We’ve talked about how I’m trying to weigh in less often so that I can focus on “fuel” rather than weight loss during training for my first marathon. So far (all of 2.5 days in!) that’s going well, but if I’m not weighing in as often, how do I tell if I’m fueling a little too much and ending up in the far-too-common scenario of marathoners who gain weight during training?
Some weight gain, of course, could come from glycogen stores holding onto water (a good thing for long distance) and muscle mass (a good thing) but far too often it comes from over-rewarding ourselves or even eating too much of healthy foods.
Here are the strategies I’m going to try:
– Functional measures: I’m going to use my training guide to keep track of things like my average mile time and how easy things feel. If those things are improving, that’s definitely a sign that my fueling and my training are going well!
– Selfies: Oy, taking full length photos can be painful. However, sometimes you see things in pictures when you look over time that you don’t notice in your day to glimpses of yourself. You can see muscle definition and shape changes that reflect the hard work you’re putting in, even when the scale doesn’t show it. As a demonstration of the supreme trust you can build with “imaginary” online friends, my online support group has a thread of daily selfies that we’re using to track progress over the next few months. I’m curious to see how those photos change over the next few months!
– Measurements: Hopefully, this weekend I’ll have Darrell help me do some measurements to see how inches change. Another measure of this would be how your clothes fit – and now that many of my clothes are tight or don’t really fit at all, I’ll be able to tell progress in that direction (good or bad!) for sure.
– Body fat percentage: I have a body fat analyzer that I can use as well, to see how things move up or down as I hopefully increase some muscle and lose some fluff.
Hopefully these things will help me track my progress without stepping on the scale so often during training. I just have such a strong association between the scale and “dieting” that I don’t want to let that mess with my head when my nutritional goals should be focused on the marathon. I have a feeling that going cold turkey may be more successful in that regard than just trying to check in periodically. The scale tends to suck me in.
How do you keep track of your “weight” without really stepping on the scale?