Train Hard For Marathons......But Know When To Back Off

This just in.....if you get "too skinny" because of your workouts, then you're over-training and/or not eating enough! Marathon, half-marathon and triathlon competitors take note: being "rail thin" does not look good and has to be unhealthy! Back off (or taper off as you say) your training and take care of yourself!

Mark, what's bringing this rant on? I've seen more than one friend over-training for these events and literally "running themselves into the ground" with:

1. Repetitive stress injuries like plantar fasciitis, runner's knee and Achilles tendinitis.

2. Poor food intake. Common sense would tell you that "I need to eat more" because I'm burning calories like crazy during training.

Marathoners, swimmers, triathletes need high amounts of daily carbs. About 3.5 to 4.5 grams per pound of body weight is needed. So, a 180 pound athlete would need 630 to 810 grams of carbs per day. These athletes sometimes use carbohydrate loading before events.

Endurance athletes also need higher levels of protein to continually rebuild and repair the body's muscles and tissues. For example, if you weigh 190 pounds and want a high protein intake (0.9 gms/lb), you'll need 171 grams of protein. Just eat foods with protein sources in every meal and you should be fine.

You also need adequate fat intake. As a marathoner or triathlete, you can benefit from eating moderate amounts of fat (such as flax oil and omega 3s found in coldwater fish) because of the availability of oxygen during exercise or competition.

3. Loss of muscle mass. Marathoners and triathletes should cross-train with strength exercises, running exercises (sprints and long distance runs) and power exercises. This will make you a stronger more efficient runner.

4. If you end your marathon or triathlon competition with worst long-term health and fitness, then you need to adjust your training for these events.

Train hard and smart!

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Program and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
Her Fitness Hut
Sports Fitness Hut


  1. Mark, I used to run quite a bit and did participate in what is known as one of the hardest half marathon's in the country (Atlanta) twice. I have really had to back off running because of my knees. But I still do workout often 5-6 times per week. I love working out and the benefits provided. Thanks for the great blog.
    Tom Thorne

  2. Thanks for the visit Tom! The hardest thing to do sometimes is rest and recover....but if you do, you always come back stronger


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About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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