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Training for a Half-Marathon while losing weight?

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I am an 18 year old female looking to run a half-marathon.  I have recently been on my high-school soccer team (this is what inspirired my love of running).  Summer is comming up, and the soccer season is comming to a close.  I want to continue to lose weight, while running, and I thought having a motivator (such as a half-marathon) would help quite a bit. 

My question is:  Do I have to eat differently while training for a half-marathon, and will this affect my weight-loss what-so-ever?  Should I postpone my goal of running a half-marathon until after my weight-loss goal is reached, or should I combine the two goals, and hope to achieve them together?

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I never recommend trying to lose weight while training for a marathon or even half.  They really don't mesh together and could set you up for injury and/or illness... but it can be done. Ultimately, losing the weight BEFORE you start to train is optimal.

I have competed in over 12 marathons, 15 halfs, 4 tri's,  and countless 5k's...I cannot imagine going on a defecit during training.

Nutrition is critical while training for a marathon or half marathon. Carbs, carbs, carbs! If you are on a low carb diet, then STOP. Carbohydrates provide the fuel for runners. Load up!
Examples of good carbs are...Potatoes, yams, beans, peas, wheat bread, bananas, macaroni, spaghetti, cereal, raisins, apples, bagels, syrup, brown rice, corn, apples, carrots, root vegetables and good proteins are...Low fat milk, beans, green peas, lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, tofu and soy products.

A great resource for you to have is Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners.  You will benefit greatly from it!

Best of luck!

I don't think I lost a lot of weight when I trained for my first half marathon.  I went the 5K, 10K, then half marathon route.  What I did do was switch to eating 5 times a day.  I practiced portion control, and other than that, I didn't watch what I ate too much.  This got me from the 235 range down to the 205-ish range, where I plateued for a couple of months.

If you are going to be a runner, then you need to transition from thinking of food as nutrients to food as fuel.  Eat good wholesome foods like fitness girl sez to fuel your workout, then eat and drink properly afterwords to recover optimally.

I am living proof you can lose weight on the way to a marathon and beyond.  I have never been injured.  I always listen to my body and never push myself when I am tired or sore.  I also did the run/walk thing all the way through my first marathon.

You can do this...  Good luck!

I would think that training for a 1/2 marathon would be the perfect way to shed some unwanted pounds.  Eat to fuel your runs but keep a reasonable daily deficit until you reach your goal weight.

I did a half marathon in the fall while trying to lose weight and it was tough. I maintained more than lost. It was difficult because you definitely have to eat differently, especially on the long run days. I would eat a hearty breakfast, wait and hour then run. Later on in the day I was always soo hungry. It was difficult to stick to a good eating plan.

One thing that helped me a little was bringing raisins on the long runs with me. It would give me energy plus I wouldn't be so hungry when I got back. Good luck with running! I also play soccer (well played) and when my college career ended, I needed something to keep me going. This definitely helps!

Good Advice from Runner's World on this subject,7120,s6-242-304--13089-0,00.h tml

Thanks everyone!  I thinm I'm just going to continue running, maybe work my mile up to a faster time, and then once I get another 20 pounds down, sign up for a half-marathon (or maybe a 5k to stat with, who knows).

6 Replies