Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Speed of Lite!

optics My last post, where I documented my increase in pace, got me thinking. It really got me thinking what do I need to get faster, I am, after all, looking for every edge I can but the reality is that I am forty cough-cough year old so there is a limit to the improvement.

Like most people I put on a little ‘Christmas Pudding’ or should I call it padding! In fact since September I have probably put on, depending on the day, somewhere between 15-20lbs! This is the downside of eating like you running 50 miles a week and actually running nothing, teens and now early twenties! Now there’s a correlation here heavy equals slow; well to a point. I remember reading somewhere an article which indicated what you can expect to gain per pound of weight lost!

After a bit of rummage on the interwebthingy I turned it up and the details are quite amazing; for every pound you lose you can expect a gain in speed of 2 seconds per mile, 2 seconds per mile, what’s that you say well if you lose, say, 5lbs: over a 5k that’s 31 seconds, over a 10k that’s 1:02, over a Half Marathon that’s 2:11 and over a Marathon 4:22!

If I apply that to my 5k PR from 2008 when I was probably 10-15lbs lighter that extra 5lbs would reduce it down to 19:10. So let’s extrapolate that; I need to lose; well I actually want to lose, 20lbs, over a marathon that’s 17:28, 17:28! Well, I’ll take some of that please, that’s completely free time, which off of my existing marathon PR would get me under the 3:30 marker in fact that makes me pretty close to 3:26, so what that really means is I need to go a bit more than one minute per mile faster that I did in June of 2007!

Am I being too simplistic, maybe, but it strikes me that a combination of the weight loss and the speed training from the FIRST plan may just get me to the finish line with a 2:**:** on the clock face?

Now if I was to throw together a little weight loss competition who would be interested?


  1. Me! I need some extra motivation. Current goal is to take 15-20 lbs off for when I'm in 'peak' shape and form.

    Let's do this!

  2. I think your plan is going to work Stuart!

    You will get faster, a lot faster, but at our age you may not get the results as quickly as you'd like.

    Weight loss competition, sure I'm up for it, but I could do with losing a good 30lbs so I certainly have an advantage :)

  3. crap I have to lose like 40 lbs to cut a half hour my time...I might look like a skelton but I guess if it's in the name of running.

    ok fine maybe i just need to do some speed work

  4. I believe it. I'm sure that half my progress (speed-wise) since I started running is due to weight loss.

    Your 3:30 goal will not be a problem with all the speed work you've been doing. Believe in the training, find a flat race and you're in business.

    As far as a weight loss competition, count me out. I lose weight because I run, not the other way around. I just don't have the will power.

    Good luck.

  5. Thank you for sharing this information! I have about 20-30 lbs to lose and this really gives me motivation to just do it! I would be interested in some competition!!

  6. This is the first time that I have lost weight over the holidays – and faster for a marathon (trying to BQ) is the reason why.

    I want my 10 lbs = 20 seconds!

  7. Thank Stuart! Two seconds per pound huh. I was looking for that statistic earlier this week. Now to plan my domination of the marathon. Let's see, if I lose 100 pounds......

  8. Yes, I would love a competition. I think you are going to rock your goals. You have such a solid base built up, and I think the ultras really prepare you mentally for the marathon.

  9. That is right... MY HUSBAND was the winner. :))) Seems like yesterday. How time flies and a few pounds have found there way back. He is more motivated than ever. Even talking of running another marathon this year.

    I did add a few pounds on over the holiday but our Team Coach is taking care of that now. I am back to my normal weight so I would guess by Spring... well...I may be eating more.

  10. You are also losing a certain amount of lean muscle mass every year as well. Losing weight at the expense of muscle is NOT the answer. Determining that optimal balance of weight, muscle, and strength is hard to do, but that's the question we seek.

  11. I've never intend to lose weight while running, although when it happens, it's great. The problem for me is when I decrease my mileage, my calorie intake don't change much at all. I need to work on that.

  12. Oh man could I stand to lose 20 - 30 pounds! I'm in. How many weeks are you looking at?

  13. count me in. my "christmas pudding" started hanging around like last march, not just the christmas that passed... :-/

    i need to drop 15 for running and just plain not looking like a blob in real life :)

  14. Mmmmm, pudding!!

    I could totally stand to lose 10 pounds, 15 would be great, 20 would be . . . high school weight! I have never dieted in my life, and am hopeful that the pounds just fall off due to my running. 3 years later, this hasn't happened yet (but I got nice legs!), but I'm hoping that with marathon training (!!) and lots of yoga that this is the year. Sure I'd join a contest! I just can't imagine myself on a diet . . . I love food and lots of it and thank goodness I became a runner or I probably just woulda gotten fat after 40.


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