Good topic M
I am currently at 11 lbs above my normal racing weight and feel it in training let alone racing. My PBs have often been made when I look gaunt and underweight, which by anyone's standards I was. So it's difficult to know what should be our ideal weight. For health or for a race pb?
This is a tough subject and one that often gets peoples backs up and quite negative responses. I've certainly been beaten up on here a few times for suggesting losing weight might be a good way of getting faster.
Its worth touching on a couple of things I think - firstly as treadmill implies fastest weight may not be healthiest weight. And secondly weight is one of the many factors having an effect on running speed where we make compromises to achieve the overall lifestyle we want to lead.
If I wanted to be the fastest I could possibly be I'd aim for Horwill's target (about 49kgs for me), I'd ramp up the mileage towards 150km a week, get a very regular massage and try and have a nap in the afternoon.
But being the fastest I can be isn't that important to me. So instead I'll probably try and aim for about 55kgs. I know I'll still be healthy at that weight. And I'll work up towards 60-70km a week. I'll carry on working in the afternoon instead of napping (I think my employer would prefer it) and I probably wont bother with that sports massage.
But overall Horwill is almost certainly right and dropping a shed load of weight would probably make most people faster including me. I've certainly benefitted form the 9kgs I've lost this year. But when looking at his targets you just need to consider what his audience is - he coaches elite athletes. His advice is probably not aimed at plodders like me.
Cheers for bringing this topic up Marmite.
I know I am far too heavy (again) at the moment and this will inspire me (again), but hopefully for good this time. Just been looking at the June issue of RW and that has a good set of articles on this subject.
I await with interest.
The Horwill formula works for me (unless I've miscalculated) - he reckons my racing weight should be somewhere between 11st8 and 12st4lbs. My lightest adult weight (well since I was 17-20ish) is 12 stone pus a couple of pounds which I maintained for about 6 months - currently closer to 13.
I think one problem with the UK is that we are such a fat society that people at the lean end of healthy are seen as being overly skinny - see some of the comments in this thread. I've worked it out for my partner and her racing weight is about what she weighed when she was about 20 - same for mine then - so it's fair to say any additional is just accumulated fat.
Will read more and this is so interesting think if I read it right I need to be 7.8 I am 9.2 and 5.2" will see how I get on but never been lower than 8.8 and that was when I was 16.I have lost around 3/4 stone in last 8 weeks but it has been training more as been injured and watching my food, will give this a good go and see where it takes me maybe training more we shall see.I am the same weight as my good years 2004-2005 and never been lowerer since I started running.
For me it is a fine line eating enough to sustain my training and going just a tad too far and feeling faint whilst running which has happened last 3 weeks when on a day I was busy before run I know keep gels in my Pouch so I can consumme one if I feel light headed on run.
So will aim for 8 stone and see where it takes me .
I know that the combination of losing alot of weight and training hard brought me fantastic benefits.
Here's my training and weight loss calculator if anyones interested... it's not update as I've been out for 19 weeks with a stress frsacture.
Click For My calculated Spreadsheet
BTW, the above document was documenting my prediction of how much weight would give me so much performance and I'd say it's not far off bang on! It deffo worked for me..
no surprise to see you visiting this thread Pug.....
Since the layoff I had at the end of the summer, I've been carrying a few pounds too many. Think I'm nearer 5'9" than 5'8", and weight has just crept above 11st (70-71 kg). I'm sure that getting down to 68-69kg would make a significant difference to my running and take me to around the weight I was at when I was going really well 3 years ago.
But even then I was getting comments (irritating ones from mother-in-law, to be fair) about how "gaunt" I looked - and the sort of weight that I apparently should be targetting according to the Horwill articles really would involve a drastic loss....I want to make the best of my ability - but not by taking extreme measures like that.
I do wonder also, with your weight well down on what you're used to, what effect it might have on your immune system. Can't help but think if there was any flu or other virus-type bugs going round, not only might you be a bit more vulnerable to picking something up, but also if you did, it would really knock you for six - could put you out for ages.
I take on board a lot of what Horwill says about diet in general - there's stuff I could/should put into practice there - and maybe it's possible there are specific areas I could target for fat loss - but losing the amount he's recommending, for me, at any rate, is more trouble than it's worth.
'A runner weighing 14 st will have a VO2 Max of 50. He/She will probably be able to run a 10k in approx 41.20.
'Each pound of weight loss will improve a 10k time by 11 seconds.'
(These stats above are of relevance to myself.)
This is from an old Runners World Booklet from about 1996.
So by that reckoning if I lost approximately 2 stones (28 pounds) in weight then I would run a time of 5 mins and 5 seconds faster. 28 x 11 = 308 seconds.
My 10 k time would therefore drop from 41.20 to 36.15 !
Right, lets get serious about this !!
Well, apparently I'll run at my best weighing 46kg
I currently weigh 50-51kg, which at 5'4-ish gives me a BMI of just 19 or so. I am extremely healthy (never ever have a day off work due to sickness), eat plenty etc and have had a stable weight for well over 10 years. I am however regarded and constantly told by those that know me that I'm extremely skinny...
To lose 4-5kg (from where?) would be ridiculous. As a financially-challenged student around 15 years ago I was probably close to that 'optimum' weight for a few years - looked malnourished, had almost no periods, felt the cold bitterly and had no blood supply to my toes in winter, such that they usually went purple/black and shed the toenails...it was NOT healthy!!
Surely being at an unnaturally low weight at which physiological processes such as reproduction, bone metabolism, and temperature control are jeapordised cannot be advocated?!
Doesnt it also depend on a number of individual genetic variables - natural body type and shape being one of them ..so someone with a bigger heavier skeleton would struggle to be at a lower weight than someone who has a naturally smaller and lighter build would?
Doesnt this create a danger where people who are already at a good optimum weight for their distance who try to get lighter risk problems like those above
Im not saying that losing weight isnt a good idea -its just that aiming to beat too light a weight can be the wrong way - the worst case scenarios leading to anorexia athletica in people who may be be prone along with all the other well documented problems
Very interesting topic - thank for bringing it up.
The figures related to me suggest I should shed around 5kgs - I'm in the middle of the non-exercise weight and the "recommended" weight. Recently however I've started to notice my upper body hasn't been what it was and I'm spending the next month in the gym trying to beef up a little before training for next season.
I agree with Nam and K9 etc however in that if I lost those extra 5kgs - which I don't think I'd be able to do incidentally - I would be unhealthy, gaunt etc. I know I wouldn't be able to keep up an exercise routine whilst trying for weight loss as I really need my food to be able to run / exercise.
I've always been thin and the most I've ever weighed was 12 stone - which was for less than a year after I went through a weight lifting phase. I simply couldn't lose the suggetsed weight.
At 5'1" and 7st 10lb, with a BMI of 20, I'm 3lb heavier than the "average" weight for my height and 18lb heavier than my theoretical ideal racing weight.
I haven't weighed 6st 6lb since puberty and am absolutely not going anywhere near there, but the temptation to try to shed some weight and see what effect it has on my race times is hanging around. Trumped only by the temptation to keep enjoying my food and accept that running is just a hobby I'm not very good at
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