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# What is the Optimal Weight for Mile and Middle Distance Running? (Read 189 times)

Riman643

I am 5'8" and dropping weight. I am currently 217.8 lbs and looking for the optimal running weight. I am assuming lighter is better and I could probably get away with being less than the lowest recommended BMI weight of 122 lbs. What do you all think? Is there a formula that is well known for determining a good weight?

an amazing likeness

2 sec per mile pace improvement per pound of weight loss is the rule of thumb. Stillman invented some calculator which may be of dubious value.

160 pounds.  (the question may be well-reasoned, the answer may not)

Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

Take a gander at the top milers throughout history for your answer.

Most of the best distance runners (10k-marathon) are short and skinny.

Many of the best 100-400m runners are tall and strong.

I'll concur with 160lbs.

I was about that weight when I PR'd in the mile, 5'10".

60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

I remember some sort of calculator that stated my weight should be 157lbs at 6-2 for optimum "racing" weight.

There is also this:  http://racingweight.com/rwe/#/

aydarunsslow

I always assumed my optimal race weight would be obvious once you plateau.

I have lost weight twice in my life and both times I was active and made very little changes to my diet.

I noticed that my weight stops dropping after I reach 108 lbs. I am 5'2.

I recently had a baby and started running 4-5 days a week about 6 months ago and was able to go from 145 lbs to 119. I am still dropping about one to two pounds a week but I am expecting that to stop once I hit 109.

I used the calculator mentioned and it marked my optimal weight as 109 so it seems accurate enough.

dpschumacher

37 going on 60

When I ran in college, I am 6ft and weighed around 163-65. If I went below 162 I started breaking down. I had a guy who ran similar times who was 6 ft and weighed 140.  Some people just have higher ideal weights. Whatever you come to, give it a range of +/- 6 or 7 pounds. Don't obsess over weight but rather how much nutrition you need to have energy and nail workouts. Weight will sort itself out. Don't stop or reduce calories if you have no energy for workouts and runs. Feed your body what it needs.

2021 Goals for my 2 marathon cycles this year

Marathon Sub 2:40 2:39:27 Grandma's Marathon 6/19/21

10k Sub 35:00 in Marathon build

5k Sub 16:30 in Marathon build /16:34 BK5K Memorial Day 2021

2022 Goals

Marathon Sub 2:37 2:41:32 Grandma's 2022

10k Sub 35:00

5k Sub 16:00

Weight will sort itself out.

That pretty much summarizes the discussion on weight for runners. Unless you're Salazar.

60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

wjosephbaker

RunningEsq.

I was a decent middle distance/mile guy in high school late 80's early 90's.  I am 5'9" and at my peak speed I was about 125 pounds.  IN cross country with the higher mileage I would drop to about 120 or so.

Maximum Power/Weight Ratio!

It's different for everyone but...

I ran my fastest in track when I was 5'11" 162 lbs

I'm currently 185lbs, heaviest was about 205,

for my frame 175-180lbs is probably about ideal but for distance running I'm sure that's leaner.

My general point is as you lose weight your power/weight ratio generally increases to a certain point at which point you keep losing weight but also start losing more power than weight....

I think if one is aware they can generally figure this out on their own....but many or some....get lost in the I need to lose more and more weight and only focus on that....and at a certain point become detrimental to their health and fitness...

I think if you eat well and train smart...you'll naturally get to that point....so I wouldn't worry too much about the weight numbers...

FOCUS ON EATING HEALTHY / WELL and TRAIN SMART.

ps that BMI range.... I think most of us fall somewhere in that....but for me at 5'11" that range is something like 130-178lbs.... me at a healthy or like really healthy weight is 178 lbs! there's no way I'm getting to 130-155 and healthy, perhaps 155-160 if I really lost more body-fat but I'm already fairly lean for myself....and if I lost a lot of muscle mass perhaps then.... but again, know yourself...

I think if you're 215, and your bmi range says 125-175lbs....175lbs would be perhaps a long term goal....until then my focus would be 5lbs at a time!

good luck!

300m- 37 sec.

darkwave

Mother of Cats

I remember some sort of calculator that stated my weight should be 157lbs at 6-2 for optimum "racing" weight.

There is also this:  http://racingweight.com/rwe/#/

That calculator doesn't ask for height - just weight.  What the heck?

Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

LRB

I didn't run in high school or college so I don't have that variable to draw a comparison.

I took up running at age 42, reasonably fit at 195 lbs and 5 ' 11". I had been into weight-lifting since my early 30s and ran on the treadmill for "cardio" for years, although I didn't consider that running because it wasn't.

I got down to 176 lbs but didn't like the way I looked. I ended up "settling on" 180 lbs which is where I raced my best at the mile - 10k distance.

These days, I hover around 185 lbs and not as svelte as I was but racing isn't my entire world, so I'm okay with that.

To answer your question, I think it depends on your body type. Being somewhat fit, I didn't have a lot of fat to lose. So my weight loss came at the expense of lean muscle. And while too much muscle may slow you down, having enough can provide power. In my case, the trade-off in race times just didn't justify the continued muscle loss to get to an "optimal" number. That and the fact that I didn't look like myself was enough to be content with where I was/am. YMMV

I am 5'9" and weigh 152 lbs. Fifteen years of running did this to me The more you run, the more its whittles you down. The guys I was running with at the club all have the look, lean but not underweight by BMI standards. As my weight dropped my speed increased despite my age... go figure...

viffleros

I think you should run as much as your body allows. People with the same weight can run different distances because many factors affect them.

viffleros

I think you should run as much as your body allows. People with the same weight can run different distances because many factors affect them. I run every day in the morning. I think about the route in advance and sometimes increase it on purpose. I do it to lose weight faster. Moreover, after each run, I weigh myself on this scale https://www.amazon.com/Vont-Smart-Body-Scale-Black/dp/B08XYX8RDR/ to know what percentage of fat I have lost. Analyzing this data helps me develop my diet.

littleGizmo

I am 5'8" and dropping weight. I am currently 217.8 lbs and looking for the optimal running weight. I am assuming lighter is better and I could probably get away with being less than the lowest recommended BMI weight of 122 lbs. What do you all think? Is there a formula that is well known for determining a good weight?

when I ran cross country in high school my best 1 mile was 5:45

at 120 lbs...around 16 years old.  Now in my mid 40s and 200 lbs my best 1 mile is 10:00.  So I would say body weight is a huge factor, lighter means faster.

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