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Will losing weight make me faster? (Read 3605 times)

    Interesting...and one guy said pretty much what I suspected to be true--the more one has to lose, the bigger the effect losing weight will have on times. I found this chart interesting, too: Performance Weight Chart For Female Runners Height, Target Weight, Range. 5’1”, 105, 95-116 5’2”, 108, 97-119 5’3”, 111, 100-122 5’4”, 114, 102-125 5’5”, 117, 105-129 5’6”, 120, 108-132 5’7”, 123, 111-135 5’8”, 126, 113-138 5’9”, 129, 116-142 5’10”, 132, 119-145 At 5'3.5" 120#s would be a very healthy weight for me, which is what I am shooting for. Heck, I'd be thrilled with 115, but I probably am a bit curvier than most "performance" runners and I have a feeling if I got much below that I would look bony (my lowest weight in recent years was 124 and I looked and felt about perfect). I think I was around 120 when I graduated HS almost 16 years ago and I haven't grown in height since then. k
    Please be careful with this chart - especially at the extremes. At 5'1", at their low-side of recommend weights, your BMI is a wopping 17.9. Going up to their target gives you a massive 19.8. For the taller women at 5'10", 132 gives you a BMI 18.9 while their low-side of 119 gives you a BMI of 17.1. I am also a few lbs over my "target weight," despite my doctors wanting a few more pounds on me. I think in general this chart has numbers that are way too low for most of us. Maybe for the very elite, but I think trying to achieve those targets is pretty unhealthy for us mortals. Please set your goals realistically and be healthy achieving them. Eating more fruits and veggies and watching calories and running is great. Becoming obsessed with a number, especially one which is pretty low, is not.


    Needs more cowbell!

      I think in general this chart has numbers that are way too low for most of us. Maybe for the very elite, but I think trying to achieve those targets is pretty unhealthy for us mortals. Please set your goals realistically and be healthy achieving them. Eating more fruits and veggies and watching calories and running is great. Becoming obsessed with a number, especially one which is pretty low, is not.
      I couldn't agree more, which is why my goal is at their high end (and was before I found that chart posted on Trent's board). I would look ill at their "target weight." I think the only people who wouldn't be underweight at the target or low end of those ranges would be those with very small frames--ie people who are built to be elite runners, like my HS classmate who will be doing her second Olympic marathon trial. Based upon my height the range for me is ~ 100-125, but I doubt I could even get below 120...I really struggled to get down to 124 a couple of years back (mostly due to a really sluggish metabolism). And I wasn't carrying too much extra at that size. 120 would have likely been my "ideal," 115 would have been a bit below ideal. There's no way my love for food would ever allow anything below 120, honestly. I will likely fluctuate between 120 and 125, knowing me. Plus I'm almost 34, a little on the busty side, and I've had a kid, so it wouldn't even be a reasonable goal for me to weigh under 120. At 124 I generally was fitting into a size 2-4, which isn't teeny tiny on a shortish person--I still had curves. I figure I'd be a solid 2 as a toned 120#. I should be able to run a bit faster then, too, as right now I'm hauling a size 6-8 physique. k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


      Now that was a bath...

        Ok - don't shoot me everyone, but I do think that my goal weight is realistic. I think that it is more dangerous to be losing weight and not to consider a cut off point, I don't see it as obsession with a number, but as a minuimum weight that I am wanting to go to. I would currently consider myself slim/normal - but by no means thin. My diet is now and always has been excellent. As a vegetarian I am constantly putting thought into balancing my body's needs. The number I picked is not set in stone though. When I feel that I don't need to lose any more than I will definitely stop, but I think that 139lbs is a pretty good estimation of where that point will be. I weighed 140 when I got married four years ago and it felt like a comfortable place for me to be. Please don't worry - this is not an obsession for me - merely a thought that I have been playing with in my head since I realised that I have lost some weight already. As a new runner I am interesting in learning all that there is to know about maximizing my performance. I have always been an analyzer. I honestly don't see having a goal weight ( lots of us on here have one, that's why that question is asked on the profile page) that is within the normal range for my height is a problem. I don't think that I am obsessed with a number - but interested in becoming the best that I can be. In the same way that I am playing with my pace and distance at the moment, it simply occured to me that there might be some benefit in allowing my weight loss to continue for another couple of months. The majority of replies in this thread still leave me to believe that this will be the case. Does that make sense? Sometimes I hate the internet because its easy to misinterpret the written word and it can be hard to forge emotional content. I do understand where the concerns are and I will bear in mind all that has been said. Claire xxx
      • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
      • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
          5’1”, 105, 95-116 5’2”, 108, 97-119 5’3”, 111, 100-122 5’4”, 114, 102-125 5’5”, 117, 105-129 5’6”, 120, 108-132 5’7”, 123, 111-135 5’8”, 126, 113-138 5’9”, 129, 116-142 5’10”, 132, 119-145 This chart doesn't work for everyone. For instance, I am 5'4 and weight 140. That chart says I should weight 114. There is no.freakin'. way. Right now I wwear a size 6 and have 19% body fat. There is absolutely no way I could lose another 26 pounds without looking skeletal. And I would have to quit running, because the effect of cutting calories that much would suck away any and all energy. So take these charts lightly, and find a weight that works for you.
          "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian
          va


            All other things being equal, losing weight will absolutely make you faster. You can even use the following calculator to predict how a weight loss (or gain) might affect your running performance: http://www.runningforfitness.org/faq/we.php Its only an estimator, but very interesting nonetheless.
            I need to lose a lot of weight and am am losing it by running. In 6 months I will be able to look back and see how my pace has improved, but as others have suggested, I will also be improving as a runner, so all things will not be equal. In order to get some real good data, with all things being equal, we need somebody, say between 160-180 lbs to place between 30 and 50 lbs in a backpack, and run their best 5K time. Then we can compare their normal 5K time with their weighted 5K time. Any volunteers? Smile
              All other things being equal, losing weight will absolutely make you faster. You can even use the following calculator to predict how a weight loss (or gain) might affect your running performance: http://www.runningforfitness.org/faq/we.php
              I finally got around to checking out that link, and found a couple pretty interesting comments from the experts:
              Important note: this calculation is based on the (unrealistic) assumption that the change in weight is not accompanied by any other change. In reality, losing weight may take you to below your healthy weight, in which case it will not result in an improvement in performance, and may result in illness. See the FAQ for more details.
              And this was particularly interesting:
              In real life, however, everything else would not be constant. A reduction in weight might be accompanied by: - a higher background level of training; - lower muscle mass; - reduced immunity; - reduced glycogen stores; - lower levels of hydration All but the first of these would be expected to lead to a deterioration in athletic performance. These changes would have to be offset against the direct benefits of the weight loss.
              Can't argue with the first three on the list, but I wonder about the last two. Obviously, if you fall well below your healthy weight, I can see that glycogen and hydration would be a problem. Is that what they mean, you think? Or is a really fit person really less able to store glycogen and stay hydrated than someone carrying an extra 10 pounds? If that's true ... I wonder if low body fat is really such a great thing at longer distances. Obviously you don't want to be overweight, but I wonder if carrying five pounds extra might make you a better ultra-distance runner? I know Karnazes and Yurek both brag about how low thier body fat % is ... so I'm guessing I must be wrong. Still, I suspect that it's better to be 5 pounds over than 5 pounds under. In the unlikely event that I'm ever UNDERweight, I'll check that theory. Smile By the way, that race calculator claims a full 1:14 off your marathon time for each pound less. Boy, if that's true, Boston here I come, baby. Or maybe not.
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                In order to get some real good data, with all things being equal, we need somebody, say between 160-180 lbs to place between 30 and 50 lbs in a backpack, and run their best 5K time. Then we can compare their normal 5K time with their weighted 5K time. Any volunteers? Smile
                I did that for five years. I don't wanna no more. Dead Actually, I'm at 165 at the moment, and I'd be interested in taking you up on this. The one problem I see with the experiment is that a backpack isn't like carrying extra weight. I've run with a pack a few times with 10-15 pounds in it, and it sucks. It's a lot worse than having that same weight evenly distributed (or nicely tucked in your gut!). If I could find a way to carry the weight that mimics your body fat better, without all the bouncing and chafing on the straps, this would be interesting to try ...
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                Needs more cowbell!

                  Still, I suspect that it's better to be 5 pounds over than 5 pounds under. In the unlikely event that I'm ever UNDERweight, I'll check that theory. Smile
                  Ha, I hear that...I don't think it would ever happen that I would be underweight--I like to eat too much. That's how I ended up a 185# size 16 not too many years ago.
                  If I could find a way to carry the weight that mimics your body fat better, without all the bouncing and chafing on the straps, this would be interesting to try ...
                  I'll bet one of those pregnancy belly/suit thingies would do the job... Big grin k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                  va


                    Now we’re talking. Yes, zoom-zoom has the answer. It’s 30 pounds (perfect), most of the weight is in the belly (perfect), and it has breasts (perfect). Do you want to donate $745 to science?


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Now we’re talking. Yes, zoom-zoom has the answer. It’s 30 pounds (perfect), most of the weight is in the belly (perfect), and it has breasts (perfect). Do you want to donate $745 to science?
                      Hmmm...I'll bet a person could rent one of those. I can recommend a really good sports bra, if any of you guys are so inclined to try that empathy belly...but you have to promise not to feel yourself up as you run--that would probably not yield an accurate result. Tongue k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      va


                        Another alternative is a fishing vest, which has lots of pockets in the front, with the bigger pockets near the belly. These could be filled with zip-loc bags of sand. The vest would distribute the weight, so it should be fairly comfortable. Cover it all with a fleece, and you'd just look like a fat guy running.
                        va


                          The wheels are turning now... The multiple pockets of the fishing vest open up some interesting possibilities. We could record multiple data points: +5 lbs, +10, +15, +20, +25, +30... This could be the next training craze. Train with a weighted vest for a few weeks before a race, then take the vest off the day of the race. You will fly! Whatever happened to ankle weights?
                            Um ... could I choose the fishing vest? Please? Or could we at least remove the breasts from the other thing? And do people REALLY pay $745 for those things? Dear God. I need another beer.
                            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                            -----------------------------

                            va


                              I have been thinking that if we do multiple runs, each successive run, after the first, will introduce some error - you will become accustomed the weight (i.e., become a stronger runner). So, the most interesting/important data point should be collected first, and that would be a run with the maximum weight that you can practically manage(e.g., with a fishing vest or whatever). The next most important data point would be a run with 1/2 the maximum. There should probably be some recovery time between successive runs.


                              Now that was a bath...

                                I have been unable to sleep well since developing an obsession with the Gorilla man having perky breasts. Jake. maybe we could divide the suit - for you the gut, for me the ta-ta's. Claire xxx
                              • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
                              • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.
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