• Marathon Training & Weight Gain

    December 15, 2010

    If you’re a long-time reader of Carrots ‘N’ Cake, you probably remember my Lose the Dough challenge, where I challenged myself to tone-up for my 30th birthday. So, if you read my Healthiest Decision of the Year on Glamour.com this morning, you might be a little confused since my challenge was all about the number on the scale. Well, my Lose the Dough experience totally changed my thinking about my weight, so let me explain why.

    Below are two photos of me from Lose the Dough: “Before” (taken in January) and “After” (taken 5 months later). To me, I look much more fit and toned in the photo on the right. But, when you look at the “numbers” below the photos, I only lost one pound according to the scale.


    January 11, 2010

    • Weight: 132 pounds
    • Body Fat: 22.9%
    • BMI: 22.7
    • Waist: 27 inches
    • Abdomen: 28.25 inches
    • Hips: 37.25 inches

    June 17, 2010

    • Weight: 131 pounds
    • Body Fat: 21.2%
    • BMI: 22.2
    • Waist: 25.75 inches
    • Abdomen: 28 inches
    • Hips: 37 inches

    After my Lose the Dough challenge, I thought my body looked good and I felt great about myself, but I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in how little weight I lost (according to the scale). But, when I started to think about how far I’d come in 5 months, especially with regard to my overall strength (i.e. Body Pump), I knew “playing the numbers game” with myself was nuts.

    So, after my final check-in for Lose the Dough, I stopped weighing myself. I threw out my scale back when I lived in South Boston, so weighing myself never really crossed my mind… until recently!

    In late-October, I wrote about how my body changed since I started marathon training. All of my jeans were much tighter in the thighs, so I knew that I had gained some weight. I wasn’t sure just how much, but my pants were letting me know that it was at least some! I attributed my Quads of Steel to simply gaining muscle, but now I know there’s a lot more going on.

    For my Feel Great Weight post this week, I wrote about why I am gaining weight during marathon training. My friend, Rachel, is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, so I picked her brain about what’s happening.

    If you’re wondering, I finally weighed myself at the gym about a week ago. The number was up a few pounds, but with the marathon less than a month away, it’s the least of my worries. I’m trying to keep my body healthy (and injury-free) for the big day!


    After breakfast, I headed to the gym to peddle away on the bike for 45 minutes. I’m not usually a fan of the bike, but the time flew by today. I barely broke a sweat, but, hey, it’s better than nothing. Plus, I really want/need my foot to heal!

    When I returned home, I immediately started making lunch. I munched on a couple of carrots while I prepared it.

    _MG_5503 (640x426)

    Last night, my mom gave me a bag of sliced eggplant, so I incorporated it into today’s lunch.

    I dipped each of the eggplant slices into a bowl of liquid egg whites and then into a bowl of breadcrumbs mixed with Garlic Gold. I placed each piece on a baking sheet and popped it into the oven for 20 minutes on 425*F.

    _MG_5495 (640x426)

    I dipped the crispy eggplant medallions into hummus. So delish!

    _MG_5510 (640x426)

    On the side, I had a big salad.

    _MG_5506 (640x426)

    _MG_5490 (640x426)

    After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a few Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies because they are the greatest thing on earth.

    Pug walk and then some Christmas shopping with my hubby! 

    Pin It

    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Anne P December 16, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I gained a few pounds when training for my half marathon – and I definitely specifically remember my quads being bigger and my jeans being tighter. I attributed the weight gain to extra muscle and being a bad ass 🙂


    sisters running the kitchen December 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    hey tina! i also gained weight in my first marathon training (last october)- i attribute it to overestimating the amt I was burning etc. in addition to muscle mass and water retention like your article said but i would definitely say the majority of my problem was that i was over fueling! my second marathon was different (this october) I realized how much I had to fuel and didnt gain weight (I was actually about 5-10 lbs lighter than my first marathon!) dont worry about it!


    Katie December 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I actually stopped stepping on the scale for the most part around when I was running the marathon. I was gaining a few pounds and it was getting me down but it made no sense to have any sort of body bashing because hello! I was running huge numbers of miles! I’m sure the TNT people talked about the changes in the weeks before too- your muscles start to rebuild in taper and they hold water so it’s normal to gain a little then.


    gina December 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

    after reading your post and comments, i have decided to stop weighing so much. i have been very frustrated with the scale after beginning to train with running. i feel much better and stronger but the numbers on the scale frustrate me! my clothes fit better and I have much more energy. i am going to start concentrating on more than just the numbers on the scale. i’m glad to know i’m not the only one that feels this way. thanks for sharing.


    Monica December 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Congrats on throwing away your scale! That is wonderful. I use to weigh myself daily, and now weigh once a week to record it since I am currently working through a weight loss plan. However, I am focusing more on body fat percentage. But the number on the scale is helpful since I have more than 10 to lose.

    By the way, your body fat percentage is awesome. My husband is a sports performance coach and I have grown to really admire that number more than anything else. Very nicely done! You are a lean lady! 😉


    allyson December 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I also gained some lbs while training for my first few marathons. My past 2 marathons i didnt, but I upped the miles to 65-70miles/week.


    Lacey @ Lake Life December 18, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I think out of all the Healthy Living blogs that I read you’ve probably got the best grasp on what being healthy means. You look fit (not anorexic) and you eat more than a few brussel sprouts for a meal! Keep up the great work and relish the fact that your body is strong and you’ll be able to kill that marathon!


    Ffion December 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with gaining weight if it means you are getting stronger! You’re going to need that muscle for the race!


    Mrs. life January 8, 2011 at 5:19 am

    I wonder why we gain weight during the marathon training. What do you think is the possible reason for this?


    egg November 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

    This is the problem with a vast number of runners, they burn let’s say 1000 calories and then over compensate with carb heavy meals and end up eating all those burned calories back…and then some. You can’t, no matter what, out train a bad diet.


    Leave a Comment

    { 2 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: