Can Losing Weight Make You Run Faster?

The more you weigh, the more work you legs will have to do, so in general the answer is yes. Losing weight will make your run faster, with the addition of an added “if,” to that sentence. If you aren’t overweight, losing weight will mean that you’ll lose muscle which ultimately means you’ll run slower. Remember that underweight individuals are more prone to infection and can also have compromised immune systems, experience hair loss, and possibly develop osteoporosis and anemia.

Assuming that isn’t the case, it’s also important to lose weight the right way so that you don’t lose crucial muscle mass –  drastically slashing calories could sap your energy, and increase your injury risk.

Being overweight can cause runners to have problems achieving and maintaining their goal running speed, and losing weight will allow you to run faster and maintain that speed for longer periods of time. It can also lower your risk of running-induced injury by reducing the stress on your joints with a lighter load to carry.

The key, according to Runner’s World,  is to lose weight slowly so that you don’t lose muscle. Losing 1/2 to 1 pound per week by making simple changes is often the easiest way to achieve and maintain an ideal weight for life.

Consider small changes like these:

  • Cut out or decrease calorie laden drinks like sodas, juice and alcohol. Drink lots of water instead
  • Add more fiber rich foods to your diet to keep you full longer
  • Avoid sweets and especially baked deserts as well as highly processed foods
  • Find low-fat alternatives. Instead of regular potato chips, choose baked chips for example. If you have to eat cheese, go for the low-fat version or even better, choose a soy or veggie cheese.
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible
  • Keep raw almonds on hand as a healthy snack in case severe hunger pangs hit

By slowly working toward your ideal weight, you’ll not only increase running speed but increase your endurance as well.