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  1. #1
    Registered User CarlosInTampa's Avatar
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    Losing fat/cutting while half marathon training

    Has anyone ever tried to do drop fat while training for a marathon or half marathon? msm00b, I appreciate your insight on a lot of threads and think you may have some knowledge on this.
    Recommendations as far as balancing enough energy level to run, while capitalizing on the extra cardio to burn calories? Should the 2 goals be mutually exclusive, or is this achievable without impending disaster?
    Best to eat at maintenance and let the extra cardio handle the deficit? Deficit limits to monitor so that energy levels don't make high mileage runs impossible?
    I've done a full and halfmarathon in the past 2 years, and through training for both, weight loss was very minimal: 2-3 lbs. Still lifting 2 days a week with no drop in strength.

    When I total all the miles I will be doing for my 10 week training program, and estimating 100 cals per mile, I would lose 5.x lbs over the course if I eat to maintenance.

    Anyone ever achieve serious fat loss through half-marathon training?
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  2. #2
    Registered User ejthomp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CarlosInTampa View Post

    Anyone ever achieve serious fat loss through half-marathon training?
    Especially in regards to full marathon training, I found it very difficult to properly manage food intake to fuel the runs, but not over eating and building up fat.

    Half marathons are much easier as most of your training runs can be done in less than an hour and don't require much more than a pre-run banana.

    In regards to fat loss though.... I don't think training for a half marathon is the best method. If you are really fat, how hard can you really push yourself without risking injury? If you are lean enough to train for a half marathon, there are better ways to lose body fat....while keeping or gaining muscle mass.
    A diet isn't punishment. A diet is a way to reward your body with the wholesome, nutritious food that it needs. Your body composition is a direct reflection of what you put in your mouth.
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  3. #3
    Registered User mjp202's Avatar
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    I cut over 25 pounds over six months (April-November) while I was training for a marathon. During that period, I also ran a 10K (May), 10M (July), and half marathon (September). Here are my thoughts:

    1. I lost most of my weight early in the process (you can track my weight changes in my BodySpace, although I lost a bit before I started logging it on BB.com). Some of this is just the basic phenomenon that's it's easier to lose weight early on and while you still have a decent amount of body fat, but I think some of this was due to marathon-specific physiological adaptations.

    2. I think the prolonged caloric deficit hampered my running performance in the marathon. I managed to set decent PRs in all my earlier races, even though those are all distances I had raced many times before. For my marathon (this was only my second, so it's much tougher to compare), I was about 10 minutes slower than my first time, even though I was a good 15 pounds lighter. I also felt sluggish late in the training period.

    3. While I think you can successfully train for long endurance events and concentrate on losing weight at the same time, that's about all you can do. I tried to start lifting midway through my marathon training, and I very quickly became over-fatigued and then injured (although part of this was due to poor lifting form).

    Bottom line: I think you have to prioritize your goals. Losing fat, improving endurance performance, and building muscle are all somewhat conflicting goals. Figure out what your primary goal is, and then see whether you can fit your secondary fitness goals into your plan.
    My log (SS --> 5/3/1): forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=139629253
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