Why Are Runners So Skinny? [Top 3 Reasons]

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. It requires very little to get going and has significant health benefits, including cardiovascular endurance and an effective way to lose weight. One common question is, why are runners so skinny?

Runners are generally skinny because they engage in long-distance running, which forces the body to deplete its glycogen and use the stored fat as energy. This results in toned and skinny bodies for all long-distance runners, such as those who run marathons. 

This article will discuss why runners are generally skinny. So keep reading! This article has all you need to know about why runners are skinny and the reasoning behind it. 

Why Are Runners So Skinny?

  1. Runners typically have toned figures which some may label as skinny for various reasons; however, the most prominent is that runners tend to burn a lot of calories as they run, which in turn forces their bodies to burn fat as energy.
  2. Runners who are skinny generally engage in long-distance training in preparation for various running events such as marathons. This means they typically end up with efficient muscles that can keep up with the level of endurance needed on long runs, giving them that authentic toned and skinny runner look. 
  3. Most runners will train anywhere from four to six times per week and up to a few hours per session. This training method ensures that the body is regularly able to burn fat and use it as energy resulting in skinny and toned body types.
Why Are Runners So Skinny?

Why Do Muscles Get Leaner From Running?

Typically, runners have very lean muscles due to their chosen method of exercising. After a long run, the body has depleted its storage of glycogen and begins to use its reserve of fat as energy. This results in a reduction of fat within the body, leading to leaner muscles. 

If you’re someone who trains as a runner, your body begins to use less energy on preserving muscle mass and instead focuses on building short-twitch muscle fibers, which are essential for long-distance running. 

So, you’ll generally notice that long-distance runners have lean and toned muscles, which helps with their chosen exercise method. They will have efficient muscles that can keep up with the level of endurance performed by the runner. 

Why Are Sprinters So Muscular And Long-Distance Runners So Skinny?

You may have noticed a difference in body types between a long-distance runner, who’ll generally have a skinny and toned body, and sprinters, who tend to have much more muscle on their bodies. This is due to numerous factors, but the most prominent is the training style. 

Sprinters will engage in small bursts of training or reps with much greater resistance resulting in the development of stronger and larger muscles. This is because they need the extra power and explosive strength when taking off and running for short bursts. 

Whereas long-distance runners don’t need the same level of explosive power which comes with larger muscles. Instead, they need their short-twitch fibers to ensure that they can endure the length of their run. 

So, any explosive training such as that done by sprinters will use fast-twitch fibers, much like weightlifting, and will generally have muscular bodies. In comparison, long-distance runners who are training for marathons will utilize the slow twitch muscle fibers and will typically have skinnier and toned bodies. 

Final Thoughts

So, if you’ve ever wondered why most long-distance runners generally have skinny or toned bodies, you know it’s simply because their bodies will use up a lot more of the fat stored within their system when running for long periods of time.