Frustrating isn’t it? I’m training for a big event, running 15 miles on a long run and that scale is going up – not down?!! How is that even possible? It seems crazy, especially if you’re training for a half or a full marathon. I’m doing all of these extra miles so how can I be gaining weight?
Part of it may be that your body is becoming more dense with muscle. That will happen, in this case you really need to go by how your clothes are fitting and how your body is toning up.
Another possible reason is that you are storing some glycogen for your long run. The body uses water to do this and you may fluctuate for a few days.
The third reason is really the most common, you aren’t eating the right foods. A lot of us think because we are in training we can eat whatever we want. You are going to need extra calories the day of your long run but you should be eating nutritious foods and not empty calories. The other days you do not need as many calories because you’re not burning as much.
Think about what you are reaching for after your long run. Is it a real meal or is it something out of a package? Are you reaching for whole wheat pasta, veggies, and chicken or are you reaching for Ben & Jerry? It really does make a difference as to what you refuel with. The wheat pasta with veggies and chicken should keep you full and happy, ice cream is going to have you searching out more food in an hour or two.
This isn’t to say you can’t have a treat, heaven knows after a long run I love a good dark beer with dinner. Just remember that treat foods: a) are empty calories that don’t build your body back up and b) are going to leave you with a sugar crash and searching for more food.
Keep your house stocked with the right foods so when you are hungry the first thing you grab is going to be nutritious. Food/training logs also keep you honest on what you are eating and how much you are exercising.
Do you need help with a food plan for your endurance event? Send me an email, email@example.com, for a free 30 minute consultation to see if we can work together to come up with a plan for you. You can also visit my website, http://empoweredplate.com, for more information.