Ok...so I'm taking a huge risk here. I am going to talk about something that I don't understand. I am hoping to not UPSET anyone, but to maybe have someone shine some light on the obsession that is the "half marathon training."
Let's not be confused. I understand what training for a half marathon is. I understand the long runs and the short runs. I understand the process that it takes in order to train for the race. And I also understand the accomplishment factor. I love that there are people that use this as a motivation to do something AMAZING. Something that is difficult. They set a goal and they can check it off of their bucket list.
What I do NOT understand is how many people are trying to use the half marathon as a method for weight loss. It's simply just not enough.
You have NO idea how many clients when talking recently have expressed to me that they are training for a a half marathon. Or they WERE training for a half marathon and they quit at some point. They either had joint pain or they weren't getting the results that they needed.
This is what I mean.
Now before I go any further I have to announce that I LOVE RUNNING. I enjoy it. My own sister hosts a running and/or walking challenge EVERY month. I love the feeling after a great run. The sweat pouring off of my body, and face. The pounding of the pavement under my feet, and the ability to think about whatever I want when I'm out there. I also know that I am done after about 3.5 miles. As a 31 year old woman I can say without ANY bit of sadness that I have NEVER IN MY LIFE ran more than 4 miles straight. EVER. I have never tried or attempted to run more than that, and I have no desire to do more than that at any time in the near future.
This is not because I am afraid to set a goal and not make it. The only thing that stops me from even attempting such a thing is my ability to run and play with my grandchildren when I'm 60 years old. I am afraid of the pounding and wear and tear of my body. I am a HUGE believer in cross training. My definition of cross training is this...exercise A.D.D. Keep your body guessing and continuously trying something new. I may run twice a week and do workout videos the next. I may jump on the bike one day and do a HIIT workout the other days. My limit for the day is 55 minutes. I don't think our bodies were made to do more than that over and over again. I don't think we should require our bodies to do more than that.
If in order to be healthy I have to do more than 2 hours of exercise...I am not happy. And, I don't have that kind of time.
Take a look at the picture below...
To me, this is eye opening in so many ways. You burn around 1300 calories when running a half marathon. WOW. That is amazing and mind blowing all at the same time. The thing that gets me is that the person training for this would have to burn some serious calories as well. But, as a weight loss plan this becomes a problem. 99% of the people that are training this way are burning off their muscle instead of fat. This is why after training for a half marathon I still have people contacting me because their body isn't making it to the results that they want. And, some of the heavier women that go this route end up with a lot of joint pain.
Your body CRAVES muscle. Give it what it wants. And training for a half marathon is not the way to get it.
I am NOT the expert on all things half marathon. Like I said, I have never done one. But, what I do know is that a weight loss plan is best designed around resistance training and diet. Cardio is an added bonus. I know I have shared this picture before and I will share it again because I am obsessed with it.
Again, I truly hope that this post doesn't upset anyone. I am only expressing my opinion on a subject. And like I said, I love the fact that so many people are setting a goal and going after it. My life revolves around setting goals and helping others set goals and reaching them. I am not trying to talk anyone out of what they TRULY want to do. But, if you look at the science behind WEIGHT LOSS the half marathon may not be the perfect fit. It's not just about calories in versus calories out. It's about what you are forcing your body to do and with what kind of energy.
I would love to hear more opinions and ideas on this subject. Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment so we can discuss.