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Marathon Training Side Effects

Marathon Training Is Full of Fun Surprises

With some of the most major marathons of the year just weeks away, first-time marathoners are bound to come across some fun surprises in the final weeks of training. I ran a marathon in 2008 and found all kinds while training. Here, a list of some of my "favorite" unexpected surprises that I'm sure many of you first-time and seasoned marathon runners can relate to:

  • Weight gain With the mileage you're running, it seems counterintuitive that you'll gain, but the amount of muscle you're building (not to mention the amount of food you're eating) is helping to fuel your body for the race. I ran my marathon nearly five pounds heavier than my weight at the beginning of my training.
  • New pants! Along with weight gain came a major change in my legs and hips — they actually got wider! My changing shape meant I could only wear two pairs of jeans during the last month of training; all of my others were too tight!
  • Your closet = running shoe cemetery I went through three pairs of shoes while training, but didn't want to throw them away. . . I was actually emotionally attached! I've since managed to recycle all but the pair I used in the race.
  • Ravenous appetite My co-workers joked that I was always eating, probably because I was! Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, after work snack, dinner, snack. . . it was never ending!

There's more! Check out the rest after the break.

  • Beer cravings A good brew is actually a decent reward for a hard run, but I found myself actually craving the stuff. At least it helped with motivation!
  • Gel packs start to taste good When I started training, I couldn't stand the taste of those overly sweet energy gel packs I took on long runs. By the end, I got especially excited on vanilla bean day.
  • Toenail . . . situations I didn't actually lose toenails during training, but I did after the race. Luckily I knew to expect this, but when it actually happened, it did completely gross me out.

Have you experienced any of the above in your own training? Are there any I forgot? Please share your experiences!

Image Source: Getty
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sonnic34 sonnic34 5 years
I don't think I gained weight during marathon training, but my legs muscles definitely swell up and my jeans are always tight in the legs, nowhere else. As someone else said, my stomach was also more toned. I was always hungry too. Despite all of the above, I still enjoy running marathons!
ameliajc ameliajc 5 years
All true points! Especially about vanilla gel. I run long distances just so I have an excuse to eat that stuff!
Hotlegs-Runner Hotlegs-Runner 5 years
Energy gels are my best friend. And yes, I did gain weight even if I control my eating =(
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
THANK YOU FITSUGAR! I've mentioned on here before that marathon training has left me unable to fit into my pants due to the increase in thigh/butt muscle, only to get the response from other commenters that "women can't gain significant amounts of muscle mass." Which is total BS because anyone who's done it knows that doubling your weekly mileage causes significant changes in your body. Last year when I trained for my first marathon, I gained about 7 lbs. This training cycle, I've actually lost weight, BUT I still cant fit into my pants or fitted skirts. I agree, though, not to let the weight gain scare you. Even though I'm heavier than my pre-marathon training weight and I can't fit into my pants, I definitely look thinner and more toned, so it's not all bad ;)
le-romantique le-romantique 5 years
Now I'm scared to train for my first marathon in February... hahaha thanks for letting me know what to expect :)
lydialee_home lydialee_home 5 years
Thanks for the article - this is so true. I ran about 54 miles per week for marathon training. And despite this high mileage, I still gain weight! Caused I am eating constantly. :) Also, I can never find pants that fit me well. If it fit my waist, the hips and legs area are too tight, if it fit my hips, then the waist is too loose. That's the reason why I wear skirts all the time. :)
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