Week 61 – Why bother with the weight loss

As I enter that part of my two weeks where my exercise program goes from the insane to the truly crazy (3 hours in a garage biking on a stationary bike – right … normal)… I started to think about weight loss and the fact that my blog seems to be dominated about discussions of food.

When I started this whole insane effort I looked like this:

And yes I look better, and yes I feel better and yes my doctor is happier but will losing weight result in better times?

Will this be  worthwhile? Or am I about to discover that I made this heroic effort and all I accomplished was to look better ..

One question I have about weight loss is how much time do you really get from weighing less?

Unfortunately there is no simple calculator on the internet that inspires vast amount of confidence. The evidence is clear, that as you lose weight your V02 Max improves and that improves your speed … The question of how much is opaque.

The best and most cited calculator I found suggests that for every four pounds you lose you improve your marathon speed by 4 minutes.

So if I lose 44 pounds, I should be able to get a sub-5 hour Athens marathon. And if we consider a less challenging marathon like the Napa Valley Marathon I should be able to get to less than 4:30 minutes.

The problem with this kind of equation is that I don’t know if the calculation correctly accounts for the fact that you’re just less tired after carrying less weight.

Last year maintaining a sub 2:30 hour pace in a half marathon was a chore but do-able. Going that hard for 5 hours was impossible and it felt like it was impossible because of the weight I was lugging around.

And the problem with this kind of calculator is that it doesn’t account for hills. There is no doubt that weighing less is crucial for going faster uphill and my target marathon has a lot of uphills…

But regardless in the worst case, every time I lose a pound I am improving my speed by one minute. Sweet.

And here’s the weight update



We dropped a few more pounds than I would have liked this past two weeks. Probably a function of the exercise and the new-found focus on eating properly.

One thing I have begun to do is pay much closer attention to weight movements in the wrong direction immediately rather than ignore them… The upward weight movements are an early signal that I am not taking my eating correctly. Too much upward movement and we declare a code red …


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