Expert Advice: Balancing Weight Loss With Marathon Training

Meghan Kennihan, USATF and RRCA-certified distance running coach, certified spin and TRX instructor, reveals what she tells her clients who want to shed pounds while preparing to run a marathon.

“It depends on what their training goal is. If they want to run their first marathon, I don’t really advise that they try to lose weight. If it happens, it happens, but we’re not going to consciously cut calories. I’m not a certified nutritionist so I’m not technically allowed to give clients a diet plan, but I do send people to see nutritionists. If somebody is taking up running to lose weight and wants to run a 5K or 10K, then I can help them with that because these distances tax the body differently than the longer distances. If you’re trying to cut calories while putting your body through the rigors of marathon training, results will depend on the person. For the faster runners who are in the 50 to 60 mile (per week) range, I try to get them to wait on the weight loss thing to see if it happens naturally along with the training. For anybody who wants to lose weight, I tell them they have to make sure to strength train by themselves because that’s going to be the key. The best way to lose weight is to build more muscle because that’s the only thing that’s going to burn more calories while you’re at rest.”


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