What's reasonable these days?

12 messages
09/11/2005 at 12:05
What's a reasonable body mass index for a long distance runner? I've just calculated mine as 18.7, lower than the recommended, but I'm guessing the "acceptable" range is based on the average person who takes an average amount of exercise during the average week? Or am I actually wasting away?
09/11/2005 at 12:21
Having been beaten on my last race by whippets with barely an ounce of flesh on them and blokes who looked like they could do with missing a meal or two I've decided that there is no such thing as a perfect BMI for a runner. If you're feeling good and running well then your BMI is probably about right for you :-)
09/11/2005 at 16:21
A BMI of 20 is usually classified as the lower limit of normal. But we all want to be better than "norma"l, so if you are intending to make an impact near the front of a race, you need to be less than that. Excess fat is simply deadweight. I reckon a BMI of 18.7 sounds good for a contender. But you will only be "wasting away" if your BMI is reducing. If you can maintain 18.7 and you are healthy and running well, you should rejoice, rather than worry.

And if you are being beaten by chubbier runners, it may be that they simply train harder or are more talented than you.
09/11/2005 at 16:34
Mister W, Karen: Thanks for the advice. I think I'm just finding it difficult to recover from niggling injuries and I was wondering if a lower BMI is due to overtraining or not taking in enough cals.

I don't *think* I'm being beaten by chubbier runners. I reckon I could beat any darts player over 13.1 miles :-)
09/11/2005 at 17:25
In my carefully considered opinion, it's b@llocks - I just did the BMI

@ 5'8" and 11st 4lb ; I'm obese (despite doing a 10k PB of 45 minutes and a resting pulse of 45)

I'm due a visit from the Fat Police

BMI is a physical ratio which cannot include all the other more important factors such as smoking, drinking, exercise and diet.

The whippets at the front are thin because they are young, as you get older you gain weight even if you starve and run hundreds of miles. You can still be very fit and carry a few pounds extra, watch the finishers in any race
09/11/2005 at 18:07
5'8" and 11st 4lb gives a BMI of 24 which is normal.

Below 18.5 is considered underweight. So 18.7 is still within the normal range.

What is your body fat %? For male athletes anything between 6 to 17% is acceptable. For female it's between 14 - 24%.

You need a certain amount of body fat to be healthy so if you are falling below these levels than you should do something about it but if not I wouldn't be concerned about BMI.

TT ;0)
09/11/2005 at 18:23
I'm overweight. No point to be made apart from I'm fat and play darts..PJC what's 1/2 mara time? lol
09/11/2005 at 18:30
I have a BMI of 24.1.

According to these online things were you input your measurements my bodyfat % is 17% which I know isn't true. Going by bodyfat scales and various other bodyfat things I've tried I have 24% bodyfat so still got a way to go to be an 'athlete' just sneaking into the 'fitness' zone though. Another stone off and I'll be there.

I might yet be one of those whippets you refer too, I wish!

TT ;0)
09/11/2005 at 18:34

I am also concerned about the fat correctness that sees an acceptable BMI creeping into job descriptions etc.

I'm not supporting the idle lardies who should do something about their weight but I don't think health can be measured in such crude terms
10/11/2005 at 12:12
According to the little thing I ordered from the back of a Special K box, my body fat is 12.8%. Sounds reasonable to me!
10/11/2005 at 17:10
BMI's are no measure of someone's fitness and abilities to be a long distance runner..........

my BMI is over 30 - technically I am clinically obese...........

so how come I've completed 3 marathons this year (one sub-4), finished an Ironman in 13:13, done numerous other events and yet, somehow, managed to stay upright and alive...........

it's because I spent 30 years playing rugby in the front row so carry a lot more muscle and bone bulk than a lot of "normal" runners............

BMI takes no account of these matters............most rugby players would have BMI's not too dissimilar to mine yet are these guys not fit???

throw the BMI readings in the bin and go with what you feel like

10/11/2005 at 21:58
You don't have to be young to be a whippet. I am 50 years old, have had 2 children, and this year, won my age-group in the London Marathon (when aged 49). My BMI is 19: the same as it was when I was 18 years old. I keep my figure by running a lot (I've been running since the age of 11 on and off, and counting calories). There is nothing inevitable about middle-aged spread. All other things (training, talent etc) being equal, the thinner runner will be faster (up to a point).

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