because of the intensity of my training, my appetite and my need for fuel prevents me from losing so I mostly maintain. I do find it difficult to eat back 1500+ calories on days I run long, but I make up for it during the week. I get very "rungry" the days after.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,191 Member
    I'm one of those people that doesn't do well actively training for endurance events while simultaneously trying to drop weight...my nutrition is just fine, but I'm always hungry when I'm training and I eat all the food. It's much easier for me to maintain a calorie deficit and drop some weight just doing a moderate amount of exercise.
  • Joenali
    Joenali Posts: 208 Member
    I did not lose weight training for an Ironman until about the last 6 weeks of a 6 month training plan. But that is when the training volume increases quite a bit, topping out at 20 hours a week. All of a sudden I lost several pounds and was quite lean (for me) by race day.
  • cyndit1
    cyndit1 Posts: 167 Member
    When I trained for my first marathon I gained weight which was nuts...when I trained for my second I was extremely careful and maintained and maybe lost a little. I am now training for my 3rd and trying to drop the stubborn 10 pounds I gained nursing an injury this past winter. Hopefully my food choices during the rungry times will help me drop the dreaded weight.
  • rubrink
    rubrink Posts: 43 Member
    Thanks for the comments, I see they run the gamut of responses! :smiley:

    I'm just going to try and be serious on my calorie tracking for all days except for the long run day. It is quite annoying. I remember when my wife was training for her half ironman, her training plan even said towards the end "You'll probably start gaining a few pounds during this part of training."
  • rubrink
    rubrink Posts: 43 Member
    I have lost around 20-25 pounds since I stopped running in early March, and people are surprised when I tell them I'm running less than I have in a couple years. Part of me wants to continue doing what I have been doing until I lose these next 10 lbs, but when fall rolls around I'll probably be wanting to do some races
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    I did it, but it's a difficult balance.

    First time around, I maintained in the early part of a half program and gained slowly in the latter part. I realized that I was eating back gross calories and not net - wiped out my small deficit at < 20mi per wk, and put me in more and more of a surplus as mileage increased.

    Second time around I used net cal calculations and it worked like a charm. But, even slightly too much of a deficit leaves me unable to recover properly and with chronic headaches so it's a delicate balance. I'm generally OK with a 150-250 cal deficit depending on where I am in the program.
  • TheGaudyMagpie
    TheGaudyMagpie Posts: 282 Member
    I started on C25K in March and was eating at a deficit. Last month I discovered that my thyroid was trashed. I was euthyroid a year ago with pretty ideal for me thyroid levels. Last month -- in the basement. After doing a little digging, I discovered that it's somewhat common among training runners (and as a new runner, following C25K pretty much on schedule was intense for me). I'm training for a challenging trail 10K in September, so I decided to just eat when I'm hungry until then, in hopes that it will offset any further shock to my thyroid. I've gained a couple of pounds but I seem to be getting smaller so I'm trying to focus on the fitness and not care about the scale. I figure that once the winter time change throws off my run schedule I can go back to a deficit.

    I'm about 12lbs over where I want to be right now so it's frustrating. I was hoping with the bump up in T4 that might resolve itself on its own, but it hasn't. I'll be testing again this weekend, and I suspect I'll need to go up another level, but I've given up on any expectation I'll lose any weight before the race.

    But in any case, it wouldn't hurt to have some labs run, if you haven't in awhile.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,731 Member
    edited July 2017
    rubrink wrote: »
    Thanks for the comments, I see they run the gamut of responses! :smiley:

    I'm just going to try and be serious on my calorie tracking for all days except for the long run day. It is quite annoying. I remember when my wife was training for her half ironman, her training plan even said towards the end "You'll probably start gaining a few pounds during this part of training."

    Track your long run day, as it's the day you're most likely to over eat (or the day after). Also, look at your weekly goal, not daily.

    I find making sure I get plenty of protein and fat post run helps.

    Peanut butter and banana is a good post run refuel.