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I started running in 2006 with half marathons. Then moved up to full marathons. Now I am training for my first 50miler in February. Over the course of my running journey I went from 245 pounds and now I weigh 148 pounds (female, 5 foot 3).
I keep track of all my food/calorie intake and I can't seem to lose the last 20 pounds that I feel I need to shed to get quicker. Right now I run a 12:38 mile and I would like to get down to a 10 minute mile. I have a personal trainer that I am weight training with and when I started with him I was at 30% body fat and now I am at 26% body fat, so I know I still need to lose some weight to get lean.
My question is, how many calories should I be eating (or not eating?) for example... on average week, with training run totals of about 40 miles, (I'm in the beginning of my ultra training schedule)....I have an average calorie consumption of 1,646 calories (granted I do have days where I consume 2600 calories when I have a 15++ training run), but on average I am in the 1600-1700 range daily.
According to my HR monitor, I use up more calories than I give myself credit for, because I feel like I'm slower than an actual "runner". So, on average, I burn about 500 calories a day.
With all that said... I can't figure out why I'm not losing weight? Am I eating too little, too much? I have a pretty good healthy diet, it's 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat. I eat healthy. I was vegan, then vegetarian and I've just recently started to introduce lean meats back into my diet, because my nutritionist told me that I was not getting enough protein. As a side note, I did ask the nutritionist all this and she said that I should be gaining weight, not losing it... so I was hoping some other runners might be able to give me some advice?
Thank you all for your help!
Well I'm about the same size as you so I feel your pain. I wish I had the answer. Funny thing is that the more I run, the more I weigh. One may have nothing to do with the other - it may just be because I am getting older. But all I know is that when I was in my early 30's before I started running I weighed 25 lbs less than I do now! I've run all through my 40's and I'm at my heaviest weight ever. But in spite of my weight, I do run a little over 10 minute miles.
Here's what I don't get: you didn't say your age, but just going by your size - same as mine - your basic calorie requirements per day should be about 1800 on the conservative side. If you run 40 miles/week that would average almost 6 miles/day. So let's just say you are burning *conservatively* an extra 500 calories a day. If you are eating 1600 calories/day you should be in a daily deficit of 700 calories/day which should equal 2 lbs loss every 10 days or so. But you're not losing!
And you know what, I just don't get it because my numbers don't add up either. My mileage has topped out at 35/week and even watching my diet I gained or stayed the same. And yes, like you, I do resistance training to build muscle. You know all that about more muscle tissue means you burn more calories overall? Whatever! I'm not seeing it!
I CAN lose weight if I go to 1200 calories. But that is really hard to sustain when I run or work out every day. I guess I'm whining here, but it just HARD and I hate having to use so much discipline to restrict my eating when I'm really hungry from running or training.
If you get a good answer, I'd like to hear it too. But at least know you're not the only one. I am totally there with you! Good luck on your training....
Thanks for replying. I'm 25, I'll be 26 in July so I'm hoping it's not an age thing yet!!
I noticed you said you are about the same size as me and you are running a 10 minute mile? Have you always run a 10 minute mile or are you slower now that you've gained weight?
I totally agree with you on everything you said. I just don't understand what is up! I noticed that if I don't exercise, and I just keep my calories at 1200 a day I drop the weight really fast. So I'm thinking once I complete my 50 miler I may just take a month off and focus completely on the weight loss.
Thank you for posting, and feel free to complain about it anytime lol. I totally understand.
A couple of things that may help:
You need to eat several times a day to keep your metabolism moving, only eating once or twice will slow it down. I am a 50 year old male, when I run 35 mpw or less i stay the same wt. When my mpw are 40-60 I lose wt very easy (more than I want). My guess is when your miles go up for your 50 miler your wt will drop. Eat more small meals to kick your metabolism in. Good luck some additional WT will be good for you in your 50 miler.
First to answer your question about pace, yes I have slowed down over the years. I have never been fast - ever - I'm just not built that way. But 15 years ago I ran an average 9:00 min/mile and today I run an average 10:15 min/mile. So my average pace has slowed down more than a minute in a decade and a half. It may have as much to do with getting older as it does with gaining weight.
I have thought the same thing as you, that maybe I need to take a couple of months off from running and focus on the 1200 calorie diet. I notice on days I don't run 1200 calories isn't too hard to do. It does require some willpower to count the calories and stay on track (no mindless snacking and such) but I'm not overly hungry. When I'm running - and I am running just half of what you're doing - I feel like gnawing off my arm sometimes if I try to stay at 1200 calories! (And strength training makes me just as hungry, maybe even more so.)
I can't even relate to the mileage you're running with the ultra. I'm no expert, but I'd think that cutting calories is NOT a good thing when you are putting in miles like that. And although extra weight along for the ride may slow you down, it also gives you some fuel reserves. Maybe someone who is an expert in long distance running can tell you more about that - I really don't know.
I don't know the right nutritions, I just heard a friend talking about a friend who will never lose those 20 pounds, because she is not willing to commit - by changing her diet. I don't know how much your nutritionist knows about a runner's diet, but I am sure an expert can tell you how to pick the right food.
As far as I know it is not just a question about kcals, but about the kind of food you eat.
Did you ever try high impact intervals where you would speed up as close to your max. heart rate as you can get for 30 secs (no longer!) and continue after the 30secs on your normal path and after 5 mins again an interval and so on? The intervals are said to melt the fat.
One should run with intervals during 1 workout per week.
I too can never seem to lose those extra pounds, no matter what I do. Even when I reduce my calories down to 1200/day (of course doing that makes it near impossible for me to run any kind of distance.) For me, I'm sure it's part age (35) and part diet as I do enjoy carbs way too much. But I think the other thing to consider is that muscle does weigh more than fat and the more muscle you are building the more weight you will put on. The important thing to look at is do you your clothes fit differently? When you stop running you lose weight because you are losing some of the muscle. As far as your speed goes, I think that is just something you will either build over time or not. I'm not a fast runner at all (10 min miles) but my personal philosophy has always been distance over speed. Good luck to you and I think it's great that you are doing an ultra!!!!