Looking to slim down? Many people who have a weight loss goal decide to set their sights on training for a marathon. But, is that really a good way to go about fat loss?
The truth is that these two goals are usually counterintuitive. If you want to complete a 13.1-mile race, your goal is going to be very effective at exercise so that your body is able to be as efficient as possible as you run. This means you’re going to be eating and training so that, at the end of the race, you feel great because your body has burned the least amount of energy possible.
On the other hand, if you want to lose weight, your goal is to not get used to exercise. You don’t want your body to be efficient at exercise because they means it has adapted to your routine and it isn’t burning as many calories. Instead, you want to be changing up your routine so that you can burn off as much energy as possible–thus resulting in more fat loss.
Now, this isn’t to say that training for a marathon can’t or won’t lead to weight loss, but if you are looking to lose fat at the same time as training for a marathon, you need to go about it in the right way.
First, you have to eat right. What you eat has to both fuel your body for the training you are doing while also giving you all the nutrients your body needs to get better at running. You need to be eating enough, too! Weight loss is all about eating at a deficit, which means you are burning more calories than you are taking in at the end of the day.
However, with marathon training, that’s a surefire way to fail! If you burn 1200 calories in a day, you need to be consuming at least that many so your body has everything it needs to build up your muscle and endurance.
Second, to promote your weight loss goal while training, you need to mix things up while perfecting your running. This means that, instead of steady state running every day, you will only do one long run each week and then do interval running every other day of the week. In this way, you’ll still be clocking in the mileage while your body struggles to get used to a routine, leading to weight loss.