Posted: 11/06/2014 at 11:29
So I'm currently training for a hilly 10k race.
My current PB on a flat measured route is 38mins 20secs, but the 10k race I am doing is quite hilly and mostly on trails so I am expecting about 42mins in the race. I have completed the route several times in the last week, so I know this is a realistic time.
A week ago (three weeks before race day) I decided that I would trial dropping my race weight down to 10 stone for the race (I am normally just under 11 for races). I was 11 stone 2 pounds and I am 5foot 9inches, so I wasn't over weight. This would see my BMI drop from 23 down to 20.6 which would still be in the normal range. I only plan to lose fat and maintain muscle. I have currently lost 5 pounds with two weeks till race day.
I know there are lots of people out there who will say they lost weight and got quicker. I imagine a lot of these people started training more which contributed to their improved speed as much as the reduced wight, where as I do not plan to up my mileage from my existing 80km a week.
My question is, for those regular runners who drop to weight in the month before a race without drastically altering their training. Does this make a big difference? I appreciate everyone is different and this will affect people differently, but does anyone know how roughly how much quicker I could be by losing this weight?
Any views or advice would be greatly appreciated
The old rule of thumb, although not an exact science by any means is that for every pound lost you gain 2 seconds per mile for as long as fitness is the same.
The problem is, losing weight too quickly down to either overtraining/calorie watching/use of diuretics results in the body metabolising muscle, depletion of glycogen stores and generally reduces performance potential.
By all means aim to lose the weight, but do it much more slowly. I'm the same height as you and when I weighed around 11 stone my 10K was in the 38 min region. I'm now at 10:6 and hope to be under 34 mins in a 10K next week.
But the jump from 11 stone to sub 10:7 for a 5'9 gent isn't easy at all and requires a sensible plan over perhaps three months minimum....if you want to maintain fitness.