I’ve read about people who have a hard time losing weight when training for long distance races. Jenn even gained weight training for a marathon years ago.
I just didn’t think I’d be one of them.
I figured training for a half marathon and logging hours of cardio each week would jump-start my weight-loss. Granted, I haven’t been exactly aiming for a goal of losing weight. My scale has been broken for…I think all of 2016?… and I’ve only stepped on the scale at the gym once to confirm my non-weight-loss suspicions. But I did think the running would help me lose at least a few of my extra 10 pounds and fit into some of my shorts and pants better, and that hasn’t exactly happened.
The main reason of course is that when you’re training hard, you’re eating hard. You need fuel for long runs, and then you need to refuel afterwards. If I run more than five miles my stomach starts to eat itself at about 8 p.m., no matter what I had for dinner. I can’t self-cannibalize, so I eat something. I could be making healthier choices, but you tend to figure you can splurge on that peanut butter chocolate ice cream when you’ve run 7 miles, right?
So yeah, I haven’t lost weight. But holy cow, what I’ve gained. I’ve gained so much leg strength. My legs look noticeably stronger — and my little chicken calves can always use that gain. I’ve gained serious endurance. Whereas I started running a minute on and a minute off, that now seems funny as I can run 8 miles without really a stop.
Most importantly, I’ve gained a sense of accomplishment. I set a goal. I’m oh so close to tackling that goal. It’s insane how far we can come when we dedicate ourselves to something and really work toward it. A few more weeks and I’ll be able to check this off my list!
Do you find weight loss an impossibility when distance running? —Erin