During my long run this morning I thought about some of the articles I’ve read from elite or professional runners who have shared their stories about how a coach encouraged them to lose a few pounds to enhance their running. I’m here to tell you from a regular, everyday runner’s perspective that losing a few pounds does not automatically equate to faster running. To get faster, you have to run faster.
In my last weekly weigh-in I was down another two pounds for a total of eighteen. I didn’t celebrate the number with a before and after picture like I have been because I’m at the point where the number really doesn’t matter. Let me be a broken record here and shout I FEEL SO FREAKING AWESOME!
Yet this really freaking awesome feeling still isn’t carrying over into my running. Actually, I felt stronger and faster with the extra weight. When I had an extra 18 pounds I was capable of breaking two hours in a half marathon. If I were to try today I would bonk promptly at mile five. I’m a unique snowflake I guess.
That’s not to say I’m going to Dunkin Donuts and going to put that weight back on, have I mentioned that I feel awesome? In fairness to my current running ability, I have only been doing more speed work focused running for one week, icy sidewalks slow me down, and omg-the-wind today. I also thought, “I’ll go run up and down one of Madison’s biggest hills in the last mile of my long run for funsies!”
Those hill repeats were rough. I told Instagram Stories that I quit after the first one, but then I went for another one. I barely made it to the top in the second repeat. I went for a third and stalled out half way up. This hill is basically a mountain. Huffing and puffing, I went for a fourth, and then hauled ass to complete a fifth. After those repeats the short run back to my car, with the wind, I was clocking an 8:45 minute mile.
Get uncomfortable, get faster.
And the crazy part is that the maniac in me wants to go back to that hill ASAP. I have so much work to do. I want to see that 8:45 minute mile more often.
If your coach tells you to lose a few pounds, tell him or her that you’re going to go do hill repeats instead.