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2littlebadgers 05-06-2014 07:29 AM

Intro. and question for distance runners
Hi, all! I am very interested in hearing from those of you who are runners, and am wondering if anyone has experienced weight gain with endurance training. I've been running for about 8 years now, but started running longer distances like half marathons about 4 years ago. When I first started running longer distances, I gained a few lbs. that admittedly I needed to...at 5'4" I was about 107 and had been dealing with a series of stomach troubles for years. I landed at 110-112 and had been at that range for several years, and while I know it is still on the smaller side, I felt healthy and strong and was definitely taking in plenty of calories. I decided to take on the marathon distance last fall and upped my running from about 20 miles a week to 40+ miles a week, and that is when the lbs. started to creep on. I was starving all the time and probably got a bit crazy with the carbs., but overall I was still fine with the gain and was at 116 by the end of my training in October. Since then, however, I've continued to gain despite cutting back on calories and carbs. I'm back to running about 20-25 miles a week and typically net 1700-1800 a day, which I think should be an o.k. number for maintenance, yet I'm still gaining weight and am at 120 with no signs of slowing down. Now again, I realize 120 is a perfectly healthy weight but I'm concerned about the trend ...I seem to just keep slowly gaining despite running, cross-training, and eating a mostly very healthy diet (I've been eating about 20% fat, 25% protein, 55% carbs). Just curious if any other runners have experienced weight gain like this?? For the record, I turn 40 in a couple short months and am wondering if this could also just be a "getting older" thing...Does your metabolism really change that much as you age? Thanks for any thoughts...I'd really like to stop the gain at this point, if not drop a couple lbs. so I can fit back into my clothes!

Mrs Snark 05-07-2014 06:57 PM

Well. Nobody is answering so I'll take a wild stab at it.


<snip>... and am wondering if anyone has experienced weight gain with endurance training.
Yes. Back when I tried to say in near constant half-mary readiness (upwards of 150 mile months), I had all sorts of problems trying to keep my weight down because I always felt ravenous. At the time I thought I was about 10 pounds from my ideal weight, so I tried to stay in a calorie deficit. For me, it was very difficult to maintain a heavy running schedule in a calorie deficit. Also, I didn't eat a very clean diet and ate way too much junk food in response to being so damn hungry all the time -- this didn't do me any favors.

After reading your post I just think you need to keep tweaking your total calories down a tad until you are back in a small deficit if your goal is to slowly drop just a couple of pounds while still maintaining your current running fitness. You say it seems like 1700-1800 should be an ok number, but if you continue to gain weight it could be a tad too high. You may now be a very efficient runner and your body may not be burning as many calories as you think it is.

Drat your super fit efficient body. ;)

Good luck to you!

Kscott 05-08-2014 12:07 AM

Running that much in a week you're muscles and endurance have capped out, you might want to try some cross training to work some different muscles, maybe weights.

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