Heavy and Race or Light and Race?

by Rachelle

I've been running for years, but also did other aerobic activity, so never focused primarily on running.

I have been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for 10 years. I'm not teaching at this time so for the past 8 months, I've focused only on running and strength training. I love the high I get when I run!

I've decided to train for a 5k and work my way up to a 10k in September.

I've been running 3-4 times a week, 20-30 minutes each time. Strength training 3 days a week also.
My question; my weight hasn't changed during this 8 month span.

I know I'm heavy to be competing in races, but I'm in pretty good cardiovascular shape. I'm 5'3, about 165 pounds.(I'm short and compact) While I'm training for the 5k and 10k, will I shed the weight?

I've never trained like this before. I'm getting a training schedule from Hal Higdon's site.

Should I lose the weight before training for the races? Or will the training regimen make the effect on my body needed to finish the race.

Everyone that I see that's in a "race" is tiny compared to my body stature. I'm just wondering in what order should I be gearing my training regimen toward?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Rachelle,
Thanks for your question and sharing a little bit about where you have come from, what you are doing etc.

It is absolutely fine to join in in a race, however much you weigh!

You do not need to be tiny. I have been in quite a few races before and, of course, the absolute fastest runners in the pack are thin. But there are plenty of people out there who just like to join the race for fun or to achieve their own goals. People of any age and size.

A race, although run with others, is for most people a race against their own time/fitness goals, because most people know they will not be the fastest anyway.

About not losing weight:
I think you reached a bit of a stalemate. A girl as fit as you who has been running 3-4 times a week consistently for 20-30 minutes and has been doing 3 strength sessions a week can take on more running!

The weight loss will come if you lengthen the distances you are running.

A few important pages to further guide you in the process:

Running For Weight Loss

Increasing Mileage Safely

Last piece of advice: do not get too hung up on pre-dictated running schedules. Feedback on Hal Higdon's running schedules I often hear is that they are okay for beginners, but tend to undertrain you.

Many running schedules assume a "have not run before"-situation, which will not do you any favours as it means you will begin from scratch.

Have a look at the types of workouts in running schedules and based on that and the current mileage you run, devise your own. A great running training book is Daniel's Running Formula which can help you make a running schedule for any distance.

Hope this helps.
Enjoy your running.

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