I can tell you run, you have a runners body.
You move like a runner.
Which makes me think, do I have a runner's body because I run, or do I enjoy running so much because I have a runners body, and do I have a "runner's body"? What is a runner's body anyway?
In my mind I believe that if you run, you are a runner and so if you are a runner, don't you have a runner's body. We also know that with the right training nearly anyone can run a marathon, which would definitely qualify a person as a runner. Then I go to thinking maybe there is a certain body type that elite level runners share. Are they all short, tall or somewhere inbetween.
Just glancing at an elite distance runner you can see they are very lean. Sprinters have bigger muscles to help them power down the track, but distance runners don't want all that extra muscle to weigh them down and therefore slow them down.
Training methods aside, the ability to run a marathon in a world-class time will be determined to a large degree by body type and related physiological factors such as oxygen uptake. Variables such as strength to weight ratio, stride length, individual biomechanics, and body fat percentage all factor into marathoning success. Sport scientific research conducted over the past 20 years confirms that the ideal male marathoner will typically be 5 ft 8 in (1.70 m) to 6 ft (1.80 m) tall, with weights between 120 lb (55 kg) to 145 lb (66 kg). For women, the ideal build will range between 5 ft 2 in (1.6 m) and 5 ft 10 in (1.75 m) in height, with weights between 90 lb (41 kg) and 125 lbs (56 kg). These optimum builds are ones that are significantly smaller and slighter than those of the typical North American or European male or female; the Olympic and world championship dominance of African marathoners in recent years, particularly those runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, is confirmation of the importance of size and physique in this demanding sport. source
and there you have it. At 5'8" I fall within the height but at 130 pounds I am clearly too heavy. Am I going to stress about that. Nope. Pretty happy where I am at. As this article states "lean, fit and healthy is a better goal than thin at any price. You are more likely to win with good nutrition than a "perfect" weight."
That article (which is a very good read) also talks about most elite female runners weighing about 117 lbs and wanting to weigh 114 and race at 112 pounds. Those would not in my opinion be a healthy weight for me. Sure I could probably clean up my eating a little, but I don't want to be obsessed with it. I think at that weight I would be amenorrheic and stress fractures and amenohrrhea go hand in hand. I don't want to worry about a stress fracture either.
The vast majority of female runners are not elite runners, but we run, and our bodies are what do the physical part of the running. Therefore we all have runner's bodies.
There are a lot of articles out there on the ideal weight for runners. While I certainly want to be a fast runner, I don't want to obsess over my weight and become a slave to the scale gods. I love to run and I love to eat. So far the two things go together very well in my world.
It kind of makes me wish I had not looked up the articles on ideal running weight, especially when they showed how much faster you can run if you lose x amount of weight. Like if I lost 5 lbs I could run my marathon 4.22 minutes faster. and losing 10 lbs could make me almost nine minutes faster. Yowza!
What to do, what to do? I think I am going to finish this waffle with lots of butter and syrup and go for a run. My scale will stay where it is half hidden under the pile of laundry. Hopefully I will forget about how much faster I could be if I lost weight and concentrate on how much faster I can be by training hard!
P.S. Did you enter my Simple Hydration giveaway?