Weight and running

I don’t weigh myself often. In fact, rarely – I did for a while, not too long after I started running often, just to see the impact of the changes I had made. At the time I was also interested in whether it would make me faster, and that was when I read that you can gain about 2 seconds per mile in speed for every pound in weight lost. At the time that seemed to work out about right, although I also increased my running miles at that time too, so it’s difficult to tell how much of that was due to the weight lost.

Now, following a recent doctor visit, it seems that I am about 10lbs heavier than I was a year ago (when I ran 10k and half marathon PRs), and almost 20lbs heavier than my lightest (when I hadn’t yet run such distances).

How does that translate into my running? Well, as I’m getting back to a decent level of training, it seems that maybe the numbers are correct – we’ll see what happens in my upcoming races (next is Newport Half this weekend), but my expectation, based on recent performance, is that I will be 20 to 30 seconds slower per mile than a year ago.

So, what’s my plan? I won’t do anything specifically to target weight, and it’s difficult to tell the progression here (such as, have I lost any weight over the last month or two?). I am getting back to the gym more and doing other types of training (gym visits are more infrequent in the summer, and an issue with my arm had me skipping the gym in general for the last 3 months) so perhaps that will bring the weight down a little, otherwise I’m happy enough with where I am as my weight really isn’t much of a concern.

What’s your approach to weight control? Does that play a major part in your run training?

EDIT: my wife read this and felt like I was saying “the lighter the better”. Note that my fastest times did not happen when I was at my lightest. I do not intend to drop that low again (she says I was too skinny). There is a balance needed.

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