Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Marathon Training Makes Some People Gain Weight

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here
When Mary Kennedy coached a charity team of marathon runners back in 2009, she regularly heard the marathon-weight question. “Several of them would come to me and they would say exactly that: ’I am working out more than I ever have in my entire life. I’m doing this for a lot of reasons, but I really thought I’d look better in my clothes,’” said Kennedy, who is an exercise physiologist at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, a nonprofit research center founded in 2007 by Harvard Medical School and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She conducted a small, simple pilot study, limited to her group of 64 charity runners, comparing their weight before starting the training program to their weight after completing it. About 11 percent of them did lose weight, but just as many gained weight (and of those who gained, 86 percent were women). But for the remaining 78 percent, their weight stayed almost exactly the same, even after three months of running four days a week.

Her results aren’t published yet, but they echo those of a 1989 study in which Danish researchers took 18 months to train a small group of sedentary people — 18 men and nine women — to run a marathon. By race day, the men had lost an average of five pounds. For the women, on the other hand, “no change in body composition was observed,” the researchers write. “This idea that you’re going to run a marathon and the pounds are going to melt away is not realistic,” Kennedy said. She’s currently coaching a group of high-school runners, and she and her co-director have a sad little joke: “You train for the marathon, and then you do the weight-loss program afterward.”
Source: New York Magazine

My name is Sam Yang. I'm a martial artist, entrepreneur, fitness nerd, information geek, and productivity nut. For more useful information, join my newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter. For more philosophical posts, check out Must Triumph

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