The Competitors Running Handbook by Glover and Glover says that the performance weight range for women 55 is 105 129 with 117 being the so-called target weight. It says that, in general, a 1% wt loss corresponds to a 1% increase in speed capacity up to a point. But it also says (paraphrased):
- The weight ranges do not account for individual differences in body frame or body fat percentage.
- Competitive/elite runners may be 10-20% below std healthy weight ranges.
- Competitive/elite runners arrive at their ideal weight by maintaining a high, consistent level of mileage and so their body establishes a comfortable and efficient weight (called self-selection)
- Competitive/elite runners may only actually weigh their target weight when theyre in shape for a race.
Now, I am a pretty strong runner but, by no means, am I an elite runner nor am I even built like a typical long distance runner (about 53, got short muscular legs, and weigh 115-120# depending on the time of the month and MPW training). But I feel great, never been faster in my life, so I dont worry about the target weight thing, which for me is supposed to be 111#. I really dont think it applies to recreational runners who dont train at the levels that the seriously competitive runners and elites do (I run only ~40 MPW while they often do 70-100 MPW). I think what Nata said about eating healthy, exercising/training consistently and letting your body find its own equilibrium weight, where you feel both strong and fast, is good advice.
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