We’re all a little vain at times. In fact, you probably think this post is about you.
To an extent, caring about our appearance is fine. Healthy even. It’s probably something I could work on more. But what’s not healthy is an obsession with weight. While there may be an obesity epidemic in our country, the need to lose weight or look a certain way shouldn’t be a goal for everyone. One group I think should let that go? Runners in training.
Before getting into the blog world, I didn’t even know people wrote articles titled “how to not gaining weight while training for a marathon.” Truth be told, I didn’t know weight gain was even a concern while training. I’ve seen a lot of that negativity lately in the blog world/internet and wanted to chime in. It makes me really sad that some runners feel guilty for gaining weight. Like they’ve done something wrong and need to “fix” their mistake. Honestly, if you want to run a strong race, doesn’t it make sense to give your body a lot of fuel? *I’m talking about proper fuel, not just sugar and processed food.* The saying holds true that you wouldn’t expect your car to drive a long distance without gas, so why would you assume the same for your body?
For me, marathon training means more food, out of necessity and hunger. It also means devoting less time to other areas of exercise (strength training, HIIT, yoga, etc.). Then there’s the storing glycogen thing: I’m training my body to store carbohydrates to use as fuel for long runs. If a few pounds means not hitting the wall, I think we should all gladly sign up.
I don’t own a scale but I can tell that I’m “up” a little from pre-training. I’m proud of that. It shows that I’m giving my body the fuel it needs and deserves. Yeah, the “up” might be from muscles in my legs but I don’t care regardless. I’m sure it’s possible to train hard and not gain weight, but it’s just never been a concern or focus of mine. Actually, as someone who struggles in the curves department, I welcome a little extra padding. If only it could go to certain places…
Training to run 26.2 miles is a hell of a journey and the pressure (running and otherwise) we are putting on ourselves isn’t natural. At least, not for my body. Even now that I’m taking a few days off from running for my sore foot, fueling right is still a huge priority.
All of the weight/aesthetic talk takes the “fun” out of training. Not that getting up at 5 a.m. every Saturday is fun, but you know what I mean. We all willingly signed up for this, so we might as well find the good in the situation and prime our bodies for success.