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Ideal Racing Weight | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » GoRunaMuck » Runners
yanah
yanah Jul 30

I hear a lot of people talk about their ideal racing weight. I also read that for every 10 lbs you gain will slow you down by roughly 2 minutes per 10k. That may be true to some extent but I believe that there is a lot more to running and especially to running faster than just weight.


Yes, if you are in the best shape you've been in and then gain 10 lbs of fat- you will notice a decline in performance. Being "too heavy" puts more pressure on the joints and puts people at risk for injuries.


HOWEVER, if you are in shape and don't have much weight to lose or if your body fat percentage is already relatively low (or within the healthy range for your gender), losing more weight will not have a significant impact on performance.


In fact, when I weighed 108 lbs, I was always feeling weak, lethargic and injured.

Now that I weigh between 118 and 125, I feel a lot better and much stronger. I've definitely gained some muscle and I'm happy with that. Explosive power and speed comes from more muscles. It is muscles that move us. Therefore, losing weight is not necessarily good for everyone.


I think as long as you feel healthy, you should not be too concerned about "ideal weight" because that again will differ from person to person.


What are your thoughts on weight & running?

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Average_Jbob Original
Average_Jbob Jul 30
yanah, I think you raise a valid point. . .I think it would be wrong to simply say that you lose 2 minutes per 10k for every 10 lbs you gain. . .I think in order for that algorithm to have ANY merit you must first determine what someone's ideal weight is, and that's going to change for every single person!  It's also going to depend on what those 10 lbs consist of.  Fat?  Muscle?  Mixture of the two?


For me personally, I know that when I bulked up to 175 (because I had been super skinny all my life and wanted to see what it was like to be heavier. . .as I guy you don't always want to be the thinnest) I found that even though I liked having a bit more 'heft' to my body, my knees suffered because of it.  When I decided I wanted to take up running and then prep for my first Spartan Race I found that I was having all kinds of breathing problems and knee problems.  After a while I decided that my body was better off being lighter (and was probably designed to be so) and dropped 25 lbs.  Now, at 150 I'm still heaver than I used to be (was between 125-130 most my adult life) AND my running felt stronger!  So for me, being 125-130 was TOO light and I didn't have the strength I wanted for certain Spartan Obstacles and being 175 was TOO heavy and made running too difficult.  A comfortable middle ground of 150 allows for strong running and good muscle strength for Spartan.


I don't think the number can be applied to everyone, but the mindset can.  If you feel like you are having a hard time running without getting short of breath or your knees hurting. . .then maybe consider trying to drop a few lbs to help out.  But if you are finding that running is great but you struggle with strength, then go ahead and allow yourself to gain a few lbs of muscle.  I think a lot of girls get hung up on the # the scale says and not what KIND of weight it is.  Gaining weight when working out is very natural and muscle can be very attractive.

SirDirk Original
SirDirk Aug 21
Topic was moved from Nutrition & Diet.