Should you weigh yourself as an endurance athlete? And if so… Why?
When I asked around if people weighed themselves as endurance athletes, I kind of knew it was going to be a hot-button topic, but I didn’t expect to get over a hundred responses from athletes—ahem—weighing in! I was working on an article for MapMyRun about if we should weigh ourselves as endurance athletes, and if so, why should we do it? And honestly, it was a pretty mixed bag of results. For some people, weighing in was their accountability metric, for others, it was a slippery slope to disordered eating. (I have some personal thoughts and experiences along those lines that I shared here.)
The overarching theme, though, was that to weigh yourself randomly at varying times of day and just for the sake of hopping on the scale was NOT a good idea. Rather, a—again, ahem—measured approach needed to be taken. One of the most important points that came up with a lot of the runners, coaches and nutrition experts I’ve talked to over the last couple years was this: WHY are you weighing yourself?
Are you hoping to achieve a certain race weight for an upcoming marathon, are you trying to get down to a certain percentage body fat or are you trying to PR in your next 10K? Sometimes, we start focusing on the number on the scale, but we don’t know why, exactly. If you’re just trying to make sure your weight stays in a rough range because you know that’s where you perform the best, that’s a good reason to get on the scale. But if you’re unsure of your weight goals, it’s just a number that doesn’t hold any real meaning, but we can end up losing focus and going from ‘trying to be a better runner’ to ‘trying to hit an arbitrary weight goal.’