I am currently training for my first marathon and i have found it is making my legs TINY from running so often. I have been doing squats and lunges to help build them up but is there any extra advice on ways I can get more effective results?
Also I am currently looking for a marathon to run in October.. any suggestions?
protien shakes - one when you get up - one after a workout and most important one before bed - when you sleep your body is breaking down muscle for food - if you get some protien in you before you sleep it helps protect the muscle
I like the powder from these guys
NYC Marathon Nov 1 2009 - 4:03:13 ( 9:17 mm )
NYC Half Marathon Aug 16 2009 - 1:55:38 ( 8:49 mm )
1 mile - 7:07 10K - 52:58 ( 8:32 mm)
4 mile - 31:35 ( 7:53 mm) 8K - 42:28 ( 8:32 mm)
15K - 1:22:02 ( 8:49 mm)
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You need to BULK up with weighted resistance. Body weight is not enough. You need squats, leg curls, low and heavier rep stuff and whey protein drink immediately following .
Unfortunately, distance running and muscle mass tend not to play too well together. From what I've been able to gather, it seems that as you do more distance running, the body recognizes that it's going to be doing this a lot, so it does what it can to decrease that muscle mass. After all, that muscle is heavy and it doesn't want to lug around all that weight, right? As a result, it goes into a catabolic process (catabolic = breaking down; anabolic = building up), resulting in reduced muscle mass.
Strictly speaking, your body isn't breaking down the muscle for energy (glucose, glycogen, and fat are much more readily accessible energy sources), but it's breaking down the muscle nonetheless.
If you're going to distance run no matter what, your best bet is a holding action. The resistance training and high protein that spicegeek and dg12 recommend are likely to minimize your loss, but it's nearly impossible to increase bulk (anabolic) while doing serious distance work (catabolic).
Of course, I write this as a guy who tries to figure out this nutrition stuff, but I have no formal background. Take it for what it's worth.
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)
Okay I'm going to try to make this quick. Your legs are getting smaller because the muscles are tight, dense, and less fat overall makes them look like running machines. It's completely normal and really most people are thankful their legs are small. But not if it's literally bone like some high school kids. I found my perfect weight for training to be 135. I would hit 134 or so if I didn't remember to stuff myself every day, and I couldn't figure out why I was losing weight. That one pound seemed to hurt my workout quality. Was eating whenever it was possible. Not anything unhealthy, because I live with 2 vegetarians but my older sister eats meat so there's plenty to eat in the freezer. I even tried the whole whey protein thing, it's been doing me some good but I weighed myself after a medium-long 15 miler and I was 130.0 and usually I only lose a max of 3 pounds. I've been doing a lot of strength training and taking two scoops (46g) of whey protein and eating the 4:1 recovery meals, and then two hours later getting a little more like 3:1. My body fat % has gone from 9.1% in early June to 7.0% yesterday. I hardly fluctuate unless I'm lowering my carbs the day before a long run. It's been working for me, I look great and my pace has seen a nice bump in these past 5 weeks even though I've been pounding my body hard with the strength training. Don't do high resistance, though. Aim for 20 squats, and 10-15 reps on anything else with 2-4 sets depending on what your next day's workout is. Make sure you get a nice dose of whey protein after you run. And maybe experiment with smaller doses of creatine so you don't reach the weight gain potential of it but it's helped my friends maintain weight and make their sprint workouts improve since they're not naturally brisk runners.
I'm assuming you're looking to just run one marathon though, because gaining mass is not a good idea for your knees or the longevity of your distance running career. It could happen gradually as you age but it's not something you want to do intentionally.
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