How To Lose Weight While Training For A Marathon
It may seem like an oxymoron to be a fat marathon runner; however, many people need to learn how to lose weight while training for a marathon. It doesn't just happen. If you have ever entered a marathon, you have probably noticed that a significant number of the participants are overweight- if you are one of these runners, start by following these principles of marathon training:
- Consistency. If you aren't losing weight during your marathon training, you are probably not being consistent. This is one of the most difficult things about running: You resolve to lose weight, you find a training plan, you pay the 100 dollar marathon entry fee, only to abandon your running a few weeks later because you "had to work late", "it's too cold", etc. In order to be consistent, you need to find a realistic training plan that works with your schedule and fitness level, so that you don't become overwhelmed. If you are training correctly and consistently, your body will naturally find its ideal marathon running weight.
- Running versus "Shuffling." Many people believe that if they are "running" they will inevitably lose weight. If you are not running faster than a thirteen minute mile, you might as well be walking (as far as burning calories goes). If you are just sort of picking your feet up and "shuffling," it is not the same as running. When you read articles about "runners," the author is referring to someone who runs at least 20 to 25 miles a week (consistently) and runs at a twelve minute mile pace or faster. If you are a slower runner, you might not be burning as many calories as you think, which brings us to our next point...
- Stop "Carb loading". You don't need a 1500 calorie plate of pasta after your six mile training run. If you think that you can eat whatever you want just because you are running, you are likely to be fatter than before you started. It is true that the average runner needs about 2500 calories to maintain glycogen stores, but if you were already eating that much before you started training, you don't need to eat more.
- Vary your workouts. Your training plan should include easy runs, speed workouts, tempo runs (and ideally some strength training). In order to burn the most calories, you need to be challenging your body constantly. One way to challenge yourself is by adding variety. In addition to helping you losing weight, a varied marathon training plan will help you become a better runner; if you make make running your focus, the weight loss will follow.