Can I do a transformation at the same time I train for a marathon?
It is such a common question asked by trainees in body for life that it is even posed as an FAQ on the bodyforlife.com website: “FAQ - Q: I am training for a half-marathon this summer. Can I do the Body-for-LIFE program to help me get ready for it? Here is the brief answer that is given on the site: <br>”Endurance athletes tend to have a much higher training volume than is suggested in the Body-for-LIFE program (BFL). Both the duration and frequency of their cardio training is increased. This puts a premium on recovery to keep training quality high day after day and therefore additional demands on your nutritional program. To be successful, your caloric intake must be sufficient to complete a high volume of training. Simply eating more or bigger BFL meals may not suffice. The protein intake suggested in the program may be fine without increasing it. The carbohydrate and fat intake is likely to be inadequate, though. To structure a program that is adequate for decreasing body fat while endurance training, it may be best to consult books and magazines that are specific to your sport (running, biking, cross-country skiing). They should have fat loss programs that account for the specific demands of your training.”
In essence, the website “punts” on the issue, referring the inquirer to “books and magazines that are specific to your sport.” I think people need more information than that, and that’s why this blog is written.
If you are talking marathon, you probably should choose which master you serve, Body for Life, or marathon running. They are literally inconsistent goals, and trying to do them both at the same time will likely result in unsatisfactory results in both. In fact, it more than likely will find you abandoning one or the other during the 12 weeks if you make a serious effort. Why? Simply because it is not possible to build in enough recovery time for the body to allow it to even continue levels of training, let alone become strengthened enough to continuously improve physical performance. Now, in posing this answer the way I have, I am assuming that the person wanting to do this is currently NEITHER a marathoner or a trained up bodybuilder. If that’s not the case, then the answer certainly could be different.
For example, I trained to do a half marathon, and continued to do regular upper body workouts as well, during that entire time. I did not do regular lower body workouts, though I did do core exercises and I did do a regular regimen of good morning exercises. Good mornings are exercises done with a barbell on the shoulders and bending over with straight back and straight knees. They work the entire chain of muscles on the backside of the body, calves, hamstrings, glutes and spinae erectus muscles. They also work the stabilizer muscles around the hip joints and they provide a fabulous, functional stretch to the areas where runners constantly need help—the Achilles tendons, the plantar fascia and the hamstrings.
As for dietary needs, someone trying to do a marathon is likely to need about 50% of their caloric intake in low glycemic carbs, with an interspersing of high glycemic carbs during long training events. The rest would be made up ideally of 25% good fats or oils and 25% in high quality proteins.
Editor's note: I'm not actually sure that the website answer quoted above is still on this newer site, because I haven't checked. It was up on the old website for over a year.
I favorited this thread for future reference.
"What you put in, is what you are going to get back."
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