While running marathons would never be physically effective to lose weight, if they were the psychological motivation to eat at a set regimen, I can see it, having run them at such disparate weights as 218 to …152?. Probably nobody on this list thinks more about this than I do. For myself, but especially for the folks I coach. Some extremely weight-challenged. Tonight is the final night of the 21st week of our twice-weekly (Tues, Thurs) Runthruthewintercrew classes at the Osterville Historical Museum here on Cape Cod. A motley crew, you might say, ranging in age from 10 to 71, fat & skinny, I love them all, and all very successful when you measure by the "real" sense of sticking it out through all kinds of weather. Motivation comes in so many different shapes and sizes, so different for everyone, but doing things together is always the lowest common denominator; perhaps having a goal the next.
I ran my first Boston in 1978 at a fairly solid 182, in a couple weeks shall try my 30th 34 years later at my present 152 (?). This is 30 lbs. if you are counting, very unusual because most runners put on about 10 or 20 in that span. My own motivation is that i am very competitive, and I have found losing weight is the biggest single component of the equation that I can somewhat control. (Strictly measured intervals next.) Previous lightest weight was 159-160, but no, I was wrong, I could get lower. I have been doing 90 mile weeks on about 1400 calories a week. So far, cost effective, but results, as they say, are pending.
I have two medical doctor friends in my run class, and they are very interested, even intrigued. Their own running is recreational and health driven, of course.
Two men in their 80s, Earl Fee and Ted Corbitt, are my idols, competitive to the core, to the farthest reaches right to the end, and they have shared a lot that has helped. It is not for the squeamish, I will tell you that. I do not share their talent, but I am equal in loving the sport as pure competition. It is intellectually academic, but also a lot of fun.
I have shared some of this with great supportive friends in the ultrarunning community like Carl Asker, Doug Lavois, Julian Jamison, Jeff List, Ed Delaney, Stuart Nelson, Mark Dorion, Carl Norgeot, and Paul Fendler, and all have generously shared their own experiments/thoughts on bodyweight control. I really appreciate their counsel because most have much better running resumes, and offer their thoughts with great humility. I figured I would "out" myself before Boston and the six day so I might share the view.
Now, if I can avoid getting hit by a bus the day before the race…