Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crap No One Tells You About Running: #7

Are you sitting down? I hope you're sitting down. Because I just found out the crappiest of crappy things nobody told me about running: Training for a marathon may actually be a lousy way to lose weight.

Quick question. Can you actually hear my belly fat cackling or is it just me?

Now, I'm no nutritionist (and quite frankly while reading the offending article I got vertigo and my ears started to ring), but here's the problem as I understand it: all those long runs I was hoping would help whittle my middle straight down to my goal weight may actually just turn my body into an efficient machine. Or to put it another way: if I want to lose those last twenty pounds, my body needs to burn through calories like a Hummer tears through gas, but heavy training may make a Prius out of me.

So what have we learned this week? Training may cost me my toe nails, but the spare tire I can keep? This just keeps getting better and better.*

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, and independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run at www.firstgiving.com/runforgrub.

* Complaining aside, I have to say that even if I run the hundreds of miles in store for me and stay at the exact same weight I am today, the training actually DOES keep getting better and better. This weekend the fundraising efforts of the friends of Run for Grub reached a total that will lock in two of the four scholarships we're aiming to fund. Suddenly lost toe nails and a little retained belly flab seem like such small prices to pay.


  1. Sarah always bemoaned the fact that if you run a marathon you can expect to lose two pounds. That's not counting water weight, etc. Two pounds? The good news is that as you keep running and eating right, your metabolism does keep churning and weight you do lose stays off. Keep at it Cathy!

  2. I know this of course, but talk about the perfect word choice: bemoan is right!

    The good news is that I now have a keen motivation to do a little interval training. On my short run days. Today's a medium run day, but tomorrow? Hills! Hills! Hills! And by hills I mean the same hill. Over and over and over. :)