How To Lose Weight While Training For A Marathon

Training for a marathon is a challenging endeavor that requires dedication, discipline, and a lot of hard work. As someone who has personally gone through the experience of training for a marathon while trying to lose weight, I understand the unique challenges that come with this goal. In this article, I will share my insights, tips, and strategies on how to effectively lose weight while training for a marathon.

Setting Realistic Goals

Before embarking on your weight loss journey, it’s important to set realistic goals. Losing weight while training for a marathon can be a slow process, as your body needs sufficient fuel and energy to perform well during long runs. Aim for a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, which is considered a healthy and sustainable rate.

Proper Nutrition

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for both marathon training and weight loss. Focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Avoid processed and sugary foods, as they can hinder your weight loss progress and negatively impact your energy levels.

It’s important to fuel your body properly before and after runs to support your training and promote recovery. Prioritize complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and sweet potatoes, for sustained energy. Include a source of lean protein, such as chicken or tofu, to aid in muscle repair. Don’t forget to hydrate adequately by drinking enough water throughout the day.

Calorie Management

While training for a marathon, you’ll need to strike a balance between consuming enough calories to fuel your workouts and creating a calorie deficit for weight loss. It’s important to work with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to determine your specific calorie needs based on your weight, activity level, and goals.

Tracking your food intake using a mobile app or a dedicated journal can be helpful in managing your calorie intake. Be mindful of portion sizes and try to avoid mindless snacking. Listen to your body’s hunger cues and aim for a balanced plate with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal.

Incorporate Cross-Training

While running is a fundamental part of marathon training, incorporating cross-training activities can help optimize weight loss and prevent burnout. Engaging in activities such as cycling, swimming, or strength training can help increase your overall calorie burn and build muscle.

Additionally, cross-training can give your body a break from the impact of running, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Aim for two to three cross-training sessions per week, alternating different activities to keep your workouts varied and enjoyable.

Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are just as important as training itself. Adequate sleep and rest days allow your body to repair and recharge, optimizing your weight loss efforts and reducing the risk of injuries.

Listen to your body’s signals and don’t be afraid to take a day off when you feel exhausted or fatigued. Use rest days as an opportunity to focus on self-care activities such as stretching, foam rolling, or taking a relaxing bath.

Mindset and Self-Care

Training for a marathon and losing weight can be physically and mentally demanding. It’s important to prioritize your mental well-being and practice self-care throughout the process.

Stay motivated by setting small, achievable goals and celebrating your progress along the way. Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow runners or join a local running group to stay accountable and motivated. Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga to reduce stress levels and stay focused.


Losing weight while training for a marathon is an achievable goal with careful planning, dedication, and a balanced approach. By setting realistic goals, fueling your body with proper nutrition, managing your calorie intake, incorporating cross-training, prioritizing rest and recovery, and nurturing your mindset and self-care, you can find success in both your weight loss and marathon training journey. Remember, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.