Now, I know that running at a lighter weight would be kinder to my joints and tendons and also enhance my speed. I read one estimate that said for every 10 pounds lost, you could gain an extra 20sec/mile. Over the course of a marathon, this amounts to being 9 minutes faster. Woo hoo! But what is the optimal running weight?
Enter this month's edition of Runner's World and an article on Your Perfect Running Weight. There were two options for figuring this out. The first was for recreational and/or fat runners, the second for proper runners. Although I consider myself a 'proper' runner, I don't have access to a body fat composition scale as required for Option 2, so I had to do the more basic Option 1. Already, I was annoyed.
To calculate the baseline weight, you start with 100 pounds for the first 5 feet of height and add 5.5 pounds for each additional inch. Then you measure your wrist to see if you have a small, medium, or large frame. Mine is small. Teeny wrists but not so teeny hips. Anyway, for a small frame, you subtract 10 pounds from your baseline weight and voila! You have your Perfect Running Weight.
Now, at the moment I am already 6 pounds above my RW baseline weight. I have to lose SIXTEEN POUNDS??? The last time that I weighed that particular weight was in 1994 when I spent five months walking from England to Scotland via a series of long-distance footpaths, carrying a 40 pound rucksack on my back and covering up to 20 miles a day. The weight dropped off and, by the end, I could majorly see my hipbones. My periods also stopped. Yep, that's a healthy weight, no doubt about it.
So, here's my plan. First, I'm going to make myself stand really, really tall to add an extra inch to my height which will make the target weight be a bit more realistic (this would be the weight where ALL of my clothes, not just the ones with elasticated waists, fit). Then I'll forget about that weight because, unfortunately, it just isn't realistic for this middle-aged stage of my life. However, a couple of pounds over that probably is doable, if I keep running and (more importantly) limit the cakes.
|Except for cupcakes. They're small and therefore don't count.|