Today we are talking about the ways weight loss can be derailed by running long distances.?? It makes no sense, right?? I run more, I should lose weight with all this activity.? But it doesn’t happen that way, does it?
Let’s talk about that.? If you don’t have a post covering this topic, feel free to link any running related post.
Why I Can’t Lose Weight Running Half Marathons
Because I eat too much.
It really seems to come down to THAT answer.? But that makes for a really short blog post so I’ll explain.
I am the classic story of the person who took up running to lose the baby weight.? After my son was born in 2007 I started running with the goal of making it through a 5K without stopping to walk.? I had to be at work by 6am, so this meant waking up and running around my neighborhood in the dark.
In my wrong shoes and cotton socks and yoga pants.
I was doing it all wrong, of course, but I was so happy to see the weight finally start coming off.
For a few months anyway.
After I rocked that 5K (and I DID rock it!) I felt I was ready for the Granddaddy of the Austin road races: the Capitol 10K.? I signed up to run with almost 20,000 of my weird Austin besties.
Double the distance- no big deal, right?
I ran that one the spring following my killer 5K.? This race was not quite as cool.
This race has hills.? Lots of them.? BIG ones.? And you know… it was twice as long.
I slowed way down.
But that didn’t stop me!? Nope, now that I’d conquered a 10K, I’m moving on to the HALF marathon that they do every year at Disney World!
And so I began planning and more importantly training for that first long-ass race.
During this time, I did not see any additional weight loss.? And remember- this was my GOAL.? I wanted to lose the weight, not collect bling or improve times or whatever other reasons people run for.? I just wanted to lose the fat.
The 5K training:? yes, I lost weight. But for the 10K and the Half: I stalled out.
And then to make matters worse, I gained.
What the heck was going on?!? And more importantly… why did (do?) I keep doing it?
Well— according to everything I’ve read and every personal trainer I’ve talked to, what happened to me was very common and a two-fold issue.? Settle in and see if this sounds familiar.
1: Your body got used to a slow, steady level of work.? Therefore it did not get fired up enough to reach into the stores of fat for energy.? I am totally nodding my head: as my distances got longer, I got a lot slower in training.? I was running and conserving energy in order to cover the MILES as my priority.? There’s nothing wrong with this plan, it just meant my body got really used to the effort I was giving.? Made sense.
2: You ate more, even if you didn’t mean to.? Most likely you ate a lot more.? This is TRUTH right here.? I can vividly remember hitting up Sonic following my first 10 miler.? I. Was. STARVING.? And I ordered a regular combo meal (with a real Coke- all those extra calories, I deserved it, right?)? Hello- right there I wiped out all my work toward a calorie deficit.? The rest of the day, as runners know, was spent eating all the things because our bodies and minds were telling us we needed the food AND we wanted the food.? I mean, I ran 10 freaking miles.? I get to eat that half of a pizza for second breakfast.? Ahem.
Back to that other question: why do I keep doing it?
If you’ve been around here long enough you know it’s because I love the running community and I love my running community AT Disney.? So I keep signing up for the halves & the challenges.?? It’s all your fault, really.? 😉
But I’ve finally come to the realization that I can diet, I can workout, I can #runalltheraces and my weight isn’t going to budge.
Equal parts frustrating and fun, I guess, but it’s not exactly HEALTHY.
Weight is a huge predictor in future health concerns: heart, diabetes, cancer, etc.?? While I love the bling and the experiences and the courses, I love the thought of growing old with my husband and children even more!
My plan for 2015:
- gym more
- eat better
- run less
The run less is weird: I am “only” running the Tink 10K and the Disneyland 10K this year.?? My hope is that taking the half distance off the table I can focus more on the other issues I’m facing.? Right now I don’t plan on doing another half until Avengers, which means I’ll start training for the last half of the race after Disneyland 10K.
Here’s my thinking: if I run less, I have more time for the gym and more time to cook REAL food versus fast food options.? I also shouldn’t have the rungries as often if I’m only looking at a 10K as my long run distance.
This means you’ll see less of me at future Disney races (get it?)? Or that’s the hope anyway!? I plan on hanging around the half courses with a sign or two to cheer my people on, so I’ll still be around.
But I might be a lot skinnier so don’t blink or you might miss me.
Do you have struggles with weight while training for longer distances?? How do you handle the rungries?
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)