12

Weight loss - seconds per mile per pound (Read 976 times)

    As a fairly new runner, I spend a lot of time planning. I am not sure if more experienced runners do the same thing, but I have created a fairly detailed training schedule for 2013 (all subject to change of course) and have been thinking through my race calendar and goals for the year.  As I consider all the different things I can do to improve my race times next year, it occurred to me that I may have overlooked the single most important thing I can do to get faster: lose weight. While I have improved rapidly over the last year, I have also been lugging around a lot of excess weight.  Is it possible that no amount of base building or VO2 Max workouts or tempos or pure mileage can compete with the benefits of losing 15 - 25 pounds?  I am not saying that my training plan is not important, but - at least for 2013 - could it be that what I do in the kitchen is more important than how I do my training runs?

     

    I did a few google searches and found the conventional wisdom that each pound is worth 2 seconds per mile.  I am 6' 1, weigh 190 pounds and seek to lose at least 20 pounds.  That would correspond to 40 seconds per mile.  Since I already run a 20 minute 5K, that number seems staggering to me and I am not sure I believe it.  I would think that this would be extremely difficult to measure.  If in 6 months, I truly have lost 20 pounds and my race pace has improved by 40 seconds per mile (or 20 or 60 seconds for that matter), this will be a result of both weight loss and improved fitness.  It will be impossible for me to isolate a single factor. Right?

     

    So, does anyone know where the 2 seconds per mile per pound estimate comes from?  Was there a study that attempted to just isolate weight, holding all other factors constant?  What are your experiences with weight loss (or weight gain) and race pace?  I would expect that there is a strong correlation between the two, but I wonder if 2 seconds per pound is overstating the benefit of weight loss.

    2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20


    just a simple cat

      Looking at your avatar, I can see where the most weight loss advantage might be...........that stuff on your back!

       

      I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house


      And in the end...

        I believe that the 2 secs per pound per mile is specific to distance running. Not sure it really applies to 5k races. As for it's origin, I think it's just a rule of thumb. I don't know of any empirical study, nor do I think it's even possible to conduct such a study due to all of the variables. That said, it's a pretty good guideline from my experience... assuming that the weight loss is mostly from running-specific exercise... so, yes, it's a combo of both weight loss and improved fitness. Weight is a big factor in distance running.

        ------------------------

        The GITM is moot.

        DoppleBock


          1 pound to a 130 pound person

          1 pound to a 90 pound person

          1 pound to a 215 pound person

           

          Each one will give you a different benefit

           

          The 2 seconds might be a rule of thumb

           

          It goes something like this ...

           

          If I have a VDOT value of 58 and I am 95 KG (Yes I am a big guy) ... MMo2 = 5510

          If I lose 5 KG and nothing else changes I should be at

          5510 / 95 = VDOT of 61.2

           

          Look up Daniels VDOT stuff

           

          The problem is I have a goofy inefficient stride - So I do not convert theoretical gain to actual gain at 100% rate.  I am more likely at 50% efficiency, so instead of a VDOT of 61.2, I would be @ 59.6 VDOT.

           

          I do not have  VDOT table handy - But in theory it transfers to your question

           

          A person weighing 50 kg with a VDOT of 58 = MMo2 of 2900

          At 45 KG their theoretical VDOT would be 64.4 a much bigger gain (6.4) than my 3.2 gain.

          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

           

          DoppleBock


            How fast will a car go?

             

            Horsepower

            Weight

            Efficiecy of transfering horsepower through transmission to drive train to speed

            aerodynamics

            tires

             

            Blah - Blah - Blah

             

            As MR MAttM states there are too many variables to know the answer for sure ... but

             

            What I posted and the use of the Daniel's VDOT formula will get your theoretical improvement for weight gain or loss - Using the VDOT is also a theoretical fitness level based on a recent race that can be taken to other race distances.  But it assumes you have the fitness to take a 5k race time to a marathon etc.  It also assumes you ran you best race.

            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

             

            JML


              I think it is difficult to come up with a metric that specifically equates racing weight with running performance.  I found myself in your shoes a while ago and concluded that 6' 2 - 192 pounds was not a good way to run and have taken my weight down to the low 170s. Lo and behold.....I got faster.   However, I also went through a very good stretch of properly structured training that I think had more of an impact on my running speed so who knows the actual seconds / mile impact of the the weight loss.

               

              In any event, less weight will make you faster (within healthy limits) so why not give it a try?

               2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                Looking at your avatar, I can see where the most weight loss advantage might be...........that stuff on your back!

                 

                Ha.  Funny.  That photo is from a few years ago - on a glacier in Kyrgyzstan.  I probably weighed 170 back then - at least without the pack. 

                 

                MrMatt - it had not occurred to me that there may be a different benefit over different distances.  I guess I will find out.

                 

                DB - Thanks for the detailed feedback.  I do have a Daniels book.  I haven't read it in a while and I had forgotten what he wrote about VDOT and weight.  I'll check it out tonight.

                2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20

                DoppleBock


                  So I ran a VDOT 57 @ 100 KG = 5700 MMOL

                   

                  So I thought hey I could 75KG

                   

                  5700 / 75 = 76

                   

                  hey if I could work on a 5% boost in my MMOL = 5700 x 1.05% = 5985 MMO2

                   

                  5985 / 75 = 79.8 ~ 80 VDOT

                   

                  http://www.coacheseducation.com/endur/jack-daniels-nov-00.htm

                   

                  VDOT of 80 (See attached table) = 2:07:38 marathon

                   

                  Never going to happen ... I gots an uggggghly inefficient stride.  If I weight 75KG (Never going to happen) I would be lucky to have a VDOT in the low 60s

                   

                  UGLY

                  http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                  2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                   

                  DoppleBock


                    So if your VDOT = 49 (See table)

                     

                    191 / 2.2 = 87KG

                    Lose 10KG = 77KG

                     

                    87KG x 49 = 4263 MMO2

                    4263 / 77 = 55.4 VDOT

                     

                    55.4 VDOT ~ 18:18 5k

                     

                    So in theory if you changed nothing else and only reduced your weight, your maximum gain would be the above.  You will not change nothign else - Muscle content, aerobic fitness will change and your ability to transfer theoretical gain to actual will be less than 100%

                    http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                    2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                     

                    DoppleBock


                      He does use the formula of VDOT = MMo2 / KG

                       

                      I am not sure if he then tries to translate it to increase VDOT for less weight?  But in theory it would hold true 

                       

                       

                      DB - Thanks for the detailed feedback.  I do have a Daniels book.  I haven't read it in a while and I had forgotten what he wrote about VDOT and weight.  I'll check it out tonight.

                      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                       

                        I believe that the 2 secs per pound per mile is specific to distance running. Not sure it really applies to 5k races. As for it's origin, I think it's just a rule of thumb. I don't know of any empirical study, nor do I think it's even possible to conduct such a study due to all of the variables. That said, it's a pretty good guideline from my experience... assuming that the weight loss is mostly from running-specific exercise... so, yes, it's a combo of both weight loss and improved fitness. Weight is a big factor in distance running.

                         

                        I guess it's all relative but I believe the 5K raced properly is a distance event.

                         

                        In my experience I found loosing wight beneficial to my race results at all distances but it really is almost impossible for anyone to isolate that single variable when comparing race results. While 1-2 seconds a mile might not add up to much in a 5K, it would be meaningful improvement to some.

                          Wow, it's getting to be a very complicated formula; I'm impressed, DoppleBock!

                           

                          All I know is that it takes 0.17 milliliter of oxygen to move 1kg 1 meter.  It doesn't way anything about the speed but I feel it should be taken into consideration.  You do the rest of the calculation!! ;o)  Good luck.


                          Shakedown Street

                            I am thinking the 2 sec per pound is a mean result of the population's experience....kinda like BMI.

                            Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)

                            qwerty85


                              As a fairly new runner, I spend a lot of time planning. I am not sure if more experienced runners do the same thing, but I have created a fairly detailed training schedule for 2013 (all subject to change of course) and have been thinking through my race calendar and goals for the year.  As I consider all the different things I can do to improve my race times next year, it occurred to me that I may have overlooked the single most important thing I can do to get faster: lose weight. While I have improved rapidly over the last year, I have also been lugging around a lot of excess weight.  Is it possible that no amount of base building or VO2 Max workouts or tempos or pure mileage can compete with the benefits of losing 15 - 25 pounds?  I am not saying that my training plan is not important, but - at least for 2013 - could it be that what I do in the kitchen is more important than how I do my training runs?

                               

                              I did a few google searches and found the conventional wisdom that each pound is worth 2 seconds per mile.  I am 6' 1, weigh 190 pounds and seek to lose at least 20 pounds.  That would correspond to 40 seconds per mile.  Since I already run a 20 minute 5K, that number seems staggering to me and I am not sure I believe it.  I would think that this would be extremely difficult to measure.  If in 6 months, I truly have lost 20 pounds and my race pace has improved by 40 seconds per mile (or 20 or 60 seconds for that matter), this will be a result of both weight loss and improved fitness.  It will be impossible for me to isolate a single factor. Right?

                               

                              So, does anyone know where the 2 seconds per mile per pound estimate comes from?  Was there a study that attempted to just isolate weight, holding all other factors constant?  What are your experiences with weight loss (or weight gain) and race pace?  I would expect that there is a strong correlation between the two, but I wonder if 2 seconds per pound is overstating the benefit of weight loss.

                               

                              Having gained 30 lb in a few month period where I don't think my fitness changed too much, the 2 sec per mile per pound was fairly accurate for me.  I'm not sure I did a 5K but it was sure accurate for the marathon.

                               

                              The benefit of weight loss depends on how much you really have to lose though.  It's impossible to say how much the benefit will be, but I mean of course if you have too much weight you will be slower than if you had more.   Some people the weight is the big factor... some people they really should put their attention elsewhere because dieting can make running difficult too and better training will mean more.

                                I think the range is 1-2 seconds per pound per mile.  2 seconds might be optimistic.

                                 

                                Easy experiment:  Put on 5-10 extra pounds of clothing or gear and going for a run, and report back to us the difference.

                                "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."

                                12