I recently stumbled across an intriguing article by Joe Henderson on “running your weight“:
Very few runners ever “beat their weight” in a marathon. That is, run fewer minutes than their weight in pounds — which requires a 130-pounder to break 2:10 and a 200-pounder to run sub-3:20.
Over-simplified formulas appeal to me. That’s why I love Yasso 800s. To run your weight you take your weight and convert it to a marathon time. Based on this rule of thumb, the best performance for women would be a lot faster than men. Husband outweighs me by 50 minutes, I mean pounds. I certainly don’t outrun him by 50 minutes.
This formula discriminates against women, the best of whom seldom run within 30 minutes of their poundage. The fastest woman for her size appears to be Marian Sutton of Britain, who weighed about 140 pounds when she ran 2:28 (a weight-to-time factor of plus-eight).
The greatest man, pound for pound, probably was Derek Clayton. The Australian set a world record of 2:08:34 while weighing about 160 — an amazing minus-31 factor. Much more typical is Bill Rodgers, who PRed at 129 minutes and 128 pounds.
According to her website, Paula Radcliffe is 5’8 and 117 pounds. Paula’s weight (117) + her lady handicap (30) = 147 or 2.27 (1.57 without the handicap). Her best (the world’s best) is 2.18.55. Better than her handicapped time, but not even close to running her weight. I’m an inch shorter and 7 pounds lighter than Paula. I should be 7 minutes faster than Paula Radcliffe. I am not. My weight + my lady handicap is 2 hours 20 minutes. In other words, elite speed running. I am not a 2.20 marathoner. I am not an elite marathoner. I’m just built like one. I am not living up to my genetic potential. Thankfully I am living up to my couch potato potential.
I really have only two options. Speed up so my pace matches my weight or fatten up so my weight matches my speed.
How close have you come to “running your weight”?
Title Reference: It’s Not Easy being Skinny – The Fray.