Why losing weight helps to run faster, some facts and figures to get you thinking.
Most of us have at least 2 pounds that we could easily lose by changing a few things in our diet!
This is often where the best result is to be gained with the least effort!
Losing weight helps to run faster because less weight needs to be transported, making it easier to move at a higher speed with the same amount of energy. The principle is the same as running with a backpack full of bricks versus a backpack that is empty.
In this article, we will explain in detail the role our weight has on our performance and qualify it.
Table of Contents
Don’t obsess about your weight
We’ll give you the numbers right after, but we’d like to start with a very important point: don’t obsess about your weight.
You should not weigh yourself too regularly and analyze your weight evolution in the short term.
Fluctuations are completely normal in the short term.
When you train regularly (at least 3 times a week and more), you just need to eat a balanced diet most of the time, the training does the rest.
Each pound equals about 1 or 2 seconds per mile
It’s simply physics because you need a certain amount of energy to run at a certain speed.
And that if you carry an extra pound, your body will have to create more energy to run at the same speed.
It’s not only logical. Studies have proven this.
An early American study added a weighted vest to runners and tested them on an effort. It was about 1.4 seconds per mile per pound.
A second study tested the opposite by artificially reducing the weight of the runners with a harness and showed a gain of about 2.4 seconds per mile per pound.
That shows a gain of 1 to 2 seconds per mile.
Lose weight but be smart about it
This is where we have to tell you to be careful. Because yes, losing weight can make you gain a lot.
If you really have weight to lose and if you lose that weight gradually, and restrict yourself to the point of not having enough energy to train effectively, that would be counterproductive!
As is often the case, the best is the enemy of the good, so be careful!
Don’t go below your healthy weight, it will be counterproductive because your body will not be able to function at full capacity. In short, don’t play with this!
By the way, what is our ideal body weight? Can it be calculated? Many studies have shown that it is not that easy.
We are all different, we have different genetics, different body composition and wanting to calculate a fitness weight… It doesn’t work like that.
For more tips on losing weight with running, read our other post Running tips for beginners to lose weight: Jogging advice
Don’t try to lose weight, rather find your healthy weight
If you really have weight to lose, not just a few pounds gained over the holidays, don’t try to lose weight.
Just try to eat as balanced a diet as possible, train hard, and your weight will adjust itself.
Be careful, when we say eat a balanced diet, we are not saying live like a monk.
Eating a balanced diet most of the time, but not depriving yourself occasionally, should be your rule of thumb.
And obviously the key word is occasionally because the more serious you are about eating, the more effective it is.
Why losing weight helps to run faster: Conclusion
Running with less weight helps you run faster. It’s not rocket science.
And when you run faster and better, you enjoy it more, so you run more and lose even more weight. See? It’s a ripple effect so get started!
Afterward, allow yourself to get the proper recovery by reading our other post What helps your body recover after running? 10 Post-run tips
By the way, if you’re a fat guy like myself, you can make good use of this list of best running shoes for fat guys.