How can I lose fat while training for a marathon?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 20, 2011 1:18 PM GMT
    I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I am training for my third marathon and did not lose much fat while training for the last two marathons I ran last year. I realize diet is a huge component to weight loss, but it is difficult for me to find that balance of eating just enough to have sufficient fuel for the runs but not overeating for the weight gain. I typically average 20-30 per week (though I am at 15 miles per week right now since I am beginning to train for my next marathon).

    I guess I find it frustrating when I tell people I just ran a marathon or training for another one and they look at my body and think "REALLY?!?!?" I am not expecting an 8-pack or even a 6-pack...just a flat stomach and no love handles. Between my last marathon (May 1st) up to now, I have been hitting the gym more to gain muscle. I have bulked up a bit (in a good way), but again, I do not have the physic I am "supposed to have."

    Any guys here actually have any success in losing weight while running marathons? I ask because I know a lot of runners who run fast enough to qualify for Boston, but they have a flat tires and big guts too.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 747

    Jun 20, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    Usually the increased cardio should work to help you slim down. What are you eating?

    Eat to fuel your body and be healthy with your choices. Lots of water. Cut out the junk food, sugar/dessert and alcohol (or at least only eat them very modestly or as a special splurge). And make sure you're getting in some speed/intensity work with your marathon training to increase your calorie burning.
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    Jun 20, 2011 1:44 PM GMT
    That balance of nutrition and exercise is a hard one. I've tinkered with my own diet during training to figure out what will keep me fueled up and how much food is not enough. Before my long runs I'll always have a bagel with cream cheese (like 30 mins before I hit the road). During the week for my medium run I find that a good snack about an hour before does the trick - for me that can be two handfuls of raw almonds, or even a package of peanut m~ms.

    Going to the gym to gain some muscle is good too but don't overdo it.

    But most importantly - if you're healthy and you're running well - then I'd say your body is fine.
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    Jun 20, 2011 3:25 PM GMT
    I really dont have much of anything to say that is productive... but I can offer you humor.

    When I am frustrated with my body.... I just say "I'm not eating ANYTHING" (sarcastically/jokingly).... so there's your answer.

    Go run a lot and dont eat anything. You will lose weight alright. lol.

    Maybe you are loading up on more carbs than you really need - that sounds like a possibility if you are gaining weight (fat, not muscle). But remember you will likely gain weight but lose inches for a time, due to building muscle.
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    Jun 20, 2011 3:29 PM GMT
    I would up the milage. During my training I would top out at 35-40 miles per week and would carry fuel like gu or hammergel with me anytime I was running longer than 90 minutes. I only really pigged out on carbs before my long runs 10-12+.

    What is your training like? Hill work, speed work, long runs? All of those bump up the intensity and burn more calories. I agree on the drink more water, cut out lots of sugar and alcohol. If you want to lose fat start there.