running but have put on weight!!

help! :(

4 messages
21/05/2012 at 20:28

I have been running since last October, I do 5-7k about 3 or 4 times a week. Im just a bit concerned as I seem to have put on nearly a stone since i started! Dont get me wrong, i was underweight and needed to put on weight but im worried that i will continue to get heavier! i know of the saying 'muscle weighs more than fat' and I have noticed that my thighs & bum etc are more toned but does muscle really weigh that much and if it does would i have toned up that much in 8 months? p.s. my diet is fairly healthy so I dont think its due to a bad diet!

21/05/2012 at 20:40
I've put on a little weight since I started running. I run an average of 55 miles per week and was slightly underweight before starting. I am convinced that this weight came about from:

- increased metabolism / feeling Hungrier
- ensuring I fuel my body properly before and after running
- internally justifiying to myself that I can have that biscuit or piece of chocolate because I'll burn it off later (yes - we all fall for that)

And maybe 1% due to muscle mass.

So in my case I am eating a little bit more than I need to if I wanted to maintain my weight.
22/05/2012 at 10:13

Hi FluffySue. Weight is not a good measurement for aspiring runners. The primary target should be achieving a body fat percentage which reflects limited fat and maximum muscle to achieve your athletic (and other?) ambitions!

Use a body composition monitor once a day when you wake, after you've had a pee but before you take a drink. Repeat every day and you will have a meaningful trend that can motivate/ guide your training efforts.

This will help you understand what the significance of your weight is.  For example, if I gain 2kgs but my body fat changes from 10 to 12%, I know I'm in trouble.

But if I see I have put on 2kgs and my body fat % has gone from 10 down to 8%, then I know that I am becoming much more muscley and lean and this will make a significant contribution to running faster. Having done this for maybe 5 years, i don't really care about my weight. I just watch the BF trend. You can buy such devices for as little as 30-35 quid if you look around. I use an Omron device but there are plenty different ones out there.

Good luck, TD.

26/05/2012 at 12:29

Sue, you should be able to tell without any fancy bodyfat scales etc if your weight gain is mostly muscle or mostly fat just by looking in the mirror or trying to 'pinch an inch'. If you were underweight to begin with then you could easily go up a clothes size with muscle gain and no new fat. if your diet is healthy then your weight gain should level out in time and you should stay at your new healthier weight. If you continue to gain weight then maybe then it'll be time to reassess your diet and cut down on the calories a bit.

If you were significantly underweight before you started exercising and the exercise encouraged you to eat a better diet then yes, you could definitely have toned up and gained a stone of mostly muscle in just 8 months. But don't worry, you won't continue to gain muscle indefinitely and end up looking like a female Arnie, that just won't happen!

Out of interest, what is your height/weight anyway?


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