Friday, October 21, 2011

Margot-lock Holmes and The Case Of the Running Munchies

My friend Christina told me she is getting bored and needs a new post.  So here it is!  Accolade me.

If you're wondering about my running updates well....I'm coming back...slowly :(.  I'm running about every third day.  This morning I finally finished a workout...8 miles at half marathon-ish pace (7:18).  At this point, I'm scared that I won't be able to complete my half marathon, but more likely it's just time to adjust my time expectations!  That's life, right?

The Mystery Of The Hard Training Weight Gain...

During the past week, I've crossed trained, but have taken a big step back from training.  For a few weeks before my injury, I'd been gaining weight like I owned a Ho Ho factory.  A couple days ago, after not running for a week, I tiptoed onto the scale in fear.  I was down 2 lbs.   Great, but whhaatttt?  
Why did I gain weight while running hard..and lose it when I stopped ?

Here's the story of the case of the running munchies: 
1:30 PM.  At work.  Just ate lunch 30 minutes ago.  And I'm hungry again.
Embarrassed, I look around at my coworkers and hope they don't hear my stomach growling.  And then...I go get some Cheez-its.  Delicious cheesy crackers!  
Will they notice that I've been snacking all morning and have no intention of stopping?    

I think to myself, "Whatever, dude, I'm a runner, I ran 10 miles - 6 tempo this morning, and I freaking deserve it. " 

Then at some point, after eating like this for weeks I think:

So what is the right way to fuel on increased training...where you have energy but don't gain weight? 

For me I can eat slightly more when I'm training more, but still need to be healthy and not think "increased mileage = increased cookies".  I kind of sucks...but it's not like a giant bag of snickerdoodles is the key to my half marathon PR.   This is especially hard for me, because the longer and harder my workouts get the less I feel like cooking healthy after one.  My life is so hard.  

Here's what tends to work for me  (not that I always follow this...clearly)
- Staying hydrated.  I think that's key to decent performance in workouts / races.  Not cookies.
- Whole food > Processed stuff.  Yeah...I know....bars and gels are tasty, but I feel those should be more of a last resort rather than a go-to food.
- Have healthy and appetizing stuff ready to eat when I am done with a workout.   Nothing healthy ready to eat = lots of post workout ice cream consumption.
- Protein.  I could eat pasta and fro yo exclusively.  But it never makes me feel as good as a normal meal with veggies and protein does.
- Getting a grip:  An extra two miles = 200 cals = one small snack extra.  Ie...not that much.
- Performance first.  Sure, usually the best runners are not huge.  But I've been passed by a billion people bigger than me.   If you're gaining weight but still being healthy and having improved performance, ..go with it.  No one's going to question those extra 5 pounds when you pass them in the last mile of your marathon.

Do you gain or lose weight during higher than usual training periods?  
Have you found that your weight is correlated to your racing performance?  

Happy Friiidddaaayyyy!


  1. 8 miles at HMP of 7:18- you are defi ready to go and kicka$$ in the half-marathon!!! Don't doubt yourself, this is pure proof you've got it in you.

  2. I'm no nutritionist/dietitian or anything but I've read that on any given day your body can go up and down 2 to 5lbs so I wouldn't sweat it.

  3. PS thanks for posting for me!!!

  4. Yeah, Cheezits are not the most healthful of snacks. :P

    I don't really think about my weight at all. But right now my fave jeans kind of don't really fit anymore... so maybe I should be thinking about my weight. Hmmmm....

    You are The Faster Bunny! Look at that... 8 miles @ 7:18. Just go, go, go! You'll do great :)

  5. If I'm lucky, I'll stay right about even during a marathon or half training phase. But it is hard NOT to justify those extra tasty snacks - like Cheez-its, yum - when I'm training.

    You have good tips though, especially the one about having healthy foods ready post-workout. I always wait too long to eat and then I go crazy with pizza or something bad.

  6. So glad you're running again and feeling better! You will rock the half!!

  7. I have only lost about 5lbs, since I started running in June. I have lost inches however. My pants are too big, and a winter jacket that did not want to do up last year fits great!

  8. I definitely gain weight in more intensive training. I dropped some weight this summer due to personal issues and now I'm trying to gain a little of it back. I think I was actually getting to the point where it was hindering my performance a little because I have such a small frame. I agree about eating whole foods rather than bars. That's something that I need to focus on for sure!

  9. Ah, good to hear from ya! My weight is pretty much the same as it was in the beginning of this marathon training back in march-- it seems like it ebbs and flows three or so pounds here and there depending on the day, but that's how it's always been. But when the scale does start to creep up a little, I do consciously sometimes have to remind myself that running extra doesn't translate into eating every 30 minutes.

  10. Hey! Good to get a check-in from you. I hope you'll write about your races when they happen, even if you plan to continue the blogging hiatus.

    I was terrified about weight gain due to weight training, which I'm trying to be more serious about. Planning snacks has helped me--I'm less likely to graze if I know I have something in the pipeline.

  11. Yes!!! This happens to me too! Everyone thinks running makes me skinny but I actually lose more weight and tone up more when I"m not in training...just running for fun. Very well said.

  12. I stay pretty even, I think, though I do stop myself from eating as much as I would truly like to. When I ate whatever I wanted while training for a half I was 122 lbs (at 4'11.75" that's not all that great - not bad, but kind of high with running 30 mpw). Now I'm 108. Which is still 10+ more than high school. But I think I'm just as fast now due to being stronger.

    So yeah, like you said, if you weigh more you can be faster. There are lots of scary skinny people that are not fast runners. Skinny doesn't necessarily mean fast.

  13. I always find the balance hard between calorie consumption and burning, especially when you change your calorie burn. It always seems like the consumption change lags a bit. You are totally right, though. The key is to have healthy alternatives that are yummy around and to not be lazy! I am experimenting with "healthy baking" right now to see if it will curb my sweet tooth. I somehow am addicted to snickerdoodles, after a bag of them was delivered to my my door ;). Sidenote on Cheeze-its: every animal loves them! We tried it at a Japanese zoo where you feed all the animals. I know, I know, shouldnt feed animals ppl food, but they love them!

  14. Great tips! I definitely can gain weight during increased training. But I have learned my body and know what I need to do to maintain. I do not think lower weight makes a huge different in race performance but rather lower body fat percentage.

    Glad you came back and posted. I always love your posts.

  15. I'm right there with you on a lot of this.

    I'll tell you what throws me: I tend to eat a lot RIGHT AFTER a few weeks of hard training or a marathon, times when I'm not running. I usually don't gain weight then but, like, if I eat extra WHILE training? I gain the weight quickly.

    Bodies are weird.