This morning as we say outside Yolo ( http://www.yelocornerstore.com.au ) eating muffins and drinking coffee the conversation turned to weight. Bart’s had lost 5 kilos over than last few weeks and this was evident in his running. No longer was he getting dropped early in the 14k progressive pain train that is Thursday mornings. He was lasting till the halfway point and although he would then be dropped quicker than a Kevin Spacey video he was finishing stronger each week. We had to take his word for it of course as, being a sports teacher , he’s not one for these new fangled devices like GPS watches, Bart’s is old school and his cheap Casio digital watch is good for telling the time only, how quaint?
So around the table we went divulging our current weight. Bart’s was a shade over 67 kilos’ which was getting there for a long distance runner, myself , I was around the 72 kilo mark which is at least 2 kilos over my racing weight but with the next few months not offering up any fast marathons I generally ‘let myself go’ a bit. Mike K.’s weight fluctuates more than the stock market with a recession in town, it all depends on how many times he has eaten out that week as well as the little treats he gives himself when he returns from eating out. Next was the King of Carine, young Nic Harman, who had just probably set the fastest time for the 14k progressive by a country mile. Nic weighted in at 54 kilos, which is the weight that most Kenyan marathon runners aim for. Funnily enough Nic just drank water while the rest of us gorged on the best muffin and coffee combination in WA, go figure ? Could Nic had run the time he just had if he weighed in at a ‘normal’ weight, no way.
So can we get to Nic’s weight and turbo-charge our running, unfortunately not. If I weighed 54kilos I would be single (my Wife struggles with my current weight as she grumbles the man she married was nearer 90 kilos than 70 and spent time in gyms rather than pounding the pavement. They’re a funny bunch Wifes? ) and probably struggle to get out of bed no matter run anywhere. This is the card I have been handed by my parents and genetics. Is this the reason why I’ll never challenge the Africans, it certainly plays a part I believe. The other part of course is God given talent and the ability to draw on it. This morning as Nic disappeared into the distance I pondered why I probably put in more time running than Nic but was nowhere near his pace and had no chance of ever finishing a race anywhere near him. Of course this goes for 99% of the running population and I get a lot closer than most but sometimes you need to face facts, there is nothing I could do, nothing, to get anywhere near Nic and his times. Of course this then also translates to the same equation for Nic and the Kenyan runners that currently dominate the running scene of today. What do they have that we don’t ? They have the genetics and the hunger to draw on their talent, mentally they are strong because they face poverty daily and running is their escape. They are also very, very light.
So the magic pill to improve your running may be a pill that you don’t need to take, abstinence may be the answer to all you’re running questions. The cost of course is a big one and the sacrifice substantial but if you really want to improve it can be as easy and walking past the fridge in the evening and choosing a healthy option. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned many times on this topic, we give up so much as runners , food can be the hardest one to swallow, or not as the case may be. I love my food and side with Matt Fitzgerald and his marathon diet as it advocates carbs and the ‘normal’ runners diet of food I adore. The high fat, low carb diet is something I can never follow because it advocates the complete removal of sugar from the diet. I know sugar is bad but I justify it as fuel that is needed for my running. Imagine no sugar in my diet, the world would be a bland place.
I suppose how we reach our ‘racing weight’ is a personal choice, if you follow the Fitzgerald plan it may mean a smaller portion size or if you go down the HFLC diet it would be the removal off sugar from your diet. The thing is when you get to your racing weight the rewards are huge, as described in the post below. Runners put so much emphasis on the weight of their training shoes stressing about a few hundred grams while adding kilos to their body weight with bad diet and/or poor training. It doesn’t add up.
A post from Amanda McMillan written for www.runnersworld.com explains how your racing weight can make you fitter, faster and more resilient to wear and tear.
Marathon training involves months of sacrifice to be able to be in the best…
Although runners have less opportunities to increase pace without actually putting in the hard yards…