One of my friends told me when I started running: “Oh no please, all you will become is super skinny! – Don’t do that do your body!” Well, he was right and wrong. Running sure does improve your health in many ways. It’s great for your soul and good for your well-being. But how is it possible to be a runner and looking strong and not skinny?
Long distance runner vs fitness athlete
After my first year of running and 2 half marathons and a couple of shorter races in my pocket I had lost almost 23 pounds. I liked it kind of, but so many people told me, I have gotten too skinny. How did that happen? I was focusing on long distance running, so now I could basically run for hours without getting tired. These kind of runs kill the fat.
If you wanna loose weight, long runs in a slower pace are ideal for that. Why? You improve your body’s ability to use fat as fuel. Compare a picture of a sprinter and a marathoner and it’s easy to see that distance running does not lend itself to muscle building.
Strong not skinny: Find a balance
I’m a good eater, I can say about myself, that I eat like a man. It wasn’t always like that though. There have been times where I wasn’t eating bread at all, because of the “bad carbs”. I wasn’t drinking any kind of alcohol and got rid of my chocolate love for almost 6 months. My calorie intake was too low for the kind of workout I was doing, so I became skinnier and skinnier. Looking strong and not skinny requires to find a balance between running, weight training, and nutrition.
I changed my supplementation strategy so there’s zero risk of burning muscle mass for energy anymore. BCAAs (Branched-chain amino acids) are my best friend now and I increased my daily protein intake tremendously. Building mass at the gym, but also perform as a runner means that your nutrition is meeting the demand every single day. I honestly didn’t know that in the beginning.
Timing is everything
I have gained 10 pounds since I have changed my nutrition and supplementation. Yes, strong not skinny, so I honestly try to forget about the scale at all. I’m going to the gym 5 days a week beside my running workouts. I feel much better now. I look way more feminine and healthier. The timing of your weight training with your running is very important for achieving your goals. That’s all I did and everybody who is saying that runners are always skinny is a liar. Its just a way of the right nutrition, timing and your goals.
I am still a runner, I never wanna be a fitness bikini model. I do love my abs and my muscles though, but deep in my heart I wanna beat my PR’s on my next race. I’m glad though that today I can say, that I look strong and not skinny anymore.