Marathon Runners: A Poor Diet Can Slow You Down

Jim Hage of The Washington Post tells the story of marathon runner Casey Smith who, despite some early success, is currently out of racing and on the mend. Why? She found out the hard way that her sudden, dramatic weight-loss wasn’t as healthy as it seemed:
Shortly thereafter, Smith began to lose weight. "This shouldn't be happening," she told herself. But in the world of elite racing, particularly for women, fast times are often a function of body weight, and racers tread a fine line between competition and self-destruction. By the spring, Smith had shed 15 pounds from her 5-foot, 100-pound frame. At the St. Patrick's Day 10K, Smith dropped out of a race for the first time.

"At first, I was worried," said Smith, 27. "But then, I said I'm feeling good, my workouts were good, and I started running pretty well again. It's hard to describe what was happening. Lots of runners watch what they eat."
She decided to do something about it:
Smith began to work with a nutritionist and sought professional assistance. She didn't regain the lost weight, but she realized she had a problem and resolved to adopt "a healthy attitude."

"Eating disorders, that's crazy," she says now. "How does that ever happen? But keeping the weight off becomes a subconscious thing; you don't want to put it back on. It's like an addiction."
The issue of athletes not fueling their body with nutrient-rich longevity-promoting food is nothing new to DiseaseProof. Check out Dr. Fuhrman’s critique of Detroit Pistons star Richard Hamilton’s diet.
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Kyle Key - August 15, 2006 5:55 PM

On the opposite side of that story, last month Scott Jurek, a vegan "ultramarathoner," won the Badwater for the second year in a row. It covers 135 miles (more than five times the length of a normal marathon); you can read more about this story here:

http://www.dawnwatch.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/archive/dw%31%30%30%30%30%30%30dawnwat/20060727153323/

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