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How to Lose Weight whilst Marathon Training

One of the questions I get asked most often this time of year is how to lose weight whilst marathon training.  Its spring marathon training season. And as well as getting ready for your next 26.2, you’re also looking to lose a few of those Christmas pounds that have left you feeling a bit soggy.  It’s a question I dread, because I can’t truly give you the answer you want to hear:

Its not going to be easy because you need to run a lot. Running a lot gives you such a big appetite making difficult to lose weight. Most fitness professionals will tell you that if you really want to lose weight, then long distance running isn’t the answer, and you’ve probably seen images like this to show you how detrimental long distance running can be for your body.


The truth is, I have succeeded losing weight whilst marathon training. It took a lot of discipline, but if there is one thing that marathon training and weight loss have in common it is the requirement for discipline.  So, I found doing the two together was actually really effective.

My methods are not for everyone, but if you really want to get leaner (and it will help you run faster) here’s what you need to do:



  1. Have a laser focus on nutrition. Get really disciplined – identify your kryptonite foods and get them out of your house. Instead have lots of options for healthy snacks for when you get the RUNger.  In addition, don’t deprive yourself. Make sure you get extra carbs around long runs for example find out more with the marathon nutrition guide HERE
  2. Do strength work 3-4 times a week – short but intense sessions – these can either be HIIT Classes, or the workouts from my Kettlebell Training course.  This is really difficult to schedule when you are in marathon training, but you need some workouts that will encourage you to build muscle, as a lot of your running will encourage muscle wastage.
  3. PROTEIN – Protein becomes your friend, but the timing of the consumption is REALLY important – immediately after each workout and as your snacks – this can be yoghurt, eggs, protein powder.
  4. Monitor tiredness– if you’re too exhausted, eat more (try to keep it clean) and take the foot of the gas in regards discipline for a few days, and instead take care of getting enough sleep, rather than pounding out every mile in your training plan.
  5. Monitor injury risk – if you are getting over tight in the legs from the compounding of running and strength training, do something about it.  Massage, rest day, foam roll. Download this injury prevention guide for more guidance.
  6. RECOVERY – focus on recovery as much as possible. You don’t want to get sick and you’re at high risk of this if you don’t make recovery a priority. One practise that as well as being beneficial for your running physically is my Saturday night Stretch n Roll. It is also very relaxing and will ensure you sleep well around those challenging training session.  Check it out HERE.

If you would like help with your marathon training this spring, why not consider I Run Success coaching? There are just a couple of spaces left for spring marathoners, and you can find out more HERE.

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Angela Isherwood

Angela Isherwood is the founder of I Run Success
She is a REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer, a Run England Running coach, and a multiple marathon runner. She is a London Marathon Good for Age runner, a Boston Marathon Qualifier, a parkrun Run Director and Trainer for Goodgym Colchester.

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