Monday, August 13, 2007

Post Marathon Weight Gain?

I am a little perplexed, and am not sure how to explain what is happening. Perhaps someone knows or has an answer. The day before the marathon I ran two weeks ago I weighed 177.8 lbs. Yesterday, weighed at the same time of day when I woke up as I did when I weighed myself before the marathon, I weighed in at 181.4. A gain of 3.6 lbs.

What confuses me is that I ran a marathon, burned a ton of calories and kicked my metabolism into high gear. Logic would have it that I should be losing weight.

I do count calories. In the two weeks since the marathon I have consumed 1,799 calories more than I have burned. Even taking into consideration that some of the food I entered was miscalculated it doesn't make sense. Double it to 3,600 for error in guessing some of the calories consumed and that still doesn't account for the gain of weight. Granted, I haven't been eating the healthiest since the marathon (and why is that? Last time I ran a marathon I remember indulging in not so healthy food afterwards. Almost as though my body is craving it...), but calories are calories.

Amy posted about weight gain leading into a marathon, but does the same apply to after a marathon, almost as though your body is storing up fat in response to running for so long and far? Simple answer is that my caloric intake is more than what I am burning, but I find it hard to believe that 9,000 (and this is using the scenario of doubling what my calculations have estimated: (3.6 x 3,500) - (1,799 x 2) = 9,000) calories somehow slipped past my radar, especially since I keep track on excel everything I consume every single day.

I am curious if anyone has any information regarding this strange phenomenon.


Amy@RunnersLounge said...

I think the mean little fat fairy found you too! I have decided weight gain/loss with running defies the thermodynamic laws. I do remember weight gain right after running a marathon because of the drop in miles for the few weeks following without a drop in calories.

Tom@RunnersLounge said...

It even happens after long runs if I'm not careful. Your body needs a few extra calories to recover. Good luck curtailing the unnecessary ones. Congrats again on your marathon!

Dane said...

Weight is such an evil little bastard because it doesn't tell the whole story.

1. It could be you have been drinking a ton of of water to replace lost fluids.

2. Toning up means you have more muscle per sq in. ergo, you weigh more in the same amount of mass.

3. It has only been a few days. Weight fluctuates like crazy for guys of larger proportions. Iam guesisng you are about 6'2''. Like me (6'1'') I can easily gain/lose 5 lbs in a day without trying either way. Be it the mood, the tides, a big lunch or what have you, it could be any of the things above.

don't sweat it. If you feel good and the clothes are fitting, don't worry about the number. try to pay more attention to body fat % and things of that nature.

Kudos on your finish.

coco said...

A 2-4 pound weight gain immediately post-marathon is very common. It is retained water that is all part of the process of rebuilding your muscles. Don't worry about it unless it lasts long past the recovery phase.

Congratulations in finishing!