There’s a reason why marathon runners are so thin but you’re not despite tons of long running sessions.
And it’s not as though you keep eating like a football player.
You’re actually watching what you eat and don’t feel that you’re overdoing it much.
Besides, you’ve read that marathon runners eat tons of carbs anyways, so even if you ARE over-indulging often, why-oh-why aren’t you skinny like these athletes?
Regular People and Marathon Runners
You can’t compare a marathon athlete’s training to what you do for an hour on a treadmill or along the streets in your neighborhood.
Even if your running is for at least one hour each session, even two hours, you still cannot compare yourself to the very thin athletes you’ve seen on TV or in Google Images.
Marathon competitors run at least 10 miles most days of the week.
Training schedules vary. Some go for 15 and even 20 miles.
And it’s not a “weight loss” pace. It’s at a “I’ve got to win that 26 mile race” pace.
How many miles are you logging weekly? Now some avid joggers and runners – who do not train for marathons – do cover 10 miles nearly every day.
That’s a LOT for the non-athlete, but even five miles a day is a generous amount of running.
So if you’re been faithfully covering at least five miles a day, rather than 10 or 15, shouldn’t you still be pretty skinny? Not necessarily.
How do you run?
If you were training to win a marathon, you wouldn’t be running the same way you would for just weight loss.
There’s a reason why marathon runners, while in competition, often look like they’re in pain.
It’s because they’re pushing their bodies to the limits over a long distance.
They TRAIN this way, too, for many of their runs. It’s not about merely covering 15 miles. It’s about covering it in as short a time as possible.
On other days, the focus might be that of covering varying terrain or meditation during the run, and not so much breaking last week’s 15-mile record.
Nevertheless, they push their limits during their training.
Is this what you’re doing to lose weight? It might seem like it, but truly pushing the limits means that you’re trying to shorten your time with each long run – and knocking yourself out in the process.
This is not how most people, who run primarily for weight loss, operate.
And nobody can blame them, because marathon training is brutal. It’s the only way to be considered an elite marathoner, let alone finish in the top three in many races.
Another consideration is that those who make it to the top ranks in marathons may be genetically prone to having a very thin build in the first place – which is why running very long distances feels natural to them.
Running IS Effective for Weight Loss
But don’t give up. Many people have lost significant amounts of weight once they took up non-competitive running.
But if you want a marathon runner’s body, you’re going to have to live the lifestyle of a marathoner – and even then, that’s no guarantee.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer for Bally Total Fitness.