Sunday, February 15, 2009

Week 6 of Training

I'm not sure if we are in week 5 or 6. In any case, we accomplished 11 miles today and are well on our way to be ready for the half-marathon race in March. We may even do an additional one in April. While Nick and I lost weight while training for our 2nd marathon (as we hope to for this itty bitty half), that wasn't the case for the first marathon. In fact, I gained five pounds with the first. At the time, I blamed it on Nick's pecan waffles. I was pretty fit already and I just wanted to do the marathon to keep fit and check it off of my "to do" list. I kind of beat myself up for gaining that five pounds. I mean, how in the world does someone gain 5 pounds training for a marathon? Come to find out, the body will cause you to retain water to accomodate the intense work outs! Who knew?! I was beating myself up for nothing. Find an excerpt from a Spark People article below:

It's true that many people either gain a little weight or don't see any change on the scale for as long as 4-6 weeks after making a significant change in their level of exercise. This is often explained as "gaining muscle while losing fat" but that isn't quite accurate. This extra weight is usually water.

When you start doing more exercise, your body begins storing more fuel in your muscle cells, where it can be used easily and quickly to fuel your workouts. The process of converting glucose (carbohydrates) into fuel that your muscles actually store and use (glycogen) requires three molecules of water for every molecule of glucose. As your muscles are building up glycogen stores, your body has to retain extra water for this purpose. That's what causes most of the initial weight gain or lack of weight loss. This is a good thing—not something to worry about.

However, despite what the scale says, you are actually losing fat during this time. The extra water retention will stop once your body has adjusted to its new activity level. At that point, the scale should start moving down. You'll end up with less fat, and muscles that can handle a larger amount of work.

Written by Dean Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer

You learn something new everyday. I've noticed the same with this new workout schedule. I'm retaining a little extra water right now as my body adjusts to running for two plus hours again. It takes a lot of will power to get through it. It takes a toll on the body. It only makes sense that the body will keep water in reserves.

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