Friday, September 11, 2009

training and weight gain

i don't really weigh myself anymore but i was feeling a little ... what's the word ... oh yes, phat, last weekend while trying on some things in my closet, so i decided on a whim to step on the scale this morning. it wasn't as bad as i was expecting, but i am not in my maintenance range anymore. i thought that i would lose weight with all of this marathon training but i was obviously mistaken.

i really have a love/hate relationship with the scale. i decided not to weigh myself anymore because it was causing too many highs and lows which is unhealthy. going up or down five pounds on any given week means nothing, so long as it's not five pounds up and then five more pounds up, etc. so i wasn't weighing myself. this was a relief in some ways, although in other ways it caused more stress. i think it made me imagine gains and loses that didn't exist and gave me a false perception of what i actually look like and how i feel. it's hard to explain. on one hand it's important to keep your weight in check but on the other hand, becoming obsessed is obviously not the mentality anyone should want or have.

so this brings me back to marathon training and weight gain. i looked online and this weight gain is very common.

here are some reasons why people gain weight while training:

1. you are building muscle, which is denser than fat: this is always a good thing. i love muscle.

2. your body is learning to store carbohydrates as fuel (glycogen) for your long runs. those glycogen stores will add more weight. your body also requires additional water to break down and store the glycogen, so that will also add extra weight: i didn't know that but it's interesting. although - i'm not doing that many long runs, and my long runs aren't THAT long since i'm only doing the 1/2 marathon and not the whole shabang.

3. you are maybe increasing your calorie intake without knowing it: this is possible. i'm pretty damn hungry on running days and especially the day after.

4. you may be drinking too many calories through sports drinks: um, not me. i've only had one gatorade in my whole life and it was "G2" only 30 calories per cup.

so i guess i'm just eating too much. oy vey. i did remark to my boyfriend that although i feel like i've gained weight, i also feel like i am the most "fit" i've ever been. that being said, i'll be happy when it's over and i can get back to my normal life.

what do you do? how often do you weigh yourself to keep your weight in check? every day? once per week? once per month? NEVER?


Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) said...

I weigh myself once a week - enough to know where I'm at, but not so much that I freak out about it :)

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I've been in maintenance from a 150 pound weight loss for 12 years. I do weigh myself everyday, but it's totally because I need the accountability.

I'm so impressed with you training for a half marathon! I just started training for a 10K. I'm not a runner, but in my heart I want to be!

Lainey said...

I weigh myself every day (which used to result in many lectures from fellow bloggers until they gave up on me), because I know how fast my weight can get away from me.

Jen said...

I SHOULD only weigh myself once a week...but I do find myself stepping on twice a week right now to remain accountable...

Usually when I am not stepping on the scale at all, it's because I am in denial. And it DOES go 5 lbs, then 5 more, then 5 more...I don't like that!!

But I like Lainey's explanation too - sometimes if you have a bad week you need that reminder to eat better the next week!

Fatinah said...

I can't weigh more than once a week without having a total stroke over normal body fluctuations!

fittingbackin said...

I weigh every day. I just fluctuate so much that if I did once a week I feel it could be misleading if that makes sense?? It does make sense that you would gain weight marathon training - especially the 'eating more calories' one.

Ms. Flusterate said...

I've been on both ends of the spectrum: I've been a daily weigher and have also been someone who didn't step on a scale from 2002-2007 (didn't own a scale and felt fine).
Right now, it's about once a month, and only when I feel "light" :-)

I've run 6 marathons and gained weight during each one for all the reasons you mentioned above. The training weight goes away (or at least it did for me!) without too much effort--and it's especially nice when the long running hungries go away!

good luck!