I LOVE running more than pretty much anything.
I LOVE running more than pretty much anything. Racing is definitely my favorite and long runs a close second but I enjoy most aspects of the sport. I'm really grateful for the impact it's had on my life including introducing me to my best friends, taking me all over the world, and teaching me a lot about myself, discipline, elation and heartbreak.
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But there's one thing I HATE about running. It's not the black toenails or the blood blisters or having to drag myself outside when it's sleeting/hailing/blizzarding out. It's the ridiculous emphasis everyone in this sport puts on body shape, size, and weight. The thing that bothers me the most is that it REALLY bothers me.
I wish I could just brush it off when people make comments but it really gets under my skin. A dr the other day said I wasn't scrawny enough to be a marathon runner. A different doc a few years ago told me I should exercise more to combat my sleeping problems. When I told him I ran marathons he said he thought marathon runners we're supposed to "only have 10 percent body fat". Needless to say I switched Doctors but it still hurt my feelings. I guess I'm like most of the population (especially runners!) in that I sometimes struggle with body image issues.
I'm not saying weight has NO impact on performance. I get it people. Part of your performance is dictated by your vo2 max which correlates to your body weight. But that's one piece of a very large puzzle involving a lot of other factors including whats going on from the neck up. Saying body weight is the biggest influence is like placing your bets on the meth addict off the street whose never trained a day in their life. Personally my money is on the musclular girl who runs 100 miles a week.
I don't think there is a solution to this problem and I think on some level runners will always obsess about weight. But maybe I can at least give out some friendly advice. It's not nice or helpful to tell people they don't look like a runner. At least they are out there doing it! And maybe telling someone they "look" fit isn't even the best option either. It's funny. The times in my life when I've been super stressed and not fueling my body properly the runner types tell me I look great while the normal people in my life tell me I look like crap. I would prefer someone tell me I look fit after they've seen me do a great workout or run a new PR and not because they think I've lost a few pounds. Weight just doesn't equal fitness to me like putting in the time and effort does.
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Posted in Fitness Post Date 02/10/2017