Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Preventing running injuries with weight loss?

I want to test out this idea that was mentioned by my PT - former USA Olympic trials marathoner. She keeps her weight low to prevent running injuries. It should come to no surprise, but the less you weigh the better it is on your joints while running. The force of each footstep is up to 4 times greater than the runner's body weight. For a 100-pound person, that means as much as 400 pounds of pressure per footstep every time the foot strikes the ground. For a 200 pound person that's 800 pounds!

With my super pronated feet and whinny knees losing weight might make a difference. Just losing 5 pounds means 20 pounds less pressure everytime my foot strikes the ground! Yes, I have already gone to the podiatrist for custom orthodics insoles and I have proper shoes. I'm not very tall (5 2") so a weight in the sub 100s is still considered in the healthy range for me. So I'm going to try to lose 1 pound a week up until the Danskin which is in 4+ weeks.


Alison said...

That is true to a point -- however -- if your body fat gets too low you will stop getting your period (supposedly this can happen as high as 19% for some people), and that can lead to a range of other injuries like stress fractures.

I'm 5'1", 113-115 lbs. and 18% BF, and I wear a size 2. I don't think there's any way I could possibly lose 15 pounds and still be healthy! It could just be my body type, though.

Angela said...

Wow, we're like almost identical, except I am 5 2". Not sure what my body fat is but I have no hips (genetic) so size 0 on bottom and size 2 on top. I'm not interested in losing muscle, just body fat. I've been taking in a lot of protein lately. My friend Julie has 8% body fat and still has her period, but I am aware that everyone is different. I won't allow myself to lose my period and I am aware that it is not a good sign.

Angela said...

Oh and the stress fractures happen because when you lose your period due to low body fat, the calcium in your bones start to depleat thus weakening your bones AFAIK.