Janae over at The Hungry Runner Girl...had a reader ask a question in regards to losing weight and increasing speed. I thought I would give my two cents about it.
By the way, if you know of anyone who pays for puns by the minute, I’m pretty sure I would be rich by Tuesday! with only toddlers to share my cleverness with…I am afraid they’re being wasted 😉
Very few of us will be elite athletes like Kara Goucher or Meb. So why are we all so concerned about wearing the right gear? having the lightest shoes? eating the food of elites? I dare say that in the world of running, us runners are a lot obsessive compulsive driven by numbers, status, and the want/desire to look like we know what we are doing. All of this want and need to look like we have what it takes, unfortunately goes along the lines of actually “looking” like a runner.
Thankfully, runners like Kara, have redefined what a fast female athlete looks like. However, she still is extremely trim, fit, and muscular beyond what an average, every-day woman looks like.
She has coaches, friends who are also chefs, as well as a slue of other people to help her be a well-oiled machine.
In case Kara just happened to read this…(never in a million years)..Kara, you are amazing! you of course are ultimately the one responsible for all of your success! you have a lot of love and support around you, you have what it takes in the running world the drive, heart, and ambition…you’re nothing short of inspiring.
I hope that I am not eluding to the idea that I sit over here on my throne completely untouched by such issues of weight, insecurities, or self-doubt..I wrote the book on all of those subjects!
However, I am driven by question and challenging the status quo. I don’t like being told that there is a one-size-fits-all philosophy; especially when it comes to running. There is no magic number or percentage that will make you faster, slower, better, worse….as long as you are taking care of yourself and listening to your body…then the numbers are just that, numbers.
I loved my physiology professor in college. We were talking about true measurement of body fat percentage. He said it so matter-of-fact..but it was like a light bulb went off.
“the only way we could truly know how much we have in body fat…we would have to be dead. The only real, accurate evaluation of how much fat one has is after death.”
I don’t own a scale for a multitude of reasons…but that lecture had contributed to my sans-scale choice. He helped me realize that weight depends on
- amount of muscle tissue
- water, hydration status
- wether you just ate a large meal or weighed yourself after waking up in the morning
There’s other factors…but those seemed to have stuck out the most. I guess where I’m going with all of this is…
If you are concerned about only focusing on 1-2 lbs and the fixation on losing those pounds at the cost of your fitness or health, is it worth it? If you are not happy in your pursuit for greatness, because you are constantly “weighing in” or worried about whether or not you are eating the right things based on what Meb is eating…are you really in love with the sport or driven by something deeper? I know I have struggled with similar demons a lot in my life, so again, don’t consider me above the rest…far from it!
However, I do have these two little teachers (Bodhi & Trout) who have shown me what it is to really look at life from an innocent/unbias perspective. They have made me question the method behind my madness and make sure I am always taking care of myself and avoiding compromising my health at the expense of a few extra minutes shaved off my race time…they really are the best for that!
I hope that Janae’s reader finds the answers she’s looking for, but I also hope that the running world continues to have athletes and advocates that challenge the “norm” and take running back to a more intuitive/individual matter rather then a cookie cutter sport where everyone would benefit from the same diet, training schedule, gear to succeed.