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  1. #1
    Registered User Jeyn's Avatar
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    Question Am I eating too few calories?

    I've been running over 5k 3x per week for the past month or so now, but about a week ago, my distance and endurance has suffered tremendously in running. I planned to go up to 5 miles (from my top distance of 4.5 miles) a week ago and I barely made it to 4 miles. Since then, it's been only going down hill and today I just barely, barely made 5k.

    My breathing feels fine and my legs feel fine. There's no pain or anything. I just feel completely depleted at the end of these truncated runs I've been doing. I started weight training about a week and half ago, but I've found nothing online that would link the weight training to crushing my running. (I'm running/weight training on alternate days with a break day).

    The only thing that I can think of is that I'm eating really very little. Perhaps the extra strain on my body of weight training is tilting the scale in terms of calories I need which is making my running suffer. My other consideration on this point is that my weight has plateaued for about 2-3 weeks now around 122-123 lbs (I'm 5'4").

    I'm eating 1200-1500 kcal a day. I'm eating only all-natural (a sort of modified paleo diet), which is pretty much fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts/seeds, and dairy. I'm eating balanced meals, and focusing on getting plenty of protein.

    I have no idea what's up. Any insights/ideas?
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  2. #2
    we flawless illiniStrive's Avatar
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    I feel like you just answered you're own question. How long have you been eating 1200-1500 regularly? That's likely too low for someone who runs as often as you do. What are your macros?
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  3. #3
    Registered User Jeyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by illiniStrive View Post
    I feel like you just answered you're own question. How long have you been eating 1200-1500 regularly? That's likely too low for someone who runs as often as you do. What are your macros?
    I've been eating 1200-1500 kcal four about 3-4 weeks now. I'm not really monitoring macros so carefully. I strive for a minimum of 40 grams of protein a day (spread fairly evenly across 3-5 meals/snacks) but beyond that I'm not really monitoring.
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  4. #4
    ate up like rice and peas offen's Avatar
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    OP it sounds like you might be making the same mistake I made a while ago when I started running slightly longer distances, of not tracking week-to-week increases in mileage. Has your weekly mileage been increasing by more than 10-15%? If so, that might be part of it.

    Two other observations are:

    1) 1500kCal -~500kCal(running) = 1000kCal net which is a REALLY hefty deficit (do you know your TDEE?) and would make running increases difficult, and

    2) you need a lot more protein. like, twice as much at least.
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  5. #5
    we flawless illiniStrive's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jeyn View Post
    I've been eating 1200-1500 kcal four about 3-4 weeks now. I'm not really monitoring macros so carefully. I strive for a minimum of 40 grams of protein a day (spread fairly evenly across 3-5 meals/snacks) but beyond that I'm not really monitoring.
    40g is far too low for a minimum. That's about half of what you should be getting (at minimum). It's also possible you're not getting enough carbs unless you're eating a crazy amount of fruit. I recommend reading this page to have a better idea of your body's calorie and macronutrient needs: http://www.emma-leigh.com/basics_calorie_needs.html

    If you're not properly fueling your body, your body isn't going to perform the way it's expected to. Simple as that.
    comp. (gym) 236.5(260)/126.5(155)/302.5(340)

    journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=163014501

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  6. #6
    Getting Contest Ready! BBingGuru's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jeyn View Post
    I've been running over 5k 3x per week for the past month or so now, but about a week ago, my distance and endurance has suffered tremendously in running. I planned to go up to 5 miles (from my top distance of 4.5 miles) a week ago and I barely made it to 4 miles. Since then, it's been only going down hill and today I just barely, barely made 5k.

    My breathing feels fine and my legs feel fine. There's no pain or anything. I just feel completely depleted at the end of these truncated runs I've been doing. I started weight training about a week and half ago, but I've found nothing online that would link the weight training to crushing my running. (I'm running/weight training on alternate days with a break day).

    The only thing that I can think of is that I'm eating really very little. Perhaps the extra strain on my body of weight training is tilting the scale in terms of calories I need which is making my running suffer. My other consideration on this point is that my weight has plateaued for about 2-3 weeks now around 122-123 lbs (I'm 5'4").

    I'm eating 1200-1500 kcal a day. I'm eating only all-natural (a sort of modified paleo diet), which is pretty much fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts/seeds, and dairy. I'm eating balanced meals, and focusing on getting plenty of protein.

    I have no idea what's up. Any insights/ideas?
    Heres an easy way to look at it. For your body weight, look at what your basic metabolic intake needs to be. Then, since you are active, youre going to need to up that accordingly. Everyone is different so now that you know its too little, bring that up to 2000 cals a day and then go from there. If that still isnt enough keep upping it. You'll find your comfort zone. As for protein. Rule of thumb for an active person is 0.8-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight per day.

    Try it all out, see what works for you and DO IT
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  7. #7
    Registered User Jeyn's Avatar
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    Awesome feedback. Thanks everyone. I guess I knew what I was doing was wrong, but it's so hard to eat more for me. I suppose I just have to redefine what the "minimum" intake is. As for protein, I've been having a really hard time getting more than 50 g a day, but naturally, increasing caloric intake should take care of that somewhat. I have a hard time figuring out how many calories I'm supposed to be eating, just because I FEEL like 2000+ is a super-duper large number, but I need to shake that off. Thanks again guys
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  8. #8
    Registered User Strength93's Avatar
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    Hi, i'm female too. Im a bit heavier than you though, but I'm not doing any cardio, just lifting weights 4x a week.
    I eat 2500calories pr. day and I maintain my weight.
    You NEED to up your protein and definitely your carbs too, you need carbs for running!
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  9. #9
    Registered User Fastsupra24's Avatar
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    Sounds like the addition of weight lifting is taking a toll on your body. You should increase your calories if you are running and lifting that much. Sounds like its just too much on your body. Maybe even increase carbs before running to give you more energy. When you weight train are you doing upper and Lower body?
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  10. #10
    Registered User Jeyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fastsupra24 View Post
    Sounds like the addition of weight lifting is taking a toll on your body. You should increase your calories if you are running and lifting that much. Sounds like its just too much on your body. Maybe even increase carbs before running to give you more energy. When you weight train are you doing upper and Lower body?
    I'm mainly working on upper body with weights, but I've been doing lower body on my "off" day from running/upper body.

    I've adjusted to have a 1700 kcal minimum, rather than 1200 kcal, so hopefully that will help and I'll go up from there if needed. Yeah, I felt that the weights are probably just too much without increasing my protein/calories more. I've taken everyone above's advice and upped my protein to about 100 g/day. With the extra calories it's easier to fit it in, and again, I'll try to go up from there if I feel like I need to.
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  11. #11
    Team Kelei eriquee's Avatar
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    For 5k 3x week and weight lifting 1200 is very very low.

    1700-1800 sounds better.
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  12. #12
    always 100% serious Domicron's Avatar
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    also, don't forget the fat. you need about .4g/pound.
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