If we’ve met – or you’ve seen pictures of me – it’s clear that I am not a big guy. Actually, I’m tiny.
I’m no bigger than Shalane Flanagan…
At 5’7″ and 125 pounds, I have the stereotypical runner’s body. And I love it.
I’ve always been very comfortable in my skin, though it wasn’t always like that. I played basketball through middle school, always wondering when that growth spurt would (finally!) hit.
Alas, I’ve been waiting since 1998. When I started running in high school, I had an important decision to make: do I continue with basketball (knowing that I’d likely never play on Varsity because of my size) or run indoor track instead?
I chose track – and my thin frame proved advantageous. Looking at the body types of Olympians, it’s clear that the stereotypical body for distance runners helps you run faster.
You carry less weight. You’re more economical. And you can therefore run a lot faster.
But did it help with preventing running injuries?
Are lighter runners less likely to get injured? Are heavier runners more likely to get hurt?
I’m not quite sure… so I dove into the latest literature and invited James Dunne on the Strength Running podcast.
James Dunne and Running Heavy
James doesn’t look like the “typical” runner – he’s 6’6″ and 250 pounds. A former professional rugby player, James has a degree in Sport Rehabilitation and is fully insured member of the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT).
He’s the founder of Kinetic-Revolution and has an ongoing fascination with the functional biomechanics of running (in other words, how you move while running).
In this far-reaching discussion, we talk about quite a few issues:
- Should overweight runners be more worried about injury?
- Is gaining weight more important for injury risk than being consistently overweight?
- Does training for weight loss differ than training for a race? How?
Show Resources & Links:
- Kinetic-Revolution blog
- Hip & Glute strengthening routine
- Band Exercises for Glute Strength (video)
- How to get started with trail running
- How to foam roll with ITBS (video)
- Injury-specific resources
- Jason’s comprehensive injury prevention course (free)
- 9 elite runners on their favorite prevention strategies
A big thanks to James for coming on the podcast. Be sure to say hi on Facebook if you enjoyed the show!