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Gaining Weight and Running a Lot
Gaining Weight with Running?
How many times have you heard "I am running (insert any type of cardio here) a TON and not losing weight", or even gaining???? We have seen this first hand at Formwell (and personally) and are here to help!
Check out these reasons/tips below.
- This can happen to many runners. You start increasing your mileage, but the scale is going...up? Some people call this "Train Gain". No need to panic. There could be quite a few reasons for this, which is why you shouldn't always be concerned about the number on the scale.
- The extra few pounds could be more muscle the body puts on as it becomes stronger. However, if you notice on your runs you're becoming slower, it might be a clue that your weight gain is extra fat, not muscle. Regardless, here are some reasons you might be experiencing the gain, & how to proceed next.
- You're skimping on sleep with early morning runs. The body craves extra calories as a quick source of energy when you are fatigued. Examine your training schedule and see where you can adjust it. Example: Do you have weeks where you decrease your mileage to let your body recover, or are you constantly adding mileage each week?
- You're obsessed with calories. Example: 100 calories burned per mile of running.....not necessarily true for everyone, and can cause you to either over or underestimate your calorie needs, which can both lead to weight gain, or to the consumption of "empty" calories. Use your body as your guide to starting & stopping eating, not your "allotted" number of calories
- You weigh yourself constantly. Example: How did I gain 3 lbs overnight? This is the morning of your long run. When you've been eating more carbs, your muscles store glycogen & water, so it is MOST likely water weight. It's much better to be fueled and hydrated for long endurance workouts.
- You're restricting yourself too much. This food is good. This food is bad. Once you have resisted "this food" for so long, you're going to give in & overindulge in something even worse. Example: avoiding pasta for weeks but when cookies are put in front of you, you eat a whole sleeve!
- You're rewarding yourself with food. "I just ran 10 miles, I deserve pancakes & a doughnut for breakfast". Think about it this way: It took you 1.5 hrs to run 10 miles, and now you are going to eat the same amount in junk food calories in 5 minutes. It's way more important to replenish glycogen stores and stimulate muscle recovery with good nutrition. Eat an apple with a nut butter instead!