This may be a sensitive topic for some but one that should be addressed. There are more runners than ever before, yet the aggregate times in races have been steadily declining. This is partly because we as Americans are getting bigger and bigger. For those that are looking to improve their time, it is important to examine how weight plays a part.
As an illustration, Imagine if ten minutes before the start some one asked a runner to carry a 30 pound pack the entire distance.. This alone could cost a person about 20-30 minutes. Besides energy it also takes more strenght to carry extra weight. Energy that could of been used to run faster.
1Some marathons programs promote not lose any weight during their program. They make the claim the food is needed to keep your energy levels up. They even encourage to eat during the run. They neglect the fact the body actually has all the energy that is needed. The goal is to tap into that energy. Training for a marathon is a terrific opportunity to increase ones overall health and fitness. There is not any downside to shedding those few extra pounds while getting in shape. Lets face it. Some of us had those pounds precisely because we are not as in shape as we could be.
I am not in favor of going on a major diet at the same time your are in full training. However, if you are truly eating properly with healthy foods then you will naturally drop unnecessary weight and settle on the weight that is right for you.
The diet industry is a large industry in the US. An industry that is growing every year. Ironically the average American weight has been steadily climbing in the same time frame. This is simply because of the fact that people consume to many calories. For example if one burns 2000 calories a day, yet consume 2500-3000 calories a day you will gain weight.
It is all straightforward math. By increase your activity level to 2500 calories a day and then eating 2000 calories, then you will lose weight over a period of time. Eating healthy is the simplest way to lose weight. This means three meals a day. Breakfast is the most important of these meals. There should be fruit in at least two of the meals. For those where diets are a challenge there are a couple of tricks that work. One easy trick is to drink a large glass of water before the meal. It takes a bit of time for the stomach to register that it is full. So take your time eating. As a measure if you are done with the majority of your meal in ten minutes then you are eating way to fast. Slow down. Mkae sure to chew longer and to take breaks before bites.
Try to avoid processed foods. Minimize or eliminate snacks before meals. Make sure your alcohol intake is light.
During training runs avoid loading up on the energy drinks and energy bars. Drinking in moderation encouraged, but keep in mind the point of the workout is to deplete your energy. With the exception of those prone to low-blood sugar, stay away from all energy supplements during a workout. Your body has more than enough reserves to get through the workout.