Friday, December 30, 2011

Number 1 New Year's Resolution for Runners!

If you're a loyal reader at the R's, you know we don't pull punches here. We say it like we mean it, and we mean it like we say it.

So here is what I have to say to you:

You're too fat.

Harsh, right? But I'm serious.

As we head into the New Year and think about our resolutions and goals for 2012, as runners are wont to do, we need to think about the most obvious one first. Again, here it is:

Skinny people run faster.

Look, I'm no runway model. I am, when dumb and happy, a big guy. Exactly six feet tall and right around 175 pounds. So I'm here to tell you, getting skinnier has made a difference in my running and health and it can do the same for you. Since the beginning of 2011, I've dropped over 10% of my body weight. I feel that single fact has allowed me to run basically injury free while running 26 road races in 2011.

But now I want to be healthy...and fast. So in 2012, I hope to drop another 5-10% of my total weight.

The common rule is this: runners will get two seconds per mile faster for every pound they drop (assuming you have extra weight to drop, and again, most of us do). I'm sure you've heard this before, but let's study it just a bit. Just a second, let me grab my calculator...OK, let's say you're trying to get ready for a marathon. Let's also say you could stand to drop ten pounds. That's almost nine minutes off your race time. Fifteen pounds would net you around 13 minutes. Just from dropping the weight. And we all know, once you do drop some weight, the training becomes easier and the times get even faster.

I know, I know, you love the chocolate. Hey, I love the chocolate.

But look at the scientific facts:

From Frank Horwill and George Sheehan.

A nice video from Runner's World and Joanna Golub.

Some good numbers to think about from Ben Greenfield at

So let's spend these first few boring months of the year eating better, working out more regularly, and dropping some weight. When we hit June, I want us all to be ready: lighter and faster!

Finally, if you're serious about dropping 10-20, no matter how big you are, please talk to your doctor. That's a lot of weight, and we need to be smart about how we take it off.

Since it's been shown that consistent weigh-ins and making others aware of your plans and progress can help when trying to lose weight, I'm going to start writing down my most recent weight at the bottom of each blog post. If you see me going in the wrong direction, please tell me to get off my fat ass and chew on a head of lettuce or something!

Good luck!


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