pizza, lemonade, & training weight

Happy Lemonade Day!DSC02768No idea what this tape is about… you can see it for yourself on 14th and Florida Ave NW. I spotted it on my way to CrossFit! Clearly Anthony takes these workouts a lot more seriously than I do…IMG_0464Speaking of workout buddies, last night I got to meet Megan! P1010164Our blogger date was made complete with froyo and lots of talk about the internet.P1010161We also went on a walk and checked in on the sidewalk rug situation. Still going strong.P1010158Megan started her blog as a way to help track weight loss and training. Although I did not start this blog as an outlet for weight loss, it’s a topic that often comes up. I’ve been asked more than a few times whether I lose weight when training for a marathon. I mean, I’m running 50-70 miles a week… that’s a lot of calories burned, right? There is a long, lengthy answer to this question, but the answer (for me personally) is no. And — to get this out of the way at the beginning — I’m totally comfortable with this answer. I don’t expect to lose weight when marathon training nor do I think I need to. I’m happy with my weight and don’t view running as a weight-loss tactic. My weight stays exactly the same whether or not I’m marathon training. This topic has come up quite a few times with my female runner friends, who mostly agree that their weight has remained the same — or even increased — during marathon training. Why most women gain weight when marathon training  is a constant source of discussion in the running community.

  • Runner’s World notes that women produce more “hunger-regulating hormones” than men, making them feel hungrier (and thus eat more and gain weight!) when marathon training. This seems to be true based on my own experience. I remember when Anthony and I were training for a marathon a couple years ago, he shed some significant pounds while I stayed the same, even though I ran more miles than him and ate less than him.
  • This Health.com article, (written by Tina, who also discusses the topic at Carrots ‘n’ Cake) lists three reasons why women training for a marathon may gain weight: overconsumption of calories; muscle gain; and “body adaptation” — your body stores more carbs and water because it knows you’ll need it for your runs. Other bloggers — like Monica at Run Eat Repeat, Beth at Shut Up & Run, and Meghann at Meals and Miles — all note that they gained weight while training. 
  • Appetite for Health discusses a study (finally! data!) where scientists studied 64 marathon trainees over the cours of three months. Of the 64 runners, 78% experienced no weight gain or loss; 11% lost weight; and 11% gained weight. Of those who gained weight, almost all were women. 
  • About.com basically repeats all the issues mentioned above: overeating, your body storing carbs, and drinking/eating too many sports drinks and gels.

So. There is my story and some general ideas from the running/research people on marathon training and weight. Each person is totally different and a million factors help determine what happens to your body when you’re marathon training. My advice is to decide whether you actually need to lose weight, and monitor your diet and exercise during the training period accordingly. If you don’t need to lose weight, then I wouldn’t worry about the scale during the training period. Finding the time and energy to train can be stressful enough, and adding an unnecessary diet restriction on top of that can make you pretty miserable. On that note, here’s a picture of the pizza Anthony and I made on Saturday night. It was the bomb.IMG_0453-001Later gators.

  • Have you gained or lost weight when training for a race?
  • What’s the most important pizza factor? Crust? Sauce? Toppings?
  • What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
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20 comments

  1. Have you gained or lost weight when training for a race?
    – When I first started running about 3-4 years ago I was using it as a tactic for weightloss. I had never really exercised and while it helped me lose a lot of weight, I have noticed that now that I am doing races and such (only up the half distance so far) I pretty much hover around the same weight – this would be great if it was my goal weight, so I’ve had to learn to still monitor calories, and I’ve started including strength training as a way to lean up more. But frankly the number on the scale is arbitrary. If you like the way you look and you are healthy that’s all that matters 🙂

    What’s the most important pizza factor? Crust? Sauce? Toppings?
    – I’d say it’s a mixture of crust and sauce. if the crust is too doughy there needs to be more sauce, but I’ve noticed on thin crust pizza’s at least for me, I can go with less sauce.

    What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
    – I didn’t get discouraged and still went outside to run as opposed to the treadmill (i’m embarrassed at times to run outside, because I still take walk breaks.)

  2. pickyrunner

    I’ve heard it’s pretty common to gain weight during marathon training. I run 50 miles a week and my weight stays about the same too, sometimes it increases. I actually started running to gain weight which sounds crazy, but it stimulated my appetite when I needed to eat a little bit more. Now, my running has nothing to do with the number on the scale. It’s an interesting topic though, and I love meeting other bloggers to talk about internet gossip 😉

  3. Pingback: Jalapeño 1 – Megan 0 « Food & Fitness

  4. Since starting running I have lost weight, I would like to tone up more than anything but the number isn’t the end all for me any more. And for pizza I like a good crust and toppings, if one is lacking than the pizza is just meh!

  5. Chelsea

    I want a lemonade day! Or I wonder if Lemonade Day only applies to those standing within the bright orange boundaries…like the doorway to Narnia or something? Who knows. It’s truly a mysterious city in which you live, m’dear. 🙂

    Right now I’m using running as a weight loss tool, but I’m also not running anywhere NEAR marathon-level mileage, so I’m thinking that might be why it’s serving as a pretty useful tool so far. 🙂

      • Chelsea

        That’s awesome! Best childhood screen name. At least yours was literary! Mine was some kind of take on, you know, carebear92 or some such “To Catch a Predator” type nonsense. Ah, the early days of the internet.

  6. Jack

    some great info here i wish i had read it a couple of days ago i have just been trying to set a site up. What a huge learning curve. Everything is new and takes ten times longer than expected. Will keep hold of this post though to have a refer back to as i have a play to get my site right over the next few days.

  7. Pingback: running & rolling | minutes per mile

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