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Posted by George Parker on
Runner vitamin vitamins for runners

Dieting and running is a tricky and controversial topic. There's a fine balance between racing weight and unhealthy weight. My running coach recently gave me advice that I believe simplifies the conversation. 


All right. 5-Minute Warmup, welcome. Let's get started.

Hello runners today on the 5-Minute Warmup, we're going to be talking about dieting to lose weight to run. Now, this is always an interesting topic and what I wanted to talk about today was some advice that I recently got from my coach, which I think is spot on. So here's the situation, and maybe this is a situation you found yourself in a lot. You are preparing for a race, like I am, I have a marathon that I'm trying to do in a couple months, and I looked at my current weight and it is several pounds heavier than when I have run my fastest marathon, and that was a couple of years ago. And so I was talking to my coach and I said, "Hey I really think I need to start dieting or doing something different with my food because I need to drop a few pounds so I could run faster." And anyone who's been around the sport a long time knows that this is always a very controversial subject. It's probably generally consensus that if you are lighter you can run faster, you're just simply carrying around less weight over the distance.

However, there's a fine balance. If you get too light, then you can actually start sacrificing strength and just the integrity of your body. You can start breaking down if you get too light and lose too much weight. So this is fine balance between being as light as you can without weakening your body, and it's hard to do. I am, for one, not a professional runner or athlete and so getting my weight right isn't a matter of my profession for me, it's just a topic that came up and I was talking to my coach about. And I thought his advice was perfect in this situation. When he said, "Hey, George, I don't want you to diet. What I want you to do is to eat healthy, as healthy as you can. I want you to continue taking your vitamins and your supplements to keep your body strong. I want you to cut out excess alcohol, excess sugar, and do those things, and then let the miles in your training program slowly get your body to the weight it needs to be at."

And I thought that was great advice because what it doesn't do is put the pressure on you to go out there and try to diet to hit a weight number. Instead, what it says is just control what you can control. Focus on eating healthy, cut out excess alcohol, excess sugar, stick to your vitamins, stick to your supplements, do those things and let the miles naturally shape your body into the best running form possible. It's great advice. It's something that if you're feeling pressure, if you always have this nagging feeling that you're too heavy or you're too light, give it a shot. See if you can just let your body naturally get to the equilibrium it needs by giving it healthy foods and cutting out some of the junk during training and just letting your body naturally find its equilibrium.

So I hope this is helpful. I know there are probably other ways to go do it. There is definitely race diets that you can get on. Me personally, I've struggled with a lot of those, but the advice around just eat as well as you can, pay attention to that and let your body naturally find a equilibrium resonates with me and I thought I would share with you and hopefully resonates with all of you as well. Have a great week, best wishes on chasing your running goals.

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