Fatter Than That Fat Buffalo

The Tanita Body Composition Monitor

For Christmas, Santa dropped this little item down my chimney.

When I first set eyes on the box, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.  The box read ‘body composition monitor’.  I stared at it for a minute before I finally realized that meant ‘fancy weight scale’.

Once Laura told me what it did, I got excited – this thing is pretty freakin’ cool.  Just get barefoot, step on the scale, er ‘body composition monitor’, and it will tell you how much you weigh, what your BMI (body mass index) is, how much body fat you have, your ‘metabolic age’, and more.

Laura loaded the software on her PC (this thing wirelessly uploads all the data to the computer).  I took off my shoes and socks and stepped up.

At first glance, the data should have been encouraging.  I weighed 167 pounds, had just under 17% body fat, and according to the scale, er ‘body composition monitor’, I had the metabolic age of a 29-year-old (how it can determine this, I have no clue), all of which sounded pretty good for a 43-year-old.

But now consider this.  I need to cut 14 minutes off my best marathon time in order to qualify for the Boston marathon.  In 1997, when University of Colorado harrier Adam Goucher was disappointed after placing third at the NCAA cross-country championships, his coach, Mark Wetmore, told him he was fat.  At the time, Adam was 5’10” and weighed 145 pounds.  But he agreed with his coach, dropped 5 pounds, and the next season won the national championship.  While these 2 events are not necessarily related, they’re worth noting.

When I ran track and cross-country at Carolina, I weighed about 140 pounds and my body fat was measured at less than 10% (I can’t recall the exact percentage, but I know it was in the single digits as my track buddies and I all poked fun at our one teammate who was in double digits).  So, when I weighed less and had little body fat, I was fast(er).  Now that I weigh more and have more body fat, I’m slow(er).  While these 2 events are not necessarily related, they’re worth noting.

Long story short, if I want to run a fast(er) marathon, it’s probably not a bad idea to stop lugging around excess body fat.

I’ve read and analyzed the data and I’ve come to the conclusion that now is the time to get serious – I have about 12 weeks until the Shamrock Marathon.  Up the mileage, drop the calories, burn the fat, run faster.  Sure sounds like simple logic.

I think I’ll add a little entry at the bottom of each blog post like so:

Stats
Date:   12/25/2009 
Weight :167
Body Fat: 17%

Maybe putting it out here for the world to see will help motivate me to do something about it.

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2 Responses to “Fatter Than That Fat Buffalo”

  1. Bruce Wagoner Says:

    Allen,
    Congrats on your races and progress! I don’t remember if I saw you at TRM or not (I was volunteering), but that’s an impressive time for a tough course! At the rate your going, you’ll be a BQ’er before you know it …
    By the way, I heard or read somewhere that each extra pound of body weight slows you down 2 sec per mile. That alone is motivation to drop a few extra pounds. (I need to follow my own advice and drop 5+ pounds myself.)
    Good luck and good running,
    Bruce

  2. Allen Says:

    I weighed right at 170 at Richmond and my 3:34 time equates to right at 8:10/mile. So based on your formula, to get to 7:40ish for BQ (assuming all other things stay the same), I should get down to around 155. That’s doable and is now my weight goal for Shamrock.

    Thanks Bruce! See you at the races…

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