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I have gained weight. Now I run slower...

I am a 17 yrs old girl who used to run really fast. As a freshmen and sophomore I was on varsity running in the 18's consistently all cross country season, my best was 18:11 as a sophomore.

I am pretty short, 5'2 1/2 and only weighed about 103-105 all season long.

Then my junior year I gained about 10lbs, I am now 115, I do weight lift so I know some of its muscle mass but it has slowed me down a ton!
Or I think that's the problem, I am not sure, will that slow you down?

My junior year I ran in the 20s and 19s all season only at the end did I break 19 with 18:59.

Now I am coming up on my senior year and I really want to do EVERYTHING I can to get back to where I used to be and run in the low 18's maybe even breaking that!

What can I do to lose some weight, and still be healthy?
What are some good eating habits?
What's a good weight for my height if I want to run fast?
Or how do I overcome this?
Is there any way?
Please let me know!

Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your running question(s).

In short, yes, generally speaking, if you gain weight you get slower. The more weight you have to carry along with you, the harder it is.

Having said that with the details supplied it does not sound like you are on an unhealthy weight, on the contrary, the 10 lbs lower pushes you into the "underweight"-category according to the BMI Calculator.

Therefore I would like to refrain from talking about food too much. I don't want to be the one pushing you to lose weight when it might not be the healthiest thing to do. Generally, good foods are fruit, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, etc. Ideally your diet combines protein, carbs and fat in healthy proportions. A simple no-nonsense guide to some healthy foods is How to Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days. Don't read it necessarily with the goal to lose weight, but with the goal of eating healthily!!

Another good book about eating healthily is The CSIRO total wellbeing diet.

With regards to your training, I would advise you to check my Running Training-section, especially the articles about interval running and tempo running. Those types of training, in addition to your easy runs are important for the distances you are running. Also check out Daniels' Running Formula. This book contains a lot of information about running training, but also has running program templates that get you ready for peak performance.

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I hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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