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I just got back from Afghanistan, and I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon at the end of November. So far I've trained only sporadically, and after going on a very relaxing leave, I went from 185# to 200#. I'm about to start training in earnest, and I've heard that the best way to drop unnecessary weight is a combination of cardio (running, of course) and weight training. I also want to improve muscle mass (to a degree) and tone. What's the best way to go about this? So far (before leave) I've been running between 6 to 12 miles at a time 3-4 times a week and doing no weight training. I'm concerned about getting burned out early or not having enough energy during the day as I almost always run at the very beginning of the day. Any diet suggestions?

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Welcome back, and it sounds like you deserved to take some time off and relax during your leave. Running 6-12 miles several times a week is a great base to start marathon training with. Have you picked a plan yet?

I'd do my weight training on my easy days, and focus more on building lean muscle mass instead of bulk. Core strength will really help with your running. If you incorporate some hill training you'll get a pretty good strength training workout for your legs.

I'm sure others will have much better advice. I tend to find when training, my diet takes care of itself.
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Well, you hit the nail on the head with weight training. Don't focus on power lifting, though. Lean muscle increases your metabolism, so you'll be losing weight as you gain muscle. Add that to the cardio, and I'd say you've got a good plan.
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Welcome Back!!!

glad you had a relaxing leave and are ready to get back to training for a marathon...setting a goal like that should really keep you on a schedule. it does sound like you have really good mileage base to go on though.

i'd go with more hill training and light lifting on days off. speed work once a week really seems to up my metabolism too.

as far as diet, i'd omit all empty calories like beer (sorry) sugar (sorry) and high fatty foods. lots of lean protein with complex carbohydrates and tons of water seem to be what i need when i'm pushing myself.

good luck :wavey:
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Just remember that muscle weighs more then fat. If you truly start building muscle (even lean muscle), your weight will go up --- yet your Body Fat will remain the same or go down.

I gained a ton of weight and drop my BF alot when I got serious about weight training. Running when you are heavier is a totally different ball game.

Elimate all processed carbs. That is my suggestion for your diet! :)
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Thanks for all the advice. This week I think I'll be running about 36-40 miles. Trying like hell to get enough sleep. Also trying to eat right. I should be lifting twice this week- light chest and shoulders tomorrow, and back and bis later this week. Some questions- by processed carbs what do you mean...bread and pasta? Should I get all of my carbs from fruit/vegetables? Also, if I can't have beer, what about gin and tonics?
Thanks- the advice is very well appreciated.
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I'll Also, if I can't have beer, what about gin and tonics?
:LOL: :| i know - drink that low carb beer, you know the watery yellow stuff with bubbles in it! so good :x i suggested omitting alcohol cuz it dehydrates so much..even two beers for me the night before a run will affect my endurance and hydration. beer is just so calorie dense as well and it adds nothing nutritionally to your engine. getting rid of simple carbohydrates is basically getting rid of white bread, white pasta (try whole wheat if you can) all processed sugars (you know, the good stuff: Twinkies, HoHos, Oreos :wink: ) whole wheat and whole grain bread is a great source of energy and you'll need it with 40 miles a week. just think about empty vs valued food more so than limiting calories at this point. you're training so you'll need a certain amount to keep you going, but that "amount" should be nutritionally sound to truly meet your body's needs. i know there are books out there about athletic performance and nutrition---anyone know a good one????
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I've been waiting for the one by Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's coach, to come out. I think it comes out next month. From the reviews I've seen, ti looks good.
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getting rid of simple carbohydrates is basically getting rid of white bread, white pasta (try whole wheat if you can) all processed sugars (you know, the good stuff: Twinkies, HoHos, Oreos
Bingo.
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Make sure for Philly that your quads are in spectacular shape. Most of the course is downhill or flat. Nary a hill to be found. I did upper body and back work for last year's Philly and found it helped a lot. I'll see you there this year!

Rid your diet of processed foods and excess fats. Beer in moderation won't dehydrate or kill you, and it has less calories than Coke; several runners here who routinely win races and place in their age groups have a few a week. I do, too.

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I think the whole key here...in reguards to the alcohol issue...is the word moderation.

Everything I've read or seen suggests that one or two drinks will not hurt you, and in fact could help your. (red wine and dark beer are supposedly the most helpful)

But, you must not have any more than two. If you have a third beverage...you wipe out everything positive and go into the negative, because of dehydration.

Also...if you're trying to lose weight...as suggested before, they are pretty high in calories.

I personally avoid alcohol the day before a tough work-out. And usually for a week before a big race. But that's me.
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Beer in moderation won't dehydrate or kill you, and it has less calories than Coke; several runners here who routinely win races and place in their age groups have a few a week. I do, too.

Who?

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Beer in moderation won't dehydrate or kill you, and it has less calories than Coke; several runners here who routinely win races and place in their age groups have a few a week. I do, too.
Who?

Floridaboiler for one. Not only is he our resident Ultra Winner, but he places in his age group often.

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Beer in moderation won't dehydrate or kill you, and it has less calories than Coke; several runners here who routinely win races and place in their age groups have a few a week. I do, too.
Who?
Floridaboiler for one. Not only is he our resident Ultra Winner, but he places in his age group often.

That's one. You said several routinely win races and place in their age groups and have a few beers a week.

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I think the whole key here...in reguards to the alcohol issue...is the word moderation. Everything I've read or seen suggests that one or two drinks will not hurt you, and in fact could help your. (red wine and dark beer are supposedly the most helpful) But, you must not have any more than two. If you have a third beverage...you wipe out everything positive and go into the negative, because of dehydration. Also...if you're trying to lose weight...as suggested before, they are pretty high in calories. I personally avoid alcohol the day before a tough work-out. And usually for a week before a big race. But that's me.
You're very correct on the 2 vs. 3 beers the night before a workout. I can find no perceivable change in my workouts whether I drink 0, 1 or 2 beers the night before. If I have a 3rd beer as I've done on occasion after a night of mowing in hot weather or whatever, the next days workout is more difficult. My guess would be that truly competitive runners are teetotalers or abstain from alcohol completely.
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