Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fighting Weight

During my running years I usually weighed around 165 lbs during training and almost always 163 lbs on 5k raceday; before marathons I weighed as little as 156 - 158 lbs. At 6'1", I am definitely lean, but I can think of an elite runner who, at my height, tips the scales at 138 lbs. Excess weight and muscle works against a runner, but an amputee runner has another consideration.

Prosthetic running feet are built in weight range classifications. Here are the Ossur Flex-Foot Cheetah and the Freedom Innovations Nitro specifications. The Otto Bock feet appear to be custom made for the individual runner and I could not find classifications for them.

While I was recovering my weight approached 185 lbs through a combination of inactivity, plenty of food, and the tendency for some medications to cause weight gain. Most of this lard went directly to my waist, and the only thing that narrowed was my selection of pants.

For the past 6 weeks or so I have been dieting, the first time in my life I have done this on and with a purpose. I need to be in a weight category 4 for either the Ossur or Freedom Innovations foot so that was my goal.

Last Thursday I was 168.7 lbs, close to a 16 lb loss. Being able to run again helped burn a few calories, while controlling portions and knowing that "stomach growls is fatty leaving the body" would be my barometer of choice. Having reached this goal I'll probably try to get it down to the lower 160s which shouldn't be too hard given my amputation diet as well. My old anatomical foot probably weighed 5 - 7 pounds, so I have to keep this in mind as my new one-footed self.


I plan to run an easy 2 miles tomorrow. I have been coughing my head off this evening, but it seems to be a dry, reflex only hacking. Since I've not run a fever, I think as long as my throat isn't sore I will be okay. Given I have a race next weekend I need to do a little cramming. Well, just a little. And maybe drop a couple of pounds along the way.


  1. Hello Richard,
    I manage the Websites for the Douglas Bader Foundation ( and the Limb Loss Information Centre. (
    Your blog came to my attention through a Google Alert on amputation and I was very interested to read it. Our aim at the DBF is to encourage and inspire amputees through Sir Douglas's own example and that of others with his fighting spirit. You clearly have that in spades!
    I'd love to establish a link from our blog page to your blog if you'd be happy to do that. Our blog page could definitely do with some positive input. Anyway, have a look and see what you think.
    In the meantime, best of luck with getting back to fitness.
    Best wishes,
    Wendy (McCleave)

  2. Hi Wendy,

    I'd certainly be honored for you to link to my blog. I will provide a link to DBF on my sidebar. Thank you for the supportive words, this has made my day!

    Your websites are an excellent source of information for any amputee, and you are clearly dedicated to helping the disabled realize their potential is greater than possibly imagined.

    - Richard