Friday, April 11, 2008

Wasting Away to...Speed?!

I’ve been reading lots of different books and articles lately and I’ve noticed a common theme developing: Get skinnier. Run Less. Become super fast.

Really? That’s all there is too it?

Here I’ve been wasting time eating and running when both of these activities have been costing me precious speed!! What a sucker. My mother always said she only raised one idiot. I have two brothers. I kinda assumed it was one of them but, maybe, is it me?

Of course, I’m simplifying things a bit. I know I need to boil things down to a pitifully basic level for you, my reader, to understand. Go ahead, finish looking up ‘pitifully’. And ‘boil’ means “getting really ouchy hot”. There, saved you some time.

We are in the heyday of efficiency. Everything is getting smaller but more powerful and in less time. Where will it end?

The current issue of Runner’s World features a Q&A with erstwhile (+3) cyclist turned marathoner Lance Armstrong. In it, he mentions the desire to lose 10 pounds so he can be faster for the Boston Marathon and next year's NYC Marathon. C’mon, dude. Give us a break. If you are worrying about a few pounds, what the hell should I worry about? At least once a week, I wake up on my recliner to the nightly news with a friggin’ Cheeto stuck to my face. And your worried about a couple of L.B.’s?

This is not the only mention I’ve seen on weight in relation to optimal running. You’ve all read - and tried to ignore – the articles. I’m waaay to lazy to link any here. They’re out there. Trust me.

The way I see it, if Lance can lose 10 lbs and get faster by ten minutes, what can happen if I lose, say 75 lbs. I’m 159 now. If I knock that weight down to 85 or so, will I be roughly 75 minutes faster and, thus, a future marathon champion?

On top of that, there are several recent studies that suggest you can actually run faster by training less (but harder intensity). Now, I’m a BIG proponent of this approach. I had been doing this for years before the FIRST method (detailed in Run Less, Run Faster) was birthed to the world. My lawyers are, in fact, checking with their lawyers to make sure there’s nothing fishy going on. Just because the authors have fancy descriptions like “P.H.D.” and “thorough researcher” and “wonderfully honest and trustworthy” attached to their name while I enjoy common descriptors such as “unsavory appearance”, “penchant for mediocrity”, and “big asshole” does not exclude the possibility they learned this from me.

The convergence of these two streams of running wisdom set off a sort of Big Bang in my skull during one of my recent runs. If I get faster by weighing less…..if I get faster by training less albeit very hard….if I get “cleaner” by showering…how far can I take this?

Conceivably, could go on a crash diet and hole up in the corner of my house in the fetal position until it was time for my once weekly 50 yard dash? The fastest, most intense, 50 yard dash I could muster?

Would I reap HUGE benefits as I become skinnier and lighter as long as – when it was time to run – I explode down the driveway with every ounce of energy my celery-only diet could handle?? Would the whistling of the wind passing over my rippled, exposed rib cage mark the sounds of running triumph or the start of a various serious kidney disease?

It may be worth a try. The way this is going, new science may soon tell us it’s best to not run at all during training and simply visualize running a marathon while taking exorbitant amounts of crystal meth. Taper, of course, would also be known as “withdrawal”. And the GU company would have a potentially dangerous legal situation.

Lots to think about. Maybe I missed the point though. I do tend to overreact. I admit to shrieking uncontrollably and having to be restrained on my first airplane flight because, doggoneit, based on the trajectory we sure appeared to be heading to outer space. But could I have gone too far with all these new studies and their line of thinking?

I don’t know. I’m going to give it a shot and report back. Won’t have much energy to blog, I suspect. Need to save it for my lean, mean, green 50 yard driveway dash. Maybe I can get that down to 25 even more intense yards during peak training??

Happy trails.

It’s off folks. I ate an Almond Joy prior to pressing the Publish button. Diet blown. Back to my regular training plan.

Forget all this and have a great weekend instead.


Marcy said...

Awwwhhhh yeah I'm all for this :P Got the FIRST method down (I actually really dig it, It works with my Mommy lifestyle :P LMAO), now just to find some twigs to naw on. YUM! Oooo and another perk would be that I could be a size 00. I always thought the crack whore look was hot :P

Topher said...

I officially feel dumb now. I don't know what L.B. means, and there's no word score next to it. I usually gloss over those words because I'm not worthy and I assume those are words only you and a select few English majors who are still working at Starbucks because they couldn't find a better job with an English degree would use.

Oh wait, is that supposed to mean pounds? Like as in lbs.? I think the capital L and B separated by periods threw me. I think you should lose points for that one.

Vanilla said...

Wait... do you mean that you are a big a-hole because when I first read it I thought you were trying to say that you have a big a-hole? I was hoping it was a City Slickers reference, like where Curly says "I crap bigger than you."

KimsRunning said...

I think the wind blowing into your ribcage would be the equivalent of the sails on a boat: it'll pick you up and carry you along. No hitting the wall! Only problem is, you'd have to run backward! My science teacher/running coach jokes about trying to run with one arm out straight in front and the other out straight behind with his torso kinda sideways for optimum aero-dynamic speed. (yeah see? Told ya he was a science freak!)

*Nitmos* Thanks for the cootie advice, I just came in from another running attempt and was feeling pretty bad. You made me smile just when I was ready to throw THE biggest pity party EVER! Instead I'm going to lay by the pool and blast my iPod.
Have a wonderful weekend!


Viper said...

I thought L.B.s were loose baggage. Negative word score for clarity.

Lily on the Road said...

LMAO, even if I did get skinny, I'd never run fast!

Yikes...that's just waaaayyy to much to think about....I'm headed to the fridge and then for a glass of wine....I need to think....


Non-Runner Nancy said...

DUDE!? 159?? What are you like 5'3" ??

nwgdc said...

"unsavory appearance." where do you come up with this stuff?! hilarious!

thebets said...

If you weigh 159, I think you maaaay need to eat a few more of those cheetos and end up with a few less of them on your face...just a thought.

Anonymous said...


admit it, you are a 159 lb. tub of goo and you need to cut the calories, boost the mileage (especially the easy/recover runs) and get down under 150.

If you were to notice at most marathons, the really skinny guys who train a lot of miles are the fastest, the kinda skinny guys who train kinda a lot of miles are the next fastest. The 159 tubs of goo are in there somewhere, barely squeaking in under BQ qualifying times. Jack up your miles, put down the fork and watch yourself go sub 3:00 (with the other kinda skinny guys who train kinda a lot of miles).


KC Stine said...

Hilarious, I think I may just try the visualization method!

Eric Gervase said...

I stopped eating...... now. Wish me luck. Between the slight appearance and speedy running, you may never see me though.

SLB said...

What is you ate at less but with real intensity three times a week...would that work?

sRod said...

yeah, I can't subscribe to that philosophy: I enjoy food way too much to try to lose weight. Now excuse me as I eat a pound cake.

Reluctant Runner said...

The way I see it, the whole point of running is not to run faster -- it's to be able to eat more without gaining weight. I think those experts should re-examine their priorities.

Russ said...

i have been practicing the visualization method of training for the last three weeks!!! once again, ahead of the curve.