Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicago is the new NYC! & Mega Marathoning Weight Gain

If you're subscribed to the Chicago Marathon updates, you probably received this by email yesterday...
How freaking crazy is that?? When did Chi-town become the new NYC? I guess it has been growing in popularity over the past few years. My senior year of college was the first year that they had to cap the race off early. I ended up happy to miss out, because that was the major heat-wave year when half the runners had to be turned around and couldn't finish. Well good thing I'm signed up...

Mega Marathoning & Weight Gain?...
I'm almost half-way through these 2 months of what I'm going to call "Mega Marathoning"-- trying for 6 marathons in about 7 weeks: 3 in March and 3 in April, including the tough Bataan Death March and a double at the end of April. This weekend I'll be completing my NJ marathon (more details to come later this week).

One of the challenges I find that come with so many marathon is... (believe it or not) Weight Gain! As I've said before, I don't do a full taper because, well-- I'd be in a continuous taper! But, I do a sort of mild-taper, lowering my mileage a little toward the end of the week. Usually I take off the day before a marathon, and sometime I'll have to take off after, depending on how my legs feel. This becomes a problem as over time, my body has been totured so many times during a month, that it sucks up any and all calories that come in its path, soaking up fats and storing them for when it is sure to be taken through 26.2 again.

I've noticed that as I've increased the pace I participate in marathons and ultras, my body has started to handle weight loss and gain, similarly to a guy! If I take a few days off, I can put on weight like crazy. But, if I workout without a break for a few days in a row-- I shed lbs almost instantly and can't seem to consume enough calories. I also gain muscle very very quickly. Between the muscle gain, and the days off I need to take when I participate in so many marathons, I've started to gain weight. I'm fairly in tune with my body, so I can definitely feel the extra few lbs.

Carbs & Advanced Marathoning
Keeping that in mind, I've started following some of the philosophy from "Advanced Marathoning"-- or at least trying to. If it's a marathon week (as most are these days) I try to consume few carbs at the beginning of the week, and keep my runs at a slower pace that burns calories faster. Toward the end of the week, I'll pick up my pace a little and take in many carbs, hoping to store them for the marathon. This way I'll be carb-ready for marathons, but I'm not packing them on all week. They also note in the book, that starving your body of carbs like this, helps to actually store more when you finally allow your body to consume your favorite pastas and breads-- yummm :)

I'll try some of these methods for a few weeks... and keep you posted on what more I find in the book.

As always, check the Upcoming Races tab above for the states that are coming up and let me know if you'll be participating in the same races!

Happy Running,


  1. I got the email that Chicago was reaching capacity yesterday and I swear less than 2 hours later it was closed! WTH??

    Interesting weightloss/gain strategies. I'll be interested to see your results!

  2. So obviously I have missed out on Chicago but I will be there to spectate and cheer you on!!! Can not believe it sold out so fast! Holy smokes! I think it's the 10.10.10 honestly.

    I have this great nutrition write up my coach gave us for marathon week if you want me to send it to you. It's really informative.

  3. Just found your blog from Not High Maintenance, Just High Mileage and you are an inspiration!!! The thought of doing 50 marathons is completely terrifying and AMAZING!!! Way to go!!!

  4. I am doing the Chicago first marathon! Yea! Can't wait to experience such an awesome time!

  5. Great topic. While I am not running multiple marathons, I have found that I too have gained a couple of pound during my training. My body just CRAVES carbs! Look forward to hearing more about this subject!

    Oh, and I am running Chicago, too! :-)

    10/10/10 or BUST!

  6. My hubby likes the Advanced Marathoning plan for carb-loading before a race. Makes sense to me.

    I have always streuggled with weight gain during marathon training so I can definitely see how you would have issues.

    I hope the new plan works!

  7. I find this too! Like now, I have taken 2 days off in a row and I feel like a fat a@@ but then ill do a couple of days of tough workouts and I feel super thin. I hate it, especially now during my extra poundage days.

  8. I think i may be in OKC, so hopefully I could meet you there before I do the full in Seattle!! That would be super exciting...I like meeting fun runners!

    The weight thing for me happens too even though I'm not doing the same distance as you, I have been doing 30-50 miles a week for a couple years, so if I dip from that I see things go up immediately...which may be my eating or may be some water and my body freaking out