Thursday, August 24, 2017

Weight Watchers and Half Marathon Training

I've been doing Weight Watchers online since May. I've continued training and am in week 12 of Hansons beginner half marathon program.

Weight Watchers Online is basically about food tracking for me. There is a section for blogging and connecting with others, but I didn't use any of that. I know how to track food, but I hadn't been doing it well. I started WW because I wanted a different way that I couldn't "game the system" as easily because I wasn't familiar with the system.

Every food is given a point value. Like a half cup of 1% cottage cheese is 2 points. I get 30 points a day with some wiggle room. They want me to eat at least 27 points a day and no more than 37 points. Anything over 30 points and I start using up "extra points" that they give me. Every week, I get 21 "Weekly Points." I also get points for activities. I have it set up to take points from my activity points before the weekly points. I don't think I've ever had the weekly points used.

When starting WW, I realized I wasn't fueling my runs properly because I didn't want to use the points. A single Gu gel was 4 points. So for a long run that I do 2-3 gels on would make me think twice about fueling my run. That wasn't smart for me, so I made this deal with myself. Anything I eat WHILE RUNNING is free. So gels and picky bars are all freebies as long as I consume them when the Garmin clock is running.

I am only doing easy runs up to 6 miles. I don't fuel during those. I usually do those first thing in the morning and eat breakfast afterwards. Sometimes I'll have an apple or 4 oz of grapes immediately after if I have to drive home before eating breakfast.

For my SOS workouts (tempo, long, and speed runs), I eat some simple carbs (1 packet of instant grits) and a little protein (1 small "sausage" patty) about 45 minutes before the workout. That I track in WW. I fuel during my SOS workout as needed. Immediately after, I eat Apples or Grapes (4 oz) or baby carrots (4 oz) or all 3 if I'm really hungry. Those are all Zero Point foods, so I don't feel guilty about eating those! Then I'm just eating normal foods the rest of the day as if I hadn't run at all. If I get hungry, I eat Zero Point foods that I like.

For tracking my runs, I only track STEPS. Not the actual workout. So if I get 25,000 steps, 12,000 may be from a run, but I don't track a run and then 13,000 steps. I just track 25,000 steps, period.

Every 2-3 weeks, I throw everything out and eat whatever I want for a day or two. This resets my brain, if not my metabolism.

Since May, I've lost 10+ pounds and I'm not as good about tracking my food and steps in the app because I've hit my goal weight and I'm really just not too worried about it at this point. I'm still snacking pretty sensibly with lots of fruits and veggies and still eating a lot of the same foods I did when I was tracking. I'm still weighing almost every day and if I need to tighten up on it again, I will.

When I first started WW, I couldn't find a lot of strategies for doing WW while training, so I just made it up as I went along.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have been running for about a year and a half, and also following weight watchers (on my own) for just as long, beginning with points plus, then switched to Smartpoints a few months back. I have done 5 half marathons and am about to start training for a full in may 2018, and I'm a little nervous about the nutrition part of training, as I've read it's much different from a half marathon and many people actually gain weight. I've lost about 40 lbs on weight watchers, tracking works for me and helps me stay accountable for what I eat day to day,so I've been looking for tips on how to balance tracking points but also making sure I am fueling my body enough for my long runs. You have given me some really good ideas and I'm glad I'm not the only one in need of guidance for using weight watchers while endurance training. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for this post. I've just started doing WW and am training for a marathon. Haven't gone far enough to need Gus yet but wondering about fueling and hydration and this seems like a really sensible strategy.


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