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Do most runners need to lose weight?

Hey friends!

Thought I’d spark up a lil’ discussion today about something that has been bothering me for a while, but first, breakfast! Open-mouthed smile

Stovetop oatmeal (I rarely have it any other way now!) topped with a huge dollop of lovely PB.


WHY is marriage between humans and peanut butter not allowed? Pure MADNESS I say!


My first time combining nut butter and oatmeal! Won’t be my last either! Winking smile

For lunch, I was craving houmous, as all normal people do on at least a tri-weekly basis! But shock horror, there was none to be found! Surprised smile However, a can of chickpeas and Allrecipes saved me, and I made my own! DSC05162

Sadly, it tasted like blended chickpeas, not houmous. Maybe because there was no tahini in it…? Don’t know but it was blaaaand. Still, chickpeas are chickpeas, and unspoken rule #1 in my book is never let food go to waste! So I fried me up some courgettes (love) and had a houmous and courgette sandwich!DSC05170

Houmous + courgette = match made in heaven. Trust me on this one.

Snackage today was mainly a ton of trail mix. “Warning: highly addictive” should really be on the packet to warn innocent, naive foodies like moi.DSC05175

And possibly a couple thousand spoonfuls of my current favourite thing in the entire universe:


Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Complete foodgasm.

In the evening, it was BodyPump time! And man was it busy today! New Years Resolutioners…and my mum was one of them! SmileI’ve never worked out with my momma before, so it was really fun! My muscles will be achey tomorrow, but her’s are gonna kill! Smile with tongue outDSC05472

Triceps push-ups = die. I considered calling an ambulance to take me away on a stretcher at that point! What muscle group do you find hardest to work on? Mine is triceps, then biceps, but my momma said she found the lunges the hardest (my easiest!).

Yesterday’s sweat was a killer lunchtime workout! I did speedwork on the treadmill (1k @ 12mph, 2 min walking break, x 5: so a 5k run with walking breaks every kilometre) and then a 30 min mini circuits class. Circuits are great, because they incorporate weights and cardio! I have to go to a proper full-length one at some point! Open-mouthed smile

That was fuelled by an NRG energy bar that I got free from the London Running Show back in November.DSC05470


Certainly gave me energy, but wasn’t a huge fan of the taste to be honest! The chocolate and toffee flavour I sampled there was much nicer (obviously! Winking smile)


Discussion time! Oh I do love a good discussion! Please feel free (by that, I mean obliged) to comment with your thoughts and opinions! I love hearing from you all! Smile

So, do runners need to lose weight? At least, that’s what magazines seem to be saying! A few days ago, I bought my favourite magazine (Women’s Running), but was once again disappointed to see the main feature on the cover. DSC05411

Can you see it?DSC05414

And the main feature in the January issue?DSC05418

The December issue of Runner’s World:DSC05419

So many of the dietary articles in running magazines are about weight loss! This concerns me as most runners do not need to lose weight! It is a direct contradiction as well to the healthy athletic cover models! In fact, what I would really like to see is an article on how to gain weight in a healthy way, as I think this would benefit many more of us. I do understand that some runners are trying to lose weight, and this targets them, but I believe that many more of us do not want, and do not need to lose weight!

Not only this, but I think it sends out a certain message– that everyone runs to lose weight. Often when people hear I run, they assume this, and I sometimes feel self-conscious and even embarrassed to admit I run in case people think I’m trying to lose weight!

So, thoughts and opinions on this topic? Has this ever struck you, have you not noticed, or does it not really bother you?


29 Responses

  1. I agree with what you’re saying! When I started the running club at my school I was feeling very self-conscious about standing at the fair and promoting my club because I felt like people would give me dirty looks (being already a thin girl…) So yes, I do agree that running does not equal trying to loose weight. In fact, running can often cause people to gain weight because you feel more hungry. Hmm, I hate magazines like that. The same was Cosmo claims to be a woman’s magazine but always has features on how to make guys happy and bla bla bla.
    Keep the wordy posts coming! I love reading them – you really have a way with words and an eye for catchy topics 🙂 🙂

  2. I’ve had the last few of issues of both magazines and noticed that most of them had weight loss claims on the front – more so women’s running (unsurprisingly!). There was one issue that I couldn’t actually find a related article so I think they just stick it on the front to stand out to new readers.

  3. Oh EVERYTHING is far too focused on losing weight nowadays! I buy those magazines too, and I am always so surprised on the lose-weight focus. I would’ve thought articles about maintaining weight or fueling properly (or as you say, gaining – but that defo is a minority IMHO) would be more beneficial…
    But then again, I reckon a LOT of runners do want to lose weight – not all that many runners are hardcore, I think a lot run to get in shape – but maybe I’m wrong!? Hmm….

  4. I used to get Zest magazine but I stopped as it became too much about silly diets (eg one month “get madonnas arms diet”, next month “get J-Los butt diet ” etc) and it was all so faddy. I dont mind informative articles, but I much prefer their articles about winter running, or injury prevention, nutrition and things like that.
    Also- HOW can you find the LUNGES the easiest??? Mental! I find the warm up the easiest, oh, and the cool down! Am I allowed those? Seriously, I find the squats and chest easier, and I find the shoulders the total killer. But to be honest i find it all hard! Until fairly recently I used the lowest weight on the triceps as I found it so hard.

  5. Attack of the new years resolutioners! I know what you mean…my gym was full tonight. Every machine was in use and I had to wait for a treadmill for the first time ever! Soooo not good. Give them til February 😉 x x

  6. I think it’s a difficult issue. A common myth is that just because you run, you can eat whatever you want. I can easily eat back all the calories I burn in even a 17 odd mile run very quickly, and more. Quite a lot of runners do struggle with their weight because marathon training in particular amps up the appetite beyond actual caloric needs, and without a good grasp of your true hunger levels things can get out of hand. So it’s quite good that they’re highlighting that even the fittest of people have to watch what they eat in addition to exercise. However, I agree that it’s a shame that they make out weight loss to be the primary (or only!) reason for running and neglect the sense of achievement, increased fitness and endurance and joy that also accompanies it.

    Body Pump…biceps is by far my hardest track! I’ve doubled or more my weights in every other track since I started doing BP about 10 months ago (before it was cool haha) but only added a measly 2kg to biceps. Lunges are my easiest track too, along with shoulders. I do find the back track quite tough as I tend to overbalance on the clean and press quite a lot and tip backwards on anything over 15kg!


  7. Most importantly…add a little jelly with the peanutbutter and its like pb&j sandwich pudding. delicious. 🙂

    You’re right with the weight loss and running. Running is about empowering yourself…not using it for weightloss!!!!

  8. I crave houmous ALL.THE.TIME! For a while my local supermarket was all out- I mean for daaaays- it was not good! I’v tried making my own a few times, but I always find it bland! Plus I prefer the flavours in the shops such as coriander and lemon or pesto flavour. mmm…
    As someone who is losing weight I have mixed feeling about this.. I would assume that most runners would be fit and healthy, and therefore not need to loose weight. But at the same time running is a tool a lot of people utilise in order to loose weight, and therefore I can see how this subject would appeal to perhaps 50% of their readership. I also don’t think that its right to think that over weight people can’t run. I guess they must have the readership that is interested in weight loss, otherwise they wouldn’t publish it? I also think that people wanting to gain weight would be too much of a minority for them to publish an article. I suppose articles on how to fuel running would be more valuable, but as I do not read that magazine, I don’t know if they already cover this!

  9. Hi! I just found your blog and I totally love it! I completely see where you are coming from with being bothered by the magazine. While, I sometimes find myself getting frustrated with magazines like Shape and Fitness for always sending what I like to call “subliminal messages” about how we need to improve ourselves, at least they have a large readership of people who are looking for content on weight loss, etc. A magazine that’s specifically for runners, however, should realize that their readership is–well–runners! Which means people who are likely in tune with taking care of their bodies already so headlines like those have no place there in my opinion.

  10. Marriage isn’t legal between humans and peanut butter?! Uh oh…. 🙂

    I read Runner’s World from time to time, and I’ve noticed weight loss tips in there. Nothing drastic, but I think it’s kind of weird. I’m considered overweight according to my BMI (not by much) and I’m sure I can outrun a skinny, sedentary person. I think there is so much more to a person than their weight- especially a runner!

  11. that is DUMB- i think they are trying to say… start running now TO lose weight.. runners need to FUEL and stay healthy! no need to lose weight
    on the otherhand…I cannot believe you had never had oats and nut butter before!!!!!!!

  12. Really good discussion – I think magazines include this to try and sell more copies as generally the majority of the public are wanting to lose weight – many of them turning to running to do it! I do agree with what you mean though, I would love to see more articles and information on strategies for maintaining weight rather than losing it. I always find upper body weights a lot easier than lunges and squats, they kill me!

  13. I totally agree on tricep pushups: hate! In fact I generally hate working my triceps. Biceps though not so much..

    Really interesting on the losing weight. I think a lot of it at this time of year is just about jumping on the post holiday weight-loss bandwagon to try and sell magazines. But I agree that it sends a bad message. Obviously runners can make some time gains by losing weight, but if it leads to an obsession with food, then the overall health and fitness gains are going to be vastly negated. I especially think that the assumed link between running and trying to lose weight can be a problem. The two should really be separate issues..

    Great food for thought.. 🙂

  14. I love how your mum went to your body pump class. So cool! I agree with your observations. Most fitness mags do include a lot of weight loss techniques to attract who they think is their general audience. it would be great to see more articles about running tips, nutritional advice and such.

  15. I never really thought about it, but it is true. I think they do it because there are always a lot of new runners who may need to do weight, and it’s just such a trend for all health/fitness magazines to include. A lot of runners do not need to lose weight and may need to gain weight, so I like your idea about including that. I think it’s worse when they talk about losing weight during marathon training, which is a time where runners need to eat a LOT and usually end up gaining a little weight. Great discussion and topic to think about today!

  16. I think ALL magazines love putting “LOSE WEIGHT NOW” on their front covers because most people do want to lose weight and if they happen to see a magazine with that in big letters, they will buy it!

  17. To me, it seems like the main problem is that people are too over-focused on losing weight, whether they need to or not.

    The running mags are just marketing to what people want (I bet they don’t really care, but they know that much of the population of runners and non-runners are interested in anything that promises weight loss)!

    Interesting concept!

    I really need to try body pump and dark chocolate dreams…maybe together 🙂

  18. Oh my gosh – nut butter and oatmeal is maybe the best thing EVER – glad you found it! (where do you get that dark choc one though, i’ve never seen it in store!?)

    I agree re: magazines. I get Women’s Fitness delivered which is also quite contradictory in a lot of its articles, and always promotes ‘weight’ loss over ‘fat’ loss, which annoys me no end. I am not a runner but I know that often nutrition is key for fuelling runs and beating PBs etc – not how little you weigh!

    Just my 2p…!

  19. I loooove the tricep pushups! mainly because I work my tris a lot 🙂

    and that Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter? I’ve been dying to try it foreeeevveerrr, but just haven’t had the heart to buy it incase:
    a. I hate it (not likely)
    b. I love it so much my nose remains in it the rest of my life

  20. Great point about the articles in the running magazines. It really bothers me that a lot of media put accross ideals which aren’t necessarily healthy. I hate it when I tell people I’m going to the gym for them to turn around and say why, you don’t need to lose weight… Then I have to explain I’m going to keep fit blah blahh! Sorry this comment is totally rambly and probably doesn’t make much sense, I really need a good nights sleep haha

  21. […] you may recall, to the disbelief of many of you, I had NEVER tried oatmeal with PB before, until a few days ago. And then whilst raiding my cupboards this morning for brekkie inspiration, my eyes fell on this […]

  22. […] a big feature (see here for the discussion on this topic) in Runner’s World today… 49 greatest weight-loss […]

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