To run fast, it helps to be light. It’s just a fact that less energy is needed to move less weight. I’m a joggler who weighs in at 195 lbs. That’s not bad at my height (6’1″) but it’s not good if I want to be the fastest marathon joggler in the world. But how do you know what you should weigh?This question was asked in a recent Runner’s World magazine and here’s what they said.
- BMI: This is the Body Mass Index and it calculates the weight that you should be based on your height. Runner’s World was kind enough to create an online calculator that makes your BMI easy to figure out. I put in my numbers and voila! I’M OVERWEIGHT! My BMI is 25.7 and according to them anything over 25 is overweight. So much for all this running. Guess I should cut down on the McDonalds ice cream cones.
Of course they say BMIs of muscular people tend to be high and it will sometimes put them in the overweight category when they shouldn’t be. That must be it.
- Height-weight tables: Someone, somewhere put together these tables that list the population’s weight/height ratio and how it effects their lifespan. Here’s a resource I found that lists some. Looks like according to Met Life I’m overweight.
- Waist to hip ratio: If your waist is too wide relative to your hips then that increases your risk for all kinds of health problems (heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure). Your ratio should be less than 0.95 (for a man) or 0.80 for a woman. To figure yours out simply run a tape measure around your waist and then around your hips. Divide the waist number by the hip number to get the ratio.
So I did it for mine and I clock in at 34″ waist and a 36.5″ hip. That’s a ratio of 0.93. Finally, something that tells me I’m not overweight.
I don’t really put too much stock in these measurements since I think only you know when you are overweight. I’d like to lose a few just because I want to run faster. But it’s a little known fact, training for a marathon will not necessarily lead to you losing any weight. There’s only one magic formula for that…Increase exercise, decrease food.