I hesitated for a long time about writing this because, well, it’s embarrassing.
Yes, I trained for a half marathon. I trained for 14 weeks and ran countless miles. Yes, I burned many calories. No, I didn't lose weight. Instead, I gained weight ... 10 pounds.
|Woo-hoo for running 13.1 miles. Boo for gaining 10 pounds!|
Here are the reasons why I gained weight while training for a half marathon, as well as how to prevent this from happening again:
I just ran 10 miles! I can eat whatever I want.
When I’d first complete a long run, food was repelling. I just wanted liquid. Lots and lots of delicious Gatorade and water, and I don’t even like Gatorade (thank goodness I found Nuun).
Eventually my hunger came around, though. As in I-can-eat-a-buffalo-and-still-be-hungry type of hunger. This led to eating massive quantities of food with no regard for calories because hey, I just ran 10 (or insert any number here) miles. Not cool.
Fix: Even though I ran 10 (insert any number here) miles, it doesn't give me free reign to eat anything I want. I still need to make smart choices.
I wasn’t burning as many calories as I thought.
I’ve always been active. Before I started running on a regular basis, gyms, walking, softball and beach volleyball (a lot of beach volleyball) were my exercise methods of choice. All came pretty easy to me. So, when I started running and thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I knew I had to be burning crazy calories, way more than I did with my other activities. Right? Right?! Please tell me I was right.
|This level of difficulty and sweat = bunches of |
calories burned, right?
You don’t have to lie to me. I was wrong. I realize that now.
How wrong? Well, I know the calories you burn can be difficult to determine. But, using a self.com calculator, an hour of beach volleyball burned exactly the same amount of calories as running for an hour at my slow pace. The same?!? Yikes. I ate a lot more after running than after playing hours of beach volleyball.
Fix: Keep in mind that I didn't burn endless calories. Yes, I can splurge a little more on a long run day, but nothing crazy.
I took fueling for a run too far.
I had a long run that was absolutely, completely miserable. I didn't have much to eat the day before and determined that I wasn't fueled properly for my run. I was probably right. But, I took it to the extreme before each next long run, eating more than enough to make sure I never felt like that again.
Fix: I need to fuel for runs, but I need to do it the smart way: right quantities of healthy foods. I need to work on this to see what works best, but I need to emphasize quality over quantity.