Did staying off the scale help me run faster?

I had a couple of great runs the last couple of days, and while that may have been mostly due to the cooler weather I couldn’t help wondering if part of it had to do with the fact that I’ve been skipping my daily weight checks this week.

I never thought about this before because stepping on the scale is such a regular (and seemingly necessary) part of my postfat life. But the reality is that when I see a higher number than I expect, that often drags me down when I run.

I’ve always interpreted this as, “Well, of course I’m having a bad run, I’m toting around an extra (fill in the blank) number of pounds.” But is it really true that an extra 2-3   pounds would have such a dramatic effect – or is it more likely the psychological baggage that drags me down?

All I know is, when I tackled yesterday’s fast middle segment of a 4-mile tempo run en route to pick up the car at the school, I felt unencumbered and ready to go. And I shaved a minute off the 1.5 mile stretch that I monitor for time.

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4 Responses to Did staying off the scale help me run faster?

  1. bgddyjim says:

    I’d say it’s a mixture of physical and mental… Try carrying a 3 pound weight around your waist in your next run… Guaranteed you’ll feel it there. Then the mental aspect doubles down because you know you’ll feel it. All that in three pounds – it’s a double whammy.

    • tischcaylor says:

      That’s a good way of putting it: The mental aspect does magnify the problem. In my case, instead of knowing I’m carrying an extra three pounds I mentally morph into some version of my old fat self.

  2. I think that those “extra pounds” do weigh you down but really only mentally. When I trained for my 70.3s, I had my perfect dream weight for the first one and I tanked the run. I felt good about my body but my body was not happy. The second one I was heavier and was worried about tanking it at first but then through the race I somehow forgot and ran better on those “extra pounds”. Maybe just let your body decide and only weigh in once a week or even 2 weeks. I prefer the measuring tape anyway. It’s more reliable.

    • tischcaylor says:

      Interesting. It’s amazing what the mind can do both positive and negative. Now if only I could get my mind and body to work together more often…:)

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