As I trained for my marathon, I remembered reading various blogs that claimed they gained weight during marathon training (and the time period after). I did some research and found that this is a common phenomenon for people training for a marathon. The weight gain was never significant (in the 5lb range) and I wondered if that would happen to me too. I expected to gain muscle, but that wasn't the type of weight gain that people seemed to be complaining about.
I don't actually own a scale, so I have no clue if I gained weight through the process. My clothes all fit the same and we all know that jeans don't lie. I did notice a change in my overall physique though. My arms seemed to lean out some and I definitely gained some muscle in my legs. My husband even noticed a difference, which is saying a lot because if I get a new haircut, it would take hours (or days) before he would notice on his own.
Even though I didn't experience marathon training induced muffin top, I can see how it can happen. Long runs make you so hungry and the thought of what you just ran makes you feel like you deserve a treat (which you do!). Here are the main things that I did:
- Listen to your body: I ate what I craved (like a burger) and trusted my body to tell me how much to eat.
- Long runs deserve a treat: The key is to just have one treat, not an all day eating fest!
- You don't need to "eat back" all the calories you think you burned: Honestly, the more fit you are, the less calories you're burning, so even your Garmin is probably overestimating on that front. Just eat until you're satisfied and don't worry about balancing out the burned calories the same day as the long run, it will all even out eventually.
|I was so much more tired and hungry back then|
So there you go, if you were worried about gaining a few pounds while training for a marathon, now you can see that it's not inevitable! Besides, even if you do gain a pound or two, it doesn't really matter because you will have run 26.2 miles and that is awesome.