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Did anyone else put on weight after taking up running, or is it just me?
I originally took up running because I wanted to get healthy, and to drop a bit of weight. My initial spurt of runningness took me to the Berlin marathon in 2007 (my aim was to run a marathon by the time I was 30) but various other factors got in the way since then and I kind of let it slide. I'm now back into training for the VLM next year and am enjoying it, but my main issue is that I keep putting ON weight instead of 'the fat just melting off' like all the runners say.
As background: I know I'm not fat. However I used to be skinny (and probably a bit unhealthy - smoked etc) and now I'm probably just 'normal'. I'm not particularly happy with normal, and not just this - I know I ran better/faster when I was lighter. I ran better times as a beginner than I do now I'm a few kilos heavier. (I get told I'm not fat but my BMI is 'normal' nudging into 'overweight' territory - but I'm very short so don't carry it well.)
The problem is that when I took up running/marathon training in 2006-7 I actually put on weight. People said they didn't notice (and I'm not sure whether to believe them) but it did gall me that I was putting in all the hours and actually put on a few kilos. In the intervening couple of years since taking time out, I have still been quite sporty (part of the reason I gave up marathon training is that I wanted to do other stuff like biking and not concentrate solely on running) but I have waxed and waned with weight. I'm now heavier than I've ever been (despite being okay for our wedding a few months ago - post-wedding paunch!) and feeling quite demotivated.
I don't think I overindulge a lot of the time but obviously I must have done a bit to have put on weight. I expected to put on some weight over honeymoon but it's been a few months now and I still seem to be putting it on at an alarming rate, even though I'm now running a lot more each week and I haven't changed my diet that I can notice. It varies but I'm running about three times a week and my long run at the weekend was 3hrs so I must be of reasonable fitness.
What am I doing wrong? I'm getting quite depressed at the thought of having to starve myself but I don't think I've been eating any differently since running training started and at this rate I will be the size of a house by the time I do the marathon! I'm also getting the dreaded 'thigh rub' which is just horrible. I know there is no magic pill but I'd like someone to explain to me why I'm putting on weight rather than losing it, and before you say it, I know it's not all muscle! Is it possible that the running is giving me a larger appetite? Or are my previously unhealthy eating habits (not eating regularly/the right things/smoking) catching up with me, and I'm destined to be fat?