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Whole30 & a Marathon


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So last Saturday I had to do some chores around the house.  I logged on to audible.com to download a book to listen to  while I worked. Audible suggested I might like to download It Starts With Food - so I did. Ended up listening to it pretty much straight through. Actually after listening to the part about the two example days I played that part for my wife - then she wanted me to start it over from the beginning again so she could listen to it too. The program sounds pretty great so I'm going to give it a try.

I'm 49, 6'1", 200 lbs. and I'm training for my 4th marathon. The first three have been disasters. Have never really trained right and/or eaten right.  This time I got my sister-in-law to train with me (virtually, since she lives in D.C. and I live in Philly - but we are using the same, intense for me, training plan). I'm in the 4th week of the 15 week plan - this week will be a 50 mile week. I'd like to get about 20 lbs lighter by the time of the race on March 14th in D.C.  Hope it doesn't bore the non-runners but I'll post my distance, time, and how I felt each day to see how the Whole30 works with marathon training. Hoping for the best!

Day 1 - Tuesday:
Meal1 - 2 eggs, some chicken
Meal2 - more chicken, spaghetti squash left over from Sunday, a little apple
Meal3 - some soup I made from the organic rotisserie chicken we got from Whole Foods last night. After I pulled the meat off the bone (for meals today) I threw all the bones in a Staub pot, added celery, parsley, an onion, fresh dill, salt, water and let it cook all night on low heat on the stove. Threw it in the fridge this AM then had that soup for Meal3. Had a banana and some strawberries and shredded coconut for desert.

Then I read my Daily 30 which I subscribed to last night. Then watched the cool video link it takes you to: 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes!

Then ran 4 miles, avg pace 9:45 - which is 1:15 faster than I have been running the past three weeks - but I don't think it's due to one day on the Whole30 but rather because I've been putting in some good miles lately.

Wish everyone the best & have happy holidays!

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We are a similar size. I am 6'2" and 190 pounds. When I was running marathons, I weighed 175-180, but had no muscle mass back then. I ran 14 marathons during my late 30's. I'm 57 now. 


You need to eat more, especially if you want to be a lot lighter when you run your race in March. When you eat as little as you reported for day 1, your metabolism slows to protect you from starvation and weight loss tends to stop. This is counter intuitive, but I am telling you the truth. You will perform better and lose weight if you eat more. 


Study our meal template: http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-meal-planning.pdf  You should notice that you need to increase your volume of veggies enormously. There is a lot of nutrition in veggies that you are missing. We want to see you eat veggies at every meal. And when exercising hard, you need to include bonus meals - pre-workout potentially and definitely post-workout meals. So you may eat 5 times per day on hard training days. 


Runners need to eat starchy veggies every day and maybe twice per day - potatoes, rutabagas, plantains, etc. This is where you get your energy. 


One last note: We recommend you stop eating dessert during a Whole30. Consuming a sweet treat as the finish of your meal is a bad habit, even when you are feeding it with compliant ingredients like banana, strawberries, or coconut flakes. You need more to eat after your soup supper, but we want you to get that nutrition from meat and veggies, not dessert. 

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I'm always so envious of people who can commit to and follow through on a marathon, it's SO much training!

Since this is your Whole30, I would suggeste that you might experience "lead legs" during the first couple of weeks as your body changes over from a carb burner to an efficient fat-burning machine. This is totally normal and goes away, on average, in the first two weeks. Not being sure exactly what your intake was like prior to Whole30 it's hard to tell how different the two were to try and predict how hard you might get hit with the "conversion" from carb to fat.

On another note, if you are running as much as you post above, you need to EAT, my friend. You are not eating enough to begin wtih let alone for someone who is marathon training. Check out the template (google Whole30 template) and I would suggest you probably want to stick to the higher end of the ranges and add a PRE and POST workout meal. Make sure you include ample amounts of protein, carbs and fat. Don't forget the fat! ;)

And finally? Welcome! :)

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Wow - thanks for all the inputs about eating more. I'll definitely start doing that.

Day 2, Wednesday

Meal1: a banana (I hadn't gotten you message about eating more yet!)

Meal2: ate at Zamma Sushi in Philly - had huge sashimi plate (10 pieces) and a big salad with avocado. Didn't use soy sauce, just the wasabi.

Meal3: pre-run mini-meal, salted pumpkin seeds & raisins. Then on my run I took and ate about a cup of steamed, tiny potatoes with salt & pepper, and a handful of dried apples. This is a big change for me since I usually eat 2 or 3 sugary gels or Gu on a run.

Meal4: NY strip steak with salt & pepper only, and broiled radiccio

Drank lots of water all day.

Ran 10 miles at avg pace of 11:08. Felt pretty good the whole run. I'll really be interested in how I feel running with the change in what I'm eating (used to be a lot of junk food and Gatorade).

Merry Christmas!

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