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How can you lose weight while training for a half marathon?

asked over 3 years ago | Report

I'm 7 weeks out from my very first half marathon and I would like to lose 15lbs before race day. I figure that is 2lbs a week. Reasonable-right?

I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out how to fuel myself properly. I keep a food journal, which I'm very diligent in writing in. I feel like I'm eating very clean, lots of fruits & vegetables. I eat a plant based diet. But, in weeks of training, I have lost only 4 lbs. I have been doing most of my training runs, so I'm sure it has to be diet related.

I feel like if I'm careful about portions/calories, I'm starving and weak. If I'm eating enough to be full than I'm probably eating too much. I can't seem to figure out the balance. I want to eat enough so that I'm strong and have energy but not too much as to not lose weight.

I have a feeling most would say that I have to find that balance myself. But, I figured I would throw this out there to see if anyone has any suggestions or advice. :)

7 answers

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  • Losing weight so close to a race will probably have an adverse effect on your performance. If you're adamant that you 'need' to lose the weight a relatively old fashioned way is to eat less and train more :).
    Another way is to reduce carbs but train at a lower intensity, thus teaching your body to utilize fat stores more efficiently. Try to get through all but your longest sessions without fueling instead take an electrolyte drink.
    There are other ways but 7 weeks out is just too close for the weight loss to have a positive effect on performance.

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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  • what worked for me was a deficit of 500 cals per day for steady moderate weight loss that is more likely to stay off. don't know if you'll get the 2lb/week results you are looking for. Also don't forget muscle weighs more than fat you made be toning up your body but not losing weight. how are your clothes fitting?

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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  • I think 2 lbs a week is borderline drastic weight loss. Others may disagree. You definitely need to fuel your runs, and I think keeping a food diary is the way to go. I would say focus on a reasonable calorie target - if I remember correctly to lose one pound you need a weekly deficit of 3500 calories, which is a daily deficit of 500 calories.

    I think that a lot of people experience weight gain while they train, because they are hungrier do to increased output. If you just monitor your intake, you can get some weight off, but 15 pounds in 7 weeks is probably too much to expect.

    Do you have a base calories per day you aim to consume?

    answered over 3 years ago |edited over 3 years ago |Report

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  • I'm no expert, but personally I find training for a race and weight-loss to be conflicting goals. I averaged about 10 lbs a month for six months a few years ago, but I was only running three miles three times a week (high intensity).

    When I'm training I have to eat so much more to provide energy and recover. Training tends to be good to maintain weight. Just before a race I may cut a little weight on a three-day low-carb diet, but only during taper when my running is dramatically reduced. Good luck, I'm sure it can be done. Be safe.

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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  • I seem to lose when I change up my workouts. Maybe your body is use to what you are doing. Try adding soem tempo runs Fartlek (sp) Hills at faster tempos. Seems like when I add speed work I seem to drop a bit or even just tone up faster :)

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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  • Train well. Eat well. Your body will find it's natural weight.
    Good Luck. Chris Kelley - Framingham

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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  • doesnt matter how fast you lose weight, theres no special rule for weightloss.. but you should try sprints its good for your lungs so you can get through all 13 miles no sweat, and they help you lose plenty of fat fast while preserving muscle

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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