marathons put weight on



  • Hello all,
    Interesting stuff - I've struggled the past few weeks with the same issues: no weight loss despite being on over 40miles a week now. Not fair..The last week or so I have found that I fill up really quickly as soon as I start eating though and am left with a horrible bloated feeling. I don't want to eat less as I am sure I need the energy! Maybe we're all just impatient - perhaps it simply takes longer than 6 weeks to shift the Christmas excess?! Someone told me recently though that if you are eating & exercising normally and not losing weight, then you are just at your natural weight.
  • Evening all!

    I suppose I fall down on the whole 'does marathon training = weight gain' debate... had a McDs brekkie this morning.

    Ho hum...


    My FLM Training Blog
  • I think that's true for a lot of us, Dawn :o) It's not unusual for runners to want to be lighter than they're designed to be, and our bodies will do everything they can to resist this.

    I'm very pleased that I'm able to run 70mpw without losing weight, becoming amenorrhoeic, or having to downsize my bras. I couldn't manage that on 40mpw a few years ago. Apart from the fact that I'm not doing resistance work now, I think my body may be adapting to running.
  • Really pleased I've read this thread. Since I started training for the FLM I've put on weight too. Didn't get weighed all through January and I felt fitter and slimmer, so it was a shock getting on the scales yesterday. Same weight as post Xmas! Wish I'd not bothered. I eat a healthy vegetarian diet (admit my downfall is red wine) but weight gain is a cruel side effect of exercise!
  • Don't forget muscle weighs more than fat...building up muscles is going to build up a bit of weight.
  • I've put on a few pounds every time I've trained for a marathon. Very disconcerting the first time, but I seem to lose it again when I train less in between.

    Marathon training makes me truly ravenous....I snack constantly at work, which i'm certain irritates the pants off everyone, and is also most inconvenient. It's particularly bad if I run in the morning before work! I've also woken up at 3am starving and had to get a bowl of cereal!!

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's not fat I'm putting on....over the last few weeks my bust (such as it is) has shrunk :o( my shoulders which I'd built up nicely from swimming in the autumn are scrawny again, and my trousers seem a bit looser. I reckon the weight gain is mostly muscle, and a bit of fluid retention.

    The only time I've ever put weight on that probably WAS fat was when I was injured last autumn and wasn't running at all, in spite of doing loads of swimming and cycling instead...but I think I'd just got too used to all the snacks!
  • Hi i am also training for a marathon but find the thought of food after very difficult i do eat but it isnt easy when i come in from my long run on a sunday my stomach is really bad even though i have had breakfast and take a sports drink out with me i find my stomach gets really bad cramp pains and i am diving for the loo sorry about that but was wondering if anyone new if i was doing something wrong
  • If your clothes still fit-then dont worry about a number on a machine


    you my be intolerant to the sports drink
    jelly babies might be better
  • It's quite a common phenomenon, Margaret, and probably has more to do with your bowel being jiggled around in your tummy than with anything you're doing or not doing with regard to your diet.
  • thanks for help i will try just water and the dreaded jelly babes i find them really sweet but will give them a go u all make me feel such a whimp with your 40/70 miles a week i have just done over 18 mile as muy long run today and feel thas going some will probably only go out another couple of times this week bringing my total for week at just under the 40
  • 18 miles at this stage is a very good long run margaret

    Ive only done 30 miles this week myself actually

    you might prefer jelly beans???
  • Or Skittles,
  • My long run was just 12 miles this week Margaret so I'm the wimp. Been nursing a painful knee with physio help. Another reason for wanting to run a bit lighter. 14 miles next week, onwards and upwards!
  • And i've only run 8 miles yesterday!! (not doing a marathon until Anglesey, Sept). 22 this week in total!!
  • Hi there,
    I work in Sport Nutrition and have a couple of idea's for you. Multiply your weight by 24 and then multiply that by 60 - 85%, 60 if you are training at the lower end of your max and 75 to 85% when you are at your heaviest training. Looks like this:
    60 kg x 24 = 1440 (this is your BMR) 1440 x 60% = 864. Add the 864 to the 1440 to get your total calorie need for the day...2304 calories. You can check if you are eating too many calories now that you know how many your body needs. Then look at how much carbohydrate you are getting.In season you are looking at 60 -70% of your calories coming from carbohydrate. Multiply the number of calories you need by the percentage you are using...2304 x 65% = 1498 cals. This has to come primarily from basmati rices, brown rices, brown breads,whole wheat pasta's, fruit and a little bit will come from veggies. Vegetables are essential to your diet but not a good enough source of carbohydrate to realistically fill you needs as a runner. You will become hungry if you aren't getting the good carbs in your diet and if you aren't getting enough of them. Make sure you eat starchy carb before you train, eat again within 30 minutes after and get some starchy carb at every meal. Eat throughout the day to replenish what you are taking out of your energy stores. Maybe something above will address whatever is making you hungry. I always say that if you are hungry you need to eat, but what you eat will make all the difference.
  • Anyone see the Running Fitness article on using chocolate milk as a recovery drink?
  • Saw article but ok for me I cant stand chocolate milk

    Cant get enough wine gums>they got to be putting fewer in packets cos soon as open them they are gone
    Wife and daughter must be sneaking in and taking them without me looking
    Thats my theory and Im sticking with it
  • That's interesting, Betsy, thanks for that. We as runners probably underestimate how many extra calories we need. I like the sound of 2300 odd calories a day!
    Milk on its own is fine, but milk drinks...yuk!
  • Milk is a good source of complete protein and contains carbohydrate and fat, using skim milk lowers the amount of saturated fat you are getting. Chocolate milk will have added sugar which will assist in getting the nutrients back in to your system after a workout and the fact that it is liquid adds to the ease with which your body can take it up. That would make it a decent choice for a recovery drink. A low fat yogurt drink would also be a good choice and might have more nutritional benefit. It's all about what each person likes and what is convenient...where is the article you saw?
  • I haven't read all the posts here, so could be repeting what other people have already said, and I know this isn't much use for vegetarians either, but I also found I was hungry ALL the time when I was marathon training. I've never been a big meat fan, but someone advised me that red meat might help and introducing more of it into my diet at that time made a massive difference for me. Probably as Betsy says, it's a case of finding what may be lacking in your diet for the level of training you're now doing and addressing it.

    Good luck everyone - I'm not doing the marathon this year, but will be watching!
  • Hi everyone, are there any Coeliacs who are running the London Marathon this year. It will be my first marathon ever and having been diagnosed with Coeliacs desease and Diverticulosis a few months ago I need to stick to a strict gluten free diet. One of the problems I find with looking for energy drinks, gels and bars etc on the net is that they do not list the ingredients. As I cannot eat porridge oats I now have rice pudding for breakfast prior to a morning race. Although I can buy gluten free bread, pasta etc, it is still difficult to ensure I am eating enough carbs. I also have to avoid seeds and peel fruit and veg. Any other sufferers of teh same conditions have any tips. It would be appreciated. Glenda
  • I also seem to be heavier than ever.  My sister videoed me running a race last weekend and it looked like I had two bags of jelly down the back of my pants.  Gross!  But I can't stop eating everything in sight!
  • Thanks for resurrecting this thread, it's made me feel better about the giant sack of chocolate raisins I hoovered up yesterday. Am just sooooo hungry!
  • Why don't you check out my blog on eating during marathon training.

    I find it really hard to keep up the calories as the training gets more intensive. I have developed some good endurance recipes. You really have to take eating seriously, or you will just be ravenous all the time. Eat foods which will slowly release energy before your long runs - porridge, nuts, couscous or spaghetti. Otherwise you'll find that you are always starving, thinking about food constantly and reaching for the nearest cream cake/biscuit you can get your hands on.

    Replenishing  your muscles straight after a run helps too, maybe with something high glucose like a honey sandwich and a banana - something that will get to your muscles quickly. If you don't, the hunger really kicks in later on and you end up eating more.

  • hate to say this but i can eat loads for about 3 days after my long run and not put on any weight.i gave up drink on new years eve and that has seemed to weight really hasnt changed but my body fat % in down to 8.4.
  • Hi not read all the posts but ..I am starving ALL the time at the moment..I haven't put on weight ..but not lost any either .( not really bothered though happy with my current weight of 137lbs) .despite now training for FLM..running 65-70 miles a week..nearly double what I usually do.

    ..I usually balance training and eating well....but at the moment even wake in the middle of the night hungry..I have just started drinking a glass of slimfast right after training...a tip I have come across on here many I do find it hard to stomach food in the first hour or so after training...but then eat like a savage for the rest of the day...the slim fast is nutritious and refuels the muscles ...and is easy to digest within minutes of coming home from a long run...

  • Im training for the Edinburgh Marathon and can't stop eating at the moment, the only problem is that my weight has gone up 3-4lbs. I've got virtually no fat on me but can't seem to shift this belly which seems to be getting bigger and bigger.


  • THANK GOD!!!!!!!! In the words of U2 i've finally found what i've been looking for!

     I started funning weight intiially to lose weight and did lose about 3 1/2 stone, i decided that i needed a new challenge and went in for the marathon and now i feel as if i've ballooned!!!!

     The funny thing it i don't eat (no joke) crisps, or chocolate bars, cakes, or junk food in the way of chips, takeaways  etc ( wheat, gluten and dairy free) i also stopped weight training  as i was doing so much running but i think for me this helps my muscle definition etc as now in the last 2 weeks since i've started my weight training back up again i'm feeling a bit better.

    I'm already up to about 17 miles and regulary to Speed work threshold training as well, but i just feel soooooooo hungry. My lunch of salad or soup no longer seems to go into some kind of bottomless pit. 

    But i'm so glad i'm not the only one suffering from this as i've been finding it depressing which for me seems to fuel the eating as well ( mental thing as well i think) but when i think i'm going to cut back i just can't.

     It's great to finally get this off my cheast to be honest as it's really been playing on my mind. I joined a running club to aid my runs and mental prep for my marathon ( Hamburg 27 April) and they are all just so slim and lean and i wish away that this was me and wonder why i'm not like that???!!! when i do all this training..

     I also find on my long runs i just take water with me and don't find that a problem. I'm just not sure that i could cope with eating on the run  so to speak...... also one thing that i've noticed is that with all this running outside my chest ( not boobs) but chest cavity has got bigger!!! my shirts that were loose are now a little tighter on me and on top i still seem to be the same size?? anyone else find this?

    *sigh* anyway lets see how picking up my weights routine will change things.


  • My chest cavity gets bigger every time I run a marathon. in fact, I get a special extension for my bra from the draperie department in John Lewis. It goes back to normal afterwards! Have you tried eating as soon as you finish a long run - I find that if I eat fruit and a sandwich literally immediately (while I am stretching) I get back from my run I don't get so hungry later on. Beans on toast is good after that, as it is quick and really filling. I keep a bowl of couscous in the fridge as well, so that I can eat that whenever I get that terrible hunger. If you are wheat free, dairy free etc, you should do the same with rice pudding. Maybe eat that when you get back from a run as it is high G.I. and should start acting on your muscles immediately. Got to go now - have to fit in 6  miles before work....
  • How reassuring to hear you all have similar problems. I've run several marathons and each time, my weight drops initially, then piles back on towards the end of my training. I'm not over-weight, but even a few pounds extra is depressing. I think your metabolism stabilises after weeks of training as it gets used to it, and becomes more efficient. So my plan now is to reduce the amount of calories after 8 weeks of marathon training,  only by a little, and so far this has worked. Hope this helps. image' />
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