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How much faster will losing weight make you?

There was a great article in the July 2007 edition of Runner’s World that asks the question, what’s your ideal weight? We’ve talked about this subject a few times on theoverweight joggling runner joggler blog including this post about how do you know if you should lose weight and you know you’re overweight when

Calculating BMI

In the article, the author examines the latest research on weight, fitness and health. He outlines the 4 categories of the Body Mass Index (BMI) including underweight, normal, overweight and obese. If you want to figure out your own BMI, check out this really handy BMI calculator.

But don’t put too much stock in what the BMI calculator is telling you. Look at this list of gold medal winning athletes that are classified as overweight and even obese. BMI isn’t everything.

Less Weight = Faster You

However, it does make you wonder, how much faster can you get by losing weight? According to Runner’s World you can shave about 2 seconds per mile for every pound you lose.

1 pound = 2 seconds per mile

There is a limit to this simple formula because if you lose too much weight you’ll start to get much slower. In general, you should keep your BMI above 18.5.

Assuming that your weight stays in a healthy range, here is what you can expect to happen to your times if you lose weight.

5K races

Lose 2 pounds and you’ll be 12 seconds faster. Lose 10 pounds to cut your time down by 1 minute.

10K races

Lose 5 pounds to get 1 minute faster. A 10 pound loss will get you 2 minutes

Marathon

Here’s where you can see some big time gains. Lose 5 pounds and you’ll shave over 4 minutes off your time. Losing 10 pounds will cut almost 9 minutes! (There’s my Boston Qualifier!)

Of course, to break the world record for joggling a marathon I’d have to lose 40 pounds. Yeah right. Maybe I’d better find a better way to get this fast.

If you want to become a faster runner, losing weight will definitely help. It won’t make you a world record marathon joggler but 5 pounds lost might get you a whole new set of PRs.

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog! I’m lucky I have the coordination to walk up right some days, so I probably won’t ever be a joggler but I do enjoy racing with you and anyone else qwho will entertain me for 26.2!

  2. I can be living proof that lighter=faster 🙂 I think a combination of weight loss and strength improvement equals a faster per minute time. I would think it would be a lot greater than 2 seconds…

  3. Wow! An 18.5 BMI!! If I lost 15 pounds I’d be at BMI 23.4. To get to 18.5, I’d have to weigh…140 lbs. That would be a 50 pound loss. I don’t think so. On the plus side, it would cut 45 minutes off my marathon time.

  4. I was thinking about that since last year. My half marathon time at the Disneyland Half Marathon last weekend was about 6 minutes faster than my half marathon time last year in Pasadena. I did virtually no training for it but I was about 5 pounds lighter. The lighter weight was a huge factor.

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