Last year was a rubbish running year for all sorts of reasons. It was one of those extended periods where running took a dip, I mainlined Netflix and my favourite pair of running shoes gravitated to the back of the wardrobe. On very rare occasions, I’d look on the scales – the numbers didn’t change much but clothes got a little tighter and I was feeling soggier around the edges.
This brings me to the wonders of London Marathon training. Again, the numbers on the scales really haven’t changed but I’m soon in need of buying a smaller pair of jeans – good times!
I’ve never been skinny, never will be. But training for a marathon does bring in to sharp relief the tedious issue of one’s weight. I am well above that ‘magical’ number of the ‘ideal racing weight’. I’m not going to be anywhere near it for marathon day. Having said that, I would like to lose a few pounds (without impacting on training) and tweak my diet – both to help get me to a good place for the big day. No, I don’t mean any of that ‘clean’ eating malarkey or anything else that will make me feel deprived and oh so grumpy. I mean just a bit more of a focus on foods that make me feel great and ensure the ‘rungries’ (runner hungries) don’t result in me hoovering up too much cake!
My slight challenge here is I don’t go on diets. The reason – I think I’m I wee bit of a contrary person. Don’t get me wrong on this, often if I’m told to do something, I’ll do it. I do follow race instructions and can follow a training plan. But if my brain thinks I’m on a diet, I’m rather brilliant at sabotage!
And I like this contrary approach. A year or two before I started running, I had patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), otherwise known as ‘runners’ knee. I eventually got to see a specialist. I remember him turning to me and laughing as he said ‘you’ll never run a marathon’. Well…
Now lots of folks seem to think weight will fall off if you’re training for a marathon. If you do a google search, a lot of what you’ll come across concerns the marathon weight loss mystery. It’s easy – running a lot doesn’t mean you can eat ALL the cake, crisps and pizza. Sorry if that’s not the answer you wanted. I’m not saying there are NO cake, crisps or pizza in the picture, they just have to make up a little less of it.
- Pay real attention to my appetite
- Stay hydrated
- Eat lots of veg and up the protein a little
- Experiment with snacks – not a big fan of fruit but stuff like snow peas could do the trick
- Don’t let myself get too hungry (I get very grumpy!)
- Up the incidental activity – if I can walk somewhere, walk. Little, every day tweaks count
- Do the bulk of runs at slow and steady pace (fat burning zone….whatever) with a few hills and speedwork thrown in for good measure
- Keep taking Vit D – still a little grumpy with the weather though a lot better than last week. The grumps make me want to ‘carb’ load in all the wrong ways!
I’ll let you know how I get on. If by the big day I lose just a couple of pounds, I’’ll be happy with that.
I’d love to hear if you’ve had to deal with the great marathon weight loss/gain mystery during your training. Comment box below.
Week 8 – Training Recap
Saturday – ran a little bit of the way to Parkrun and then did Parkrun. I was slower by a minute than a couple of weeks ago but didn’t want to push it as had a half the following day. 3.4 miles in total at steady pace; core and rolling.
Sunday – The Original Hampton Court Half Marathon done with a nice bit of bling and a great technical top to go with it. 13.1 miles.
Monday – Core and rolling.
Tuesday – 5.7 miles on very ‘lazy’ legs at slow and relatively steady pace. And yep, followed by cake! And wine!
Wednesday – Legs felt a lot less ‘lazy’. 5.7 miles slow and steady; core and rolling.
Thursday – so a hurricane hits the UK. My plan was to do some hills repeats but decided against it given the weather. Did manage core and rolling.
Friday – Woke up to lovely sunshine and did 4.4 miles at my planned marathon pace. Core and rolling.
Total – 32.2 miles