The first time I trained for a 20k (almost a half marathon at 12.4 miles), I thought to myself, “I am going to lose so much weight!”
I didn’t drop a pound.
I gained endurance and a lower resting heart rate, but my weight and body fat didn’t change. You see, when you’re running 20-30 miles a week, you’re hungry all.the.time. You certainly burn a ton of calories while training for a long distance run, but you also take in more because you are always hungry.
I now know this and don’t expect to lose any weight while training, and I’ve learned to expect a slight increase in my body fat percentage since I don’t have the time to commit to weight training. I don’t even get upset, I just shoot to stay at a certain weight every Wednesday (145 pounds or less) and below a certain body fat percentage (24%). Today and yesterday, I was 144.8 pounds with a body fat percentage of 23.1%. Sure, I’d love to consistently be in the 22.x% range for body fat, but 23.1% with minimal lifting is absolutely satisfactory to me.
My abs have suffered along with my body fat percentage, and this is all due to my eating. I do serious ab work 5-6 nights a week (I can’t remember the last time didn’t work my abs) and they’re rock hard under there, but you can’t see them as well as before. They still look fine and good by most people’s standards, but I know they’ve looked better.
My “nice weather months” (mid-March through mid-October) center around running. November through February are for cross training, strength, and other fun stuff.
That’s just my reality.