A Marathon Runner’s Body – A Healthy Body Image

What body type are marathon runners? A marathon runner’s body can come in many shapes and sizes. People see health magazines or runners world and see the elite athlete’s thin body shape. Then compare to them. All you have to do is go to a marathon and you will see runners of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Related Article:https What is a Marathon Pacer

Marathon Runner’s Body & Body Types

With marathoner John Bingham saying. “Running is about the craft of running and more than the appearance of how fast you run”, it’s obvious that he means that aesthetics do not equal talent, experience, or dedication.
But, when you look at the many athletes who have won top-level marathons, what do you see? Most of the athletes look fit. The average marathoner can’t compare themselves to elite athletes. According to Runner’s World, each of the top runners goes through a specific training program and a nutrition program. An average marathoner does not have the time and or money to dedicate themselves to running like the elite. Some people feel because they don’t look fit enough they use it as a reason to give up on their dreams of running. Or they hide the fact they are a distance runner to others because of unwanted judgment.

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Different Body Types Endomorph, Mesomorph, or Ectomorph

People are born with unique body compositions.
A person who is Ectomorph is typically small and thin and has a lean body mass. These runners have the lowest body fat and highest metabolic rate. This would be what most people think of the stereotypical marathon runner’s body. Because their training, which consists of long runs, often allows them to low body weight.
You might be a mesomorph if you’re naturally muscular, have a medium frame, and are on the stronger side. Your body is also likely to be rectangular in shape with an upright posture. Also, mesomorph bodies have a high percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers. This allows them to use their muscle energy for a much longer duration than someone who has more slow twitch fiber.
Endomorphs have higher body fat and less muscle than other body types. This may lead to rounder and softer features, but it doesn’t mean that they are always overweight. But they can easily gain weight.

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Runner’s – Excelling in Your Unique Physique

You don’t have to match the perfect body type to enjoy running! While it is true that at the very highest level of running the Ectomorph lean body with a low body fat percentage. Elite runners are a small fraction of a percent of all people who enjoy running, and they still represent a diverse range of body types. So, what is the best body type to run a marathon? Anybody can do it! You don’t need to be an elite marathon runner, or be able to run quickly. All you need is the willingness to put in the work and you can do it!

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The Ideal Marathon Runner’s Body

Your body is very intelligent and will adapt to your exercise plan. It will make changes based on your activities. If your activity is long distance running, it will do whatever it needs to be good at running. This means you will likely experience weight loss and lose muscle mass. Depending on your body type you can look thin and trim or you can look “skinny fat”. Some people with a mesomorph body type may still look bigger and muscular than an ectomorph.

You might have very nicely toned leg muscles but your upper body will have less muscle if you are not doing other exercises. This can be discouraging as you feel you are working out and excelling at running but your body doesn’t look as toned. This is because you are losing muscle. It is not the same for everyone some runners want to gain weight and have trouble doing so as they still want to keep up with their training program. People can think of them as too skinny. These body judgments can lower a person’s self-esteem and lead to mental health issues.

Healthy Body Image

Your body image is how you think and feel about your body. It doesn’t have to match what other people think or feel. There are so many things that can affect your body image and mental health, so it’s important to take care of yourself

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Exposure to the media and the thin ideal is associated with both behavioral and emotional symptoms related to disordered eating. And it’s not just exposure that poses a danger; it is the development of beliefs that success is determined by thinness.

It is important if you are a marathon runner to not put pressure on yourself to lose weight. Don’t set weight loss goals as your marathon training plan. Running a marathon is hard and you are looking at a life-changing experience for your mind and body. Set your goals to do a better job of fueling your body, getting enough sleep, or running performance like time-based PB goals or a stable mileage goal.

“Body image issues are not unusual in athletes and can start at a young age. Negative consequences of poor body image include quitting sports, eating disorders, and low self-esteem.”


There has been a shift towards body positivity in the media due to the rise of Instagram where you can find “real” people. I hope companies, the media, and magazines can continue this trend. The #ihavearunnersbody movement is all about the benefits of running. If you run, then you have a runner’s body! It’s as simple as that. The BMI is a useful tool to assess your weight, but it doesn’t account for muscle mass. If you think you are in the overweight category it doesn’t mean you’re not healthy enough to run a marathon. Talk to your doctor before making any decisions. Be kind to your self which is easier said than done.

Using the Body You Have to Your Advantage

Weight fluctuations are natural. What we eat, how much we exercise, and how often we lift weights all contribute to our body’s capabilities. Marathon running isn’t about losing weight: it’s about getting out there and doing something you’ll never forget. We’re all about health and wellness here at Running gear lab. It’s so important that we don’t let our weight-loss goals destroy our love for running.
Running is such a great way to get exercise. You don’t need to be skinny to run, either. But it is also fine if you are skinny. Some marathon runners weigh a lot more than you might think, but they’re still able to do it well! You can be big and fast or skinny as fast.

An experienced runner and an active mom, Kelly is the research expert behind runninggearlab.com When you don't find Kelly training for her next 10k or 5k race you'll find her reading reviews and testing the latest running watch.

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