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2012-08-22 10:34 AM

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Subject: Muscularity and Running Fast?

This topic has probably already been covered pretty well, but I couldn't find it through a quick search.  My question is... Can you be proportionally well defined muscularly say 6', 185-200 lbs, 8-13% body fat and still be considered "fast" in the run? 

I know a lot of cyclists and swimmers have quite a bit of muscle, I'm not really concerned there.  But right now my 5k PR is 23:30 and 10k is 49:00.  I'd like to bring them both down pretty significantly, say 19-20 for the 5k and 41-43 for the 10k. But I don't want to lose muscle to do it.  Nothing against the x-country superstars out there, I have tremendous respect for the work and times they put in, but I'd like to be a bit more well-rounded as I participate in many other sports where some strength is required.

I guess I'd just like to know if there are others out there that have accomplished this and there basic framework of how they did it.  I can take it from there. 



2012-08-22 2:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
Can you be proportionally well defined muscularly say 6', 185-200 lbs, 8-13% body fat and still be considered "fast" in the run? 

Yes. You will be built similar to a 100m - 400m sprinter. Now "fast"?

But right now my 5k PR is 23:30 (7:30 pace) and 10k is 49:00 (8:00 pace).  I'd like to bring them both down pretty significantly, say 19-20 for the 5k and 41-43 for the 10k. 

Not to be insensitive, but my experience and the law of averages says at that weight it will be highly unlikely to reach those times. (6:15min/ mi - 5k and 6:30min/ mi 10k) You are talking about dropping more than a minute per mile in your pace.

Once upon a time, I ran competitively in college and have run sporadically over the last 25 years. I have gone from mid-distance to rugby to triathlons over the span and the following is what my times have been during those three sports.

150lbs (8% body fat, age 20, 6ft ht) - 6min/ mi training pace - 5:30min/ mi race pace [800m/1500m runner]

190lbs (12% body fat, age 28) - 8min/ mi training pace - 7:30min/ mi race pace [rugby]

210lbs (20% body fat, age 40ish) - 9min/ mi training pace - 8:30min/ mi race pace [fat, old triathlete]

Now, everyone has their ideal size when it comes to running. Some can carry more weight than others but to most distance runners having an upper body means carrying unnecessary weight. The size and speed you are talking about is on par with higher end level decathletes; which are freaks of nature.



Edited by bullyboy 2012-08-22 2:08 PM
2012-08-22 2:14 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
Thanks for the info bullyboy!  I don't think you are being insensitive.  Just trying to get some info here and you provided your own experience.  Very much appreciated.
2012-08-22 4:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?

Anything is possible but you can definitely help your odds by getting rid of some weight to at least somewhere around 170-175lbs. If you want to keep the muscle, then you'll have to get your body fat at pretty low levels.

I'm 6', right around 170lbs and I'm pretty close to your target times. (20:43 5K - set at a sprint tri, 43:49 10K about a year ago).  Went down from about 185 lbs 2 1/2 yrs ago prior to taking up all 3 of the tri sports (no endurance background and was primarily a fast-twitch guy at that point).  I don't plan on losing any more weight (I will go down as a few lbs as I get closer to a race just from the training volume) and I have been able to continue to slowly get faster.  I still have some body fat to lose anyway so I can lose 1-2 lbs of that and be able to put on a little muscle (hopefully this winter, and planning on getting some more leg strength for the bike next year).



Edited by m2tx 2012-08-22 4:19 PM
2012-08-22 10:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?

After about 400 meters, upper body mass isn't your friend.  Your body fat is in an excellent range so dropping weight will probably mean dropping muscle mass.  There was a general rule of thumb indicating that you could drop around 3 sec/mile off your pace for every pound loss, but this probably applied to those in the 20%+ bodyfat range.  Don't know how your training is, but maybe you can drop your times by following an aggressive training program like the Daniels Formula.

 

 

2012-08-23 12:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
mmm I want to disagree, I've always been a very "top heavy" person. My best time was 21:07 and I was about 185lbs and 15% BF at 5'6 when i ran it, I wasnt squatting or doing any lower body lifts at the time. Only thing i find more difficult being heavier and especially more dense is staying hydrated. I sweat so much more than a normal person, I sweat more than my obese friends that I've gone on runs with. My longest run ever was 10 miles and I went with 64 ounces of water and had to almost crawl home because of dehydration.

Edited by mkarr0110 2012-08-23 12:19 AM


2012-08-27 5:47 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?

At 175 lbs my 5k PR was a 20:19 and I didn't really train intensively. Body fat was at about 14% and I was only running 4 times a week or so. My 10k was a 44:12

so its definitely possible. Just do maintenance lifting so you don't lose too much mass and focus your training towards running and the time will shave off. However you'll probably lose 5lbs or so

2012-09-26 3:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
I'm 6'1", 190lbs and have been cutting my times down for years.   With more experience you find out what works and what doesn't.   I started closer to 200lbs running 5k's at 26 minutes in 2005.  Since then I slowly built up the race distances and to where I've completed several marathons and an IM.  (The bug bit me but the progression of the illness was slow)   I still weigh 190 but I can run a mile in 5:30 and 5K < 20 min.  I did a sub 34 min 10k earlier in the year and am hoping to get that under 33 min in the fall on a flatter course.  All that being said, I have had to put a lot of work in over years to get those gains.  One thing I have found being one of the faster big guys is that hills will hurt you a lot more than those other 150lb guys on the course.   There's no real arguing with gravity.
2012-09-26 6:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
I'm fighting with the same issue right now.  I used to be very obese, so strength training was the first thing I got into when I started loosing weight.  Hard to run when you're over 300 lbs.  When you start seeing results weight lifting is addicting. I'm 5'11, 185 lbs, 13% body fat.  I've hit 22 minutes on the 5k at the end of a sprint and I'm working hard to get closer to 20 minutes.  With the improvement I've made and room for improvement, I'm confident I can reach that goal at this weight. I've started backing off the heavy weight and am only lifting to maintain and not get bigger.  I need to get down around 175 and hope to only loose fat but I know I'll probably loose a little muscle.  I've seen some guys our size who can really run fast.  I'm not as worried about weight on the run as much as the bike.  It seems like loosing weight would be very beneficial there.
2012-09-27 2:22 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
@Tracker,  you sure about that 10k time?  You can run 1 mile in 5:30 but you average <5:28 for 6.2 miles? 
2012-09-27 6:37 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
You can definitely do it! I am 6'1-6'2 and 200-205lbs about 15% body fat and have done a 20:24 5K at the end of a sprint tri. When I 1st started running in January 2010 I was 240 and ran a 7:05 mile. I am in the same mindset as you, I would like to be 190-200lbs with single digit body fat % and run low 19s mid 18s 5ks and a 41 or lower 10k which I think is very doable, I know it wont happen over night but it will happen if I do the work. Now if you said you wanted to be 185lb running sub 15 5ks all I would say is "Good Luck" haha


2012-09-27 10:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
Yeah good point, that was 5 mile not 10k.   Ha that would be fast.
2012-09-27 10:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
What is everyone here using to measure body fat percentage?   You all seem to know yours but I've never know mine.
2012-09-27 11:26 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?

I get updates on mine using a tanita scale that measures bioelectric impedance.  Far from accurate, but it does give you a solid idea of if you're gaining or losing body fat.

My wife teaches ex phys at a local college so I've also had mine done using a hydrostatic weigh tank and a bodpod. . .both of which are much more accurate and precise, but spendy.

Using the tanita I've come up as high as (fluctuates quite bit due to hydration levels) 10-11% and the hydro and bodpod had me at ~5-6%.  If you use a tanita, come up with a system for when you use it, and try to keep your hydration levels the same each time.

@Tracker, I thought a 40-42 10k would be more in line with your other times, which are great BTW.  Very close to mine.

2012-10-18 7:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Muscularity and Running Fast?
From personal experience i am 6ft 2 & I weigh 200lbs and have dropped my 5k time over the last 3 years from 25min to a pb now of 20.43 and a 10K pb of 43.35 back in march when I last raced at that distance. My half marathon pb was smashed this weekend gone down to 1.37.39 and I had run 10k in 44 so I know my pb is going down, so I don't think this weight means you can't get fast. I have got fast by just running more. More often and further. I have found running long has built up my fatigue resistance and when I race shorter and push harder I can take the pain longer. Also i have kearnt to run at different race distance paces to train your body what its like to go that pace. running more may end up changing your shape. But to be honest I play rugby and need to be this size for that and all my running hasnt changes mine.I do wonder what will happen to my pace if I drop weight, I have a tummy that could go but just losing that and nothing else would be a hard & long journey that I am constantly struggling with.
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