T Nation

Marathon Training vs. Skinny/Fat

(from cell phone short n sweet). I recently began training for my first ever marathon… Some running background and already ramping up the miles. My fear = becoming skinny fat. Im (relatively) pretty strong and decent physique, but i dont want to train myself down to “twig status.” any tips here?

I get the two horse one a** analogy but am hoping to stave off catabolism as much as possible against the side effects of long distance training.

What are the best lifts to keep on board? The big 3?

I’ve never had a problem losing weight running marathons or ultras, always stayed at 70", 195# or so. When running a lot, my money makers are deadlifts and presses (whatever sort of press). Squatting seems to interfere with the running a lot more than deadlifts, but is definitely something you could still do once a week.

If you’re training properly, you won’t turn skinny fat, but may lose a few pounds. If you’re goal is to run a marathon, then a little weight loss should be worth it. Good luck, it’s really a great experience.

why you training for a marathon? whats your running background?

yeah Tee, we need much more running history and food/lifting habits…

I work with Meb Keflezighi and the other elites so let us know, then I will

chime in with more info based on your info : )

Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”.

I agree with JC.

Why do you want to run a marathon?

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[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:
Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”. [/quote]

No.

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:
Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”. [/quote]

No.[/quote]

Do you think your funny that you provide a one work response to a statement?

Well, your not.

tweet

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:
Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”. [/quote]

No.[/quote]

Do you think your funny that you provide a one work response to a statement?

Well, your not.

tweet[/quote]

I wasn’t trying to be funny, I just found that literally everything in that statement is incorrect.

-Not all marathoners are twigs. By doing a marathon, you won’t wither away unless you train to.

-An advanced marathon training plan would put you at 100 miles a week. A normal one could be as low as 30-40.

-If it’s this guy’s goal to complete a marathon, then let those who have done marathons before help him succeed at that task, rather than having those who, by their writing, seem to be lacking in experience, offer faulty advice.

Also, it’s “you’re.” Not “your.”

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:
Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”. [/quote]

No.[/quote]

Do you think your funny that you provide a one work response to a statement?

Well, your not.

tweet[/quote]

I wasn’t trying to be funny, I just found that literally everything in that statement is incorrect.

-Not all marathoners are twigs. By doing a marathon, you won’t wither away unless you train to.

-An advanced marathon training plan would put you at 100 miles a week. A normal one could be as low as 30-40.

-If it’s this guy’s goal to complete a marathon, then let those who have done marathons before help him succeed at that task, rather than having those who, by their writing, seem to be lacking in experience, offer faulty advice.

Also, it’s “you’re.” Not “your.”
[/quote]

^ x2

JC’s comment is just full of fail. He can run a marathon if he wants to. If he wants to become a marathoner, then it’s a whole different ball game,

100 miles a week, yeah right.

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]bigquig wrote:

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:
Run 5ks if you dont wanna be a twig. A marathon is just too long, if you want to train for it you have to run 100 miles or more a week and then you becoming skinny is a must. Its just not a good thing to do if you honestly fear being a twig. Its like saying “I wanna eat at KFC 5 times a day but I’m afraid of getting fat”. [/quote]

No.[/quote]

Do you think your funny that you provide a one work response to a statement?

Well, your not.

tweet[/quote]

I wasn’t trying to be funny, I just found that literally everything in that statement is incorrect.

-Not all marathoners are twigs. By doing a marathon, you won’t wither away unless you train to.

-An advanced marathon training plan would put you at 100 miles a week. A normal one could be as low as 30-40.

-If it’s this guy’s goal to complete a marathon, then let those who have done marathons before help him succeed at that task, rather than having those who, by their writing, seem to be lacking in experience, offer faulty advice.

Also, it’s “you’re.” Not “your.”
[/quote]

No.

tweet

I think the idea that training for one marathon will make you skinny is incorrect.

I did a half-marathon last December and lost maybe 5 pounds over the two months I trained (about 20 miles a week)

depends on your mileage and diet… also, are your actually racing the marathon, or just like the 90% that enter marathons, just trying to survive the distance… you wanting to race it and be competitive, you better SLOWLY build up to your target mileage, then do the proper training once you are there…

my advice to a weekend warrior that all of a sudden wants to run a marathon, is dont. if you are not a former runner, stick to a 5k if you want to enter a race… you’ll probably end up getting hurt, like most do, cramming in the miles…

if you are a runner, buld up the correct way…

im not nearly running that distance, but i have worked my way from being able to barely run 1 mile to closing in on 10. I try and keep my running to every other day at the most, usually only 3 times a week, as im focusing on cardio alot right now, heres some things that have helped me get up to distance and i havent had any knee pain/hip or whatnot and im actually a pretty injured guy and weigh 230 or so so im not light by any means.

Get a few pairs of shoes, i like one pair to wear during the day just at work w/e, then i like two pairs for every other day exercise, switching between the two really keeps the cushion decompressed and gives full support. This shit helps!

Fish oil, MSN, Glucosamine, these supplements have really helped all my joints, there the only thing i take.

Roll the fuck outta ur it bands, hams, glutes, and hips, stay mobile.

Do gym exercises that reinforce knee/hip/glute stabilization like split squats, reverse lunges in addition to the normal squats and deads.

DOnt try to run max distance every time, switch between speed days with moderate distance, long days and even just light moderate recovery days, you dont need to kill it every time to see slow steady progression.

Try to run on trails/non pavement, for the less impact. Also i find trails are alot harder so when i go for a pavement distance run after doing trails alot it always feels alot easier and faster.

hope some of that is applicable :slight_smile:

I’m 250 and have luckily not had any knee pain associated from running that I can tell. I actually find that if I go too long without cardio my knees feel more beaten up, or tired and creaky.

One thing I learned about running later that I wish I knew earlier was to take walk breaks. You could walk 2 minutes after every 10 of running, or 5 minutes after 30 or whatever and it is so refreshing and the parts after the break will feel better and likely be better times too.

Becoming skinny fat has to do with macro nutrient partitioning and timing.

Without being too bro-sciency.

I have found that most marathon runners who look like fucking garbage tend to eat an extremely high carbohydrate diet, with fairly LOW protein. Hence the catabolism.

Keep the protein high, fats low, and carbs medium to high depending on the work of the day. If you were lifting heavy it would be different.

Just my .02

I have done some marathon training and didn’t lose weight. I was uber-careful with diet and weight training, but it really wasn’t hard. I mixed it up with a long run once or twice a week, sprinting once a week, and swimming once a week (plus weight training on top of this). Quite honestly I found it much less satisfying than more high intensity conditioning… after you can easily run 10 - 13 miles, it’s really not that big a difference to go the whole marathon. Then again, I find long distance training fairly boring. I’m was a slow runner when I started training, but once I ran a 7:45 mile in a half marathon I felt like I’d already proven to myself that I could do it.

I’m relatively goal-focused in training, and beating your PR per average mile run is only fun until you wreck your foot, your knee, or your hip. Marathon training can be easy injury territory - I had a nasty foot injury from stepping in a pothole during a 15K race. Not fun to limp first thing in the morning when you get out of bed.

If you want to compete, there are other choices that are more HIIT focused or fun like the Tough Mudder or an Olympic Triathalon. That type of training beats the pants off most running-only folks… just my two cents.

[quote]ZenFitness wrote:
I have done some marathon training and didn’t lose weight. I was uber-careful with diet and weight training, but it really wasn’t hard. I mixed it up with a long run once or twice a week, sprinting once a week, and swimming once a week (plus weight training on top of this). Quite honestly I found it much less satisfying than more high intensity conditioning… after you can easily run 10 - 13 miles, it’s really not that big a difference to go the whole marathon. Then again, I find long distance training fairly boring. I’m was a slow runner when I started training, but once I ran a 7:45 mile in a half marathon I felt like I’d already proven to myself that I could do it.

I’m relatively goal-focused in training, and beating your PR per average mile run is only fun until you wreck your foot, your knee, or your hip. Marathon training can be easy injury territory - I had a nasty foot injury from stepping in a pothole during a 15K race. Not fun to limp first thing in the morning when you get out of bed.

If you want to compete, there are other choices that are more HIIT focused or fun like the Tough Mudder or an Olympic Triathalon. That type of training beats the pants off most running-only folks… just my two cents.[/quote]

this is solid insight/advice

I don’t see why it would turn you into a twig?

Even if you run for 7-9 hours a week, thats like 5% of your week. Do you really think your body is going to ditch all of your muscle for that?

I don’t think people really lose weight until they hit the 6:30 per mile barrier. I do think your max lifts will go down but only while your doing all those miles per week. They will probably creep back up once your body acclimates. I would be careful lifting though. Not sure how much your doing but a lot of leg work combined with that much mileage can be a recipe for disaster, if your lucky it’ll just make improving your speed over distance non-existent.