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Racing Weight

What if I lost a few pounds? How much faster could I run?

I never think of myself as needing to lose a few pounds. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty small person. At work if I don’t wear heels, I am easily mistaken for a student. (Maybe I’ll appreciate this when I’m 40.) But I am curious… what if I could give up my chocolate habit and sweet potato fries just until the marathon in March? How  much faster could I potentially run? According to one of my running books by Bob Glover, my ideal racing weight is 108 lbs. That is 3 lbs less than what I weigh now and for someone who is 5’2, that’s kind of a lot.

Runner’s World:

This table, based on changes in maximal aerobic capacity, provides a rough estimate of how much your race times will improve if you lose weight, as long as you have it to lose. If your BMI drops below 18.5, you’re at risk of becoming weaker and slower.

Source: Runnersworld

Source: Runnersworld

I’m pretty sure if I lost 5 lbs that would put me at risk of losing strength. However, 2-3 lbs. is definitely doable. I’m just not sure if I can give up my chocolate though. Something to think about as I get closer to race day…

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update:  Today I had mile repeats at half marathon pace. As always, I went faster than my goal pace but I wasn’t really working that hard.  I tried hard for the second interval to slow down but still went a little faster. My RC and I decided to lower my goal time slightly since I easily managed low 6:40s. That made me a little nervous but excited!! Stats are here.  And I got new shoes today!!!

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    You’re little, too! I’m still a couple of inches shorter, but I always get excited when I see a crazy fast runner who isn’t really tall!

    And geez, if that isn’t inspiration to put down those leftover Christmas M&M’s, I don’t know what is! Great job with your mile repeats.

    January 8, 2013
    • Yay for short people! I wouldn’t have it any other way! Putting down the chocolate is a definite struggle. Every night after dinner we always have some Trader Joe’s dark chocolate and I always look forward to it. Maybe I’ll try to cut something else out – vino? 🙂
      I hope your training is going well for the half and for Boston! There are going to be so many awesome elite runners there this year… I’m totally jealous.

      January 8, 2013
  2. I’m short for a guy (5’6″).

    One thing I find challenging with runners is that many focus on weight not health, leading to some scarily thin people running around. I’ve seen so many runners (mostly female) with shoulder blades poking out and knees that look huge compared to their bony legs. And then they say they need to lose weight. It seems unhealthy and scary to me.

    I’m not saying you are one of those people but I just want to mention it as a significant concern of mine when it comes to running and some runners.

    January 8, 2013
    • I use to look at running as a way to stay thin and was pretty obsessed with my weight. I was never scarily thin but I did weight 10-15 pounds less than I do now. That was about 8 years ago and I know have a much healthier relationship with running. The only reason I would want to drop a few pounds, would be to run a little faster on race day. My cousin, who has actually trained with Bob Glover and his wife Shelly, said he suggests (if trying to lose a few pounds) starting 10 days prior to race day. Cut out the sweets, alcohol, etc. Then focus on carb loading a couple of days before the race. She said it has worked really well for her but there is no need to start this until 10 days before. I eat chocolate every single day and most nights have a glass of wine as well. Those should be easy things to cut out (hopefully!) 🙂

      January 13, 2013
  3. I am a heavy beast, and could easily stand to ditch 10 lbs. 4 years ago (and 10 lbs. lighter) I could run a 5k 2-3 minutes faster than I can now, so I’m willing to believe these stats!

    January 9, 2013
    • It’s crazy what a difference a few pounds can make!! I decided I’m going to wait until 10 days before race day until I start really focusing on my weight. Chocolate is just too good to me right now 😉

      January 10, 2013

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