Post marathon weight gain

While preparing for my first marathon I read a lot of articles.  Everything from strategy to tapering.  Training to resting.  But I realize I didn’t read much about issues after the marathon.

Specifically physical and mental issues that are consequences of training so hard for 4 months and then suddenly stopping.  Maybe I’m alone in this, but I wasn’t prepared.

In training for my marathon I had to eat.  I had to eat quite a lot.  That wasn’t a problem for me.  I love to eat!  That is probably the reason I weighed 278 lbs two years ago.  So marathon prep was a license to do what I wanted to without consequence… Or so I thought.

Now, 10 days removed from that once in a lifetime first marathon, I’m still eating.  Not a lot, but more than I should.  It is almost like all the bad habits I lost over the past couple of years are creeping back in my direction.

So 3 lbs isn’t a lot and I really am not that worried, but it is amazing how the things you need to do in preparing for a marathon are not necessarily good for you after it is all over.  On top of that, I really want to lose 10 – 15 more pounds now that I don’t need all those carbs for running.

Anyway, I just wanted to put this “out there” for other foodies that are training for a Fall marathon to be careful after it is over.

Another option is to start training for another marathon.  I may be doing this into old age just to stay thin.  🙂

15 thoughts on “Post marathon weight gain

    • Right there with you. Considering I haven’t been able to run over 3 miles a day in the past week, a 5K sounds more reasonable. Good luck with you half this weekend. I wish I could be there to watch. 🙂

  1. I have the same issue. But I deal with it by making small changes to the diet (like maybe not eating handfuls of gummy bears at 9pm every night) and keep running. I add in more cross training (more time on my rower) to make up for less miles on the road. But basically – I keep training.

    • Good ideas. Darn, no more gummy bears? 🙂 I have to take off a week starting Friday which has brought on my current panic, especially after I stepped on the scale this morning. I’m glad I’m not the only one. It was just something I hadn’t thought about before. Old habits are hard to break!

  2. I’ve read that you should continue eating like you normally did before the race. Even though you aren’t running as much, you’re body is still super fit and burning a lot of calories

  3. HI Tom-
    I love reading your posts. I love my training, long runs, endorphin highs, etc. that as I am about to begin my taper now and so excited to run the BOA Marathon in 3 short weeks that I also worry about what next! I am not a winter runner & typically do videos in my basement putting on a few unnecessary lbs., which always make me feel sluggish. I’ve never found anything as amazing as marathon training to keep me going & in such good shape in the winter. I also tend to get a bit sad, as I never have the endorphin highs that I do in the summer when I’m running long. There’s NOTHING like running. However, Tom, if you find it- please share. I’ll jump aboard & endlessley thank you for finding it for me & so many others!

    • Have an awesome marathon!!! I’m the opposite because of where I live. The winters are fairly mild and the summers are hot. I’m looking forward to the afternoon winter runs in 50 degree weather. It has been such a long hot summer here. Thank you or your encouragement. If I ever figure out how to replace the “high” of running, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂


  4. Post marathon weight gain is pretty normal. 3 pounds isn’t going to kill anyone.
    The first week after a marathon you’re eating almost as much as the week before, just for recovery purposes. You’re body needs it, and you’re also physiologically used to the intake. Week after ‘the week after’ you should start tapering your food intake down to a ‘pre-training’ level, and reducing your carbs. The first three-four weeks after the marathon you’re constantly chasing a moving target as your body heals and your running increases back from zero to something like a ‘regular’ running schedule.
    Once you get back into running a regularly weekly schedule then I think you can start to focus on weight loss and managing your carb intake as you’ll have a ‘steady’ platform to work from.
    And one thing I noticed about this post which I think is great – you didn’t ‘care’ about the weight gain. You saw it, figured out the reason, and what you wanted to do about it. That struck me as someone who has command over their body and their eating, and is comfortable with how they are managing it. Without knowing you (so sorry if I have this completely wrong and I’m speaking from out of my behind), it strikes me this means you have ‘made the change’ and 278 is no longer possible for you. You swing the other way and the other way is only up.
    Oh, and BTW, I saw your post-marathon pictures. If I look that good 2 minutes after the finish line when I’m almost 50 I’ll be bloody pleased. Keep it up!

    • Great information. Thanks for the nice words. It really is hard to keep a balance in life. I hope I’m finding mine. It sound like from your comment I might be moving in the right direction anyway!!!! Thanks!


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