Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running and body weight test

Yesterday I did my usual morning workout, a 10 mile run with 1800ft of climbing up to 9200ft altitude. I ran it in 1:27 (8:42 pace) and an average HR 144. This has been pretty much the usual. This was relaxed and pretty easy.

Today however I wore my Camelbak with this in it:

No, that's not heroine. It's 4 bags of lead shot and a bag full of sand. With the pack it hit 10 pounds. The run results: 10 miles in 1:35 with an average HR of 151 and my legs are pretty beat up.
So by carrying 10 extra pounds I ran 8 minutes slower with an average HR 7 beats higher plus my legs are beat up. And this was just 10 miles, put that in to context with a 50k or a 50 miler or an Ironman. And I feel that this 10 pounds of extra weight probably had much less of an impact on me than it would a less fit runner...


A diet and nutrition post(s) to follow shortly. This is the start though. I have almost nothing written down so the posts will be off the top of my head mostly and since I'm horrible at grammar, writing, sitting, focusing, typing and congealing my thoughts... bear with me.

31 comments:

Rick said...

Great little experiment. When the extra 10 lbs is being carried as stored BF (and not lead/sand as yours was) the body is sending blood to that extra fat, which means less for the muscles. In your test all your blood was for your body and not the extra 10 lbs you were carrying so the difference is probably even greater for the person who is actually carrying the extra BF.

it's all about pace said...

Nice post Tim... and timely in my case. I did a race last summer where I had to carry a pack... so that comparison is still fresh... it's time to focus and shed a few. Thx

Lucho said...

Rick- Excellent point that I failed to post! You're absolutely correct.

iabp- Ya, we ALL need to focus. There very few athletes that actually have the ideal body composition. Lean body mass is healthy and beneficial (to a point) for runners. There is definitely "too light" in running once you lose your strength to body weight ratio.

jameson said...

rad test... looking forward to the nutrition post(s)..

always good info.

Michelle Simmons said...

That ad is hysterical. I might have to print it out and put it on my fridge. And what an interesting test you did with that pack... I look forward to reading/hearing more about what you have to say on this topic.

jay said...

As a fat jogger, I'm looking forward to the follow-on.

Jeff Valliere said...

Timely post and relevant to my recent trips up Sanitas with and without my ~10+ lb daughters on board (though I was also being cautious not to fall on them or stress their not yet developed neck muscles).

PatrickGarcia said...

I'm very intrigued to hear your thoughts on this. I noticed huge gains when I dropped weight, and I've noticed a point where I lose strength/endurance. Usually if I dip below 160lb (6'2") I notice decreased energy/power and I'm typically not eating enough or eating right.

Lucho said...

Jeff- Wait til you come up and we do double baby jogger runs up to 9000+ ft :)

GeorgiaSnail said...

What a great post...we look at charts that say "2 seconds per pound per mile" as far as gain/loss of speed, but this is a much more tangible idea for me.

Perfect inspiration for me to continue on my weightloss goal building towards my Spring 50k.

Brandon Fuller said...

You are silly. Everyone knows you have to swallow or put the heroine up your butt to transport it. How much slower would the run be in that case?

P. said...

10lbs is pretty light for a heroine. plus, how'd you get her to agree to the duct tape?

Jeff Valliere said...

I am stoked to come up for baby jogger runs with you, I talk about it often. We have a BOB Revolution double jogger which is great, but it does not have a brake which has me worried about the downhills. I am considering a Chariot CX2 that has a brake (amongst other snazzy features AND I scored a pro deal on them if I decide to get one). What are your thoughts on joggers?

GZ said...

I recall that shortly after 9/11 and the then anthrax scare a woman called the cops when she saw a guy spreading flour for a hash run. She was convinced he was spreading anthrax.

If people see you in your jogging suit with this duct tape package, a HR monitor, and a headband, and those city camo skins - you are going to be in jail pretty quick.

Lucho said...

Patrick- I raced my best at Ironman (2:50 marathon) when I was on the "heavy" side at 155# and then as soon as I would diet down to ~145# I was too weak. I would notice this not only in times but also in the weight room. Running is maybe a bit trickier though because it isn't as much a strength sport. The only real way to know your ideal weight is through trial and error. Part of the issue is that in order to drop weight you have to eat less which is a catch 22 in terms of QUALITY training. I can eat a saltine a day and slog through big miles. But once the intensity ramps up I have to 'eat to train' otherwise I'm to tired to perform in workouts. The best approach IMO is to be quite close (within ~5#) to race weight ~12 weeks out from your 'A' race. I think athletes to often try to lighten up right before their race which leaves them depleted for the race. I would (almost) bet that if you got down to ~158# pounds NOW, and then built your fitness off that body weight you might be able to pull it off. It's not too healthy though to be at optimal 'race weight' for very long, another catch 22. Intramuscular fat for an ultrarunner has incredible advantages in terms of muscle and organ padding and also nutrient storage. A tapered competitive body builder is one step away from passing out because they are too lean. But now I'm rambling...

Lucho said...

Georgiasnail- Ya, I've seen those numbers too. There a ton of other factors outside of simply stepping a scale though. Body composition is one. Lose a pound of fat? Sure. Lose a pound of muscle and might lose 2" per mile or GAIN a pound of muscle and you may actually run 5" per mile faster. Muscle stores glycogen and water! There's also the weight glycogen... and truly tapered and fueled athlete may gain a few pounds due to carbohydrate 'loading' which is a great thing. But an OCD athlete who is trying to lose weight may just be depleted and dehydrated. Lots of things can affect the numbers.

skatona said...

While the ill-prepared may look at me and see an extra 25 lbs, I know the truth:

In the event that I am ever stranded in the wilderness with no food I could last forever!

Lucho said...

JV- I don't have a brake either but I am VERY diligent about my tether. I also don't take it out when they have sanded the roads or when there's ice/ snow. I have never felt a brake was necessary. I have a Trek double bike trailer/ jogger that converts super easy plus I can completely enclose it with either a sunscreen or a clear plastic cover. I had a BabyjoggerII that I hated because you couldn't cover your kids!? WTF? I bought ours off Craigslist for $100 and it's almost brand new.
It's still the most insanely difficult run workout ever. I was doing runs last Summer with ~1500+ feet of climbing and the jogger weighs over 110# with the boys in it. I seriously credit the jogger runs to my being able to run Hope Pass and Powerline at Leadville. It made me so strong on climbs.

Lucho said...

Damn, sorry for all the typos.

GZ said...

In regards to "muscle" weight ... I have been doing a bit of exploring on Yannis K ... (this guy holds pretty much holds or held every true ultra record that exists) the thing that got me was that in Noakes' "Lore of Running" Noakes specifically describes how this mega ultra guy (six day races people) went from a skinny ectomorphic runner to one that looked like a mesomorphic wrestler in the midst of his career as he built muscle.

Lucho said...

GZ- It takes about 3500 calories extra per week (on top of your regular intake) to gain a pound of muscle. And this with a VERY specific weight routine designed to gain weight (aerobic exercise inhibits muscle growth so running a ton would add significant calories to that number). Then there' the thermic effect of food (the number of calories required to digest the food), the fact that calories are used to build the muscle, metabolism is going to be boosted due to the the increase in food intake and in addition, resting energy expenditure will be increased. The body can't really naturally add more than 1-2 lbs of muscle per month. And add on top of this high aerobic volume...? I think Michael Phelps was eating (on his huge swim days) roughly 10,000 calories and he didn't put on muscle. He must have been eating 24 hours a day.

Shaun- Ya, there's that too. Not all that bad really.

Dave said...

Not sure what it says about me that I automatically thought "heroin" after seeing the pic, even before reading "No, it's not herion." Might make for a great "over the border" training day;)

Lucho said...

I would be a drug jogger(yuk).

kerrie said...

soooo, what's your point;)?

Lucho said...

No point other than adding weight makes running harder. Pretty profound!

Brett said...

http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/diet/weighteffect

That link lets you put in races up to ultra distances and see the effects of weight. It says you can save approximately 6 minutes per pound lost in a 100 mile race.

Thats 60 minutes per 10 pounds.

120 minutes per 20 pounds.

If you can lose 100 pounds you can actually travel back in time and reverse the rotation of the earth.

Lucho said...

Brett- Nice. I've stopped eating until I reach 45 pounds.

Dax said...

Great timing, I think I've gained 20 over the last few months. I'm trying to tell myself that it's all the core work I'm doing, but the mirror tells a different story.

Lucho said...

Ya, 20 pounds is a bit much. With your racing schedule this year you don't want to spend the first 2 months just trying to lose weight. Your training just suffers doing that. Drop 10 pounds at least (ASAP) so when it's time to kick the training in to overdrive you'll be healthier and less injury prone. My calves are torqued today!

Robin said...

I agree with your theory, but I have to wonder about methods. You did the runs on back-to-back days. One might posit that following a 10 miler with another identical run the next day, the 2nd run might be slower regardless. It would be more telling if they were a few days apart.

Other than that though, I'm sure you're right. When it comes to running, weight matters. I'm pretty solidly built (reasonably low body fat but muscular). In triathlons, I kick ass on the swim and bike, and then end up losing places to faster (and almost always lighter) runners.

On the other hand, I'm sure none of them deadlift more than I do. Small consolation at the finish line though, LOL. But as far as life fitness goes, I've probably got more all around useful fitness than most triathletes, so it's a trade-off for sure.

Lucho said...

Absolutely Robin. Although 10 mile runs aren't difficult, the testing protocol is very flawed. Maybe I'll do it again but do it rested with hill repeats instead of 10 mile runs. Like 6 X 800m up the same hill alternating Camelbak/ no Camelback on every other. Then average the time for each.
Deadlifts? Nice! Like you said, you may be carrying extra muscle for that but you are far more functional and (I assume) healthier. Skinny and emaciated is gross!
Thanks!