I get asked all the top how to stay lean for marathon training. I’ve been on both spectrums. I am no pro but have learned some from experience.
Here are just a few tips:
1. Interval training: this is going to help no matter what you’re training for. Add some speed or strides. You’re body needs to stay challenged.
2. Change things up. Cross training is a game changer!! Lift weights, yoga, HIIT workouts, cycle, etc. Your muscles adapt to running so working other muscles will keep you more fit, as well as sharpen your running form and make you faster.
3. Increase your protein! Preserve that lean muscle. This will keep you satiated and it’s great for helping recover after runs and workouts!
4. You run one long run a week and burn all the calories. That does not give you a free pass the rest of the week to eat more carbs. This does however mean you need to eat ENOUGH to keep your body recovered all week. Remember, calories in vs calories out.
Side note: eating enough means your body will not burn the muscle for energy.
5. I make sure I drink BCAAs, electrolytes, and keep fired up from a good preworkout. Hydration is KEY.
6. Sleep. Your body needs to recover.
7. Every run has a purpose. A plan is always good to follow because it reminds you to keep some runs easy and some runs a little harder. It also forces you to have a rest day. This structure aids in keeping you healthy, mentally and physically.
Hope these help! Running is a lot more that just a daily run. Stretch, hydrate, workout, run, strengthen, sleep, repeat.
What has helped you??
3 thoughts on “Tips On How to Stay Lean While Marathon Training”
Great list. I definitely agree with the strength training and interval runs! I honestly think marathon training is just not optimal for my body type. When I do what I am doing now–running shorter, lots of intervals and mixing it up, I am WAY leaner than when I am training for something long and putting in lots of miles. I found that my body was much softer after marathon training, despite all my strength training and yoga. Now that my mileage is about a third of what it was, I’m much more toned! It’s an interesting process for sure!
Excellent post. I usually advise clients from marathoning and trying to lose weight at the same time because it can be tricky to balance the intense hunger, high stress levels on the body and weight loss. All your tips should help keep a fit person in line! I would add stay hydrated 24/7!! Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. Ahhh I can not wait to be in marathon training again this summer and fall!!
Great tips, thanks for sharing!