Running to Lose Weight Is NOT the Same As

It’s PILE on the MILES Day 16! Today we’re talking about running to lose weight versus running for other reasons (and there are a lot). And there’s no right or wrong answer to ‘Why do you run?’. The main thing is that YOU can say in 1 sentence (okay 3 sentences max) the MAIN reason you run. Then, you can run and eat according to your main goal.

I started running to lose weight. Well, technically I started WALKING before running and my main goal was to lose weight. I just out of high school, didn’t have a job and would’ve been too self-conscious to go to the gym if I could afford a membership. So… I walked and eventually started running.

Since my main goal at that point was to lose weight —> I also started a diet. *Actually, I started several diets trying to find one that worked. This was before I realized moderation was the way to go (see also: Intuitive Eating).

I NEVER expected to run a race. I NEVER thought I’d run 13.1 miles or anything close to 26.2 miles.

But I fell in love with running and discovered half and full marathons. So, I trained for my first race and then another and another…

And I learned that training for a race requires a different level of discipline than running for exercise, therapy, as a hobby, etc. When you are training for an endurance sport you have to change your diet accordingly. Your priority cannot be whatever number is on the scale. If you’re asking your body to perform like an athlete – you must fuel it like an athlete. Not eating enough when you’re training can impact your recovery, endurance, health and make you vulnerable to injuries.

I know that some runners are trying to do both – train for a half marathon or full marathon AND lose weight. Hi, it’s me… I’m the problem it’s me. —> Okay that’s NOT me anymore, but it was. And I realized I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from my running or weight loss goals. That’s discouraging and makes it hard to stay motivated.

I had to choose one MAIN GOAL to focus on at a time. When I’m training for a marathon that goal is fueling my body to keep up with my training plan. If my goal was to lose weight AND I wasn’t training for a race I have a little more flexibility in what / when I’m eating.

I’m rooting for you to crush your goals (whatever they are). If you want to run a race or get faster at a certain distance – GO FOR IT. If you want to lose weight – GO FOR IT. But, start with a SMART Goal and fuel your body according to that main goal. You got this.

PILE on the MILES Day 16 — What are you doing today?

BONUS QUESTION: What’s your MAIN GOAL right now?


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