Why The Ideal Female Runner Body Type Needs To Be Addressed
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Why The Ideal Female Runner Body Type Needs To Be Addressed

Michigan State University runner Rachele Schulist perfectly addresses the issue with body image and running.

Why The Ideal Female Runner Body Type Needs To Be Addressed

In the first week of December, runner Rachele Schulist publicly spoke about her struggle with weight and the sport of cross country. As a two-time All-American at Michigan State University, Schulist has won several titles, even leading her team as a sophomore to an undefeated season and their first women’s national title.

However – the battle was not always easy.

When Schulist began running at the Division I level, she noticed patterns in the elite runners – thin with speed. This led to manipulation in her head, she thought in order to succeed she needed to be thin. Gradually restricting her diet, Schulist quickly lost weight as well as nutrition. This lack of nutrition led to an uncommon injury in her knee, forcing her to be out for a season. The battle to return was even more difficult. Still conscious of her weight, her team and coaching staff rallied behind her.

Today – Schulist has gained 20 pounds and is stronger than ever. Mentally she was defeated going into the 2016 season, but came out finishing 12th at nationals.

Rachele Schulist is a role model to runners everywhere. In a sport where skinny is glorified, weight loss is encouraged, and speed requires you to be thin – mental manipulation is insanely easy.

You see the girls winning medals and standing on podiums and they are beautifully thin. It almost seems as if they have no weight to carry when running. You begin to imagine how fast you could be if you were that thin.

Caught between wanting to be strong and wanting to be thin, your mind begins hesitating. Your teammates might even comment on your weight. College is the time where everyone is gaining weight, but as a runner, you are expected to lose it. As a female, this is more difficult than anyone can imagine.

Rachele Schulist is proof that skinny is not equivalent with speed. Strength is so important, as well as a positive self image. She stated “thinner does not mean faster” and that is something all female runners need to be aware of. Gaining weight does not make you slower, and the idea that female runners need to be a certain image or size is horrifying.

As a female runner – I have often cut myself off from certain foods or going out just because I wanted to be skinny. I looked at myself endlessly in a mirror wondering what else I could do. When I was told I looked stronger, I stared at the scale even harder, hoping the numbers would go down.

The image of the ideal female runners needs to be abolished. You can be fast and strong, just as you can be skinny and fast. There is no ideal image. Love your body and compete aggressively – regardless of your body type, because that is what running is about.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

No Sex And Upstate New York

A modern-day reincarnation of Carrie Bradshaw's classic column


Around the age of 12, when I was deciding whether or not to be gay, Satan appeared on my left shoulder. “Ramsssey,” he said with that telltale lisp. “Come over to our side. We have crazy partiessss.” He made a strong case, bouncing up and down on my shoulder with six-pack abs and form-fitting Calvin Kleins. An angel popped up on the other shoulder and was going to warn me about something, but Satan interrupted- “Shut up, you crusty-ass bitch!’ The angel was pretty crusty. She disappeared, and from that moment forward I was gay.

Keep Reading... Show less

To The Classes That Follow

I want you to want to make the most of the years that are prior to Senior year

To The Classes That Follow
Senior Year Is Here And I Am So Not Ready For It

I was you not that long ago. I was once an eager freshman, a searching sophomore, and a know-it-all junior. Now? Now I am a risk taker. Not the type that gets you in trouble with your parents, but the type that changes your future. Senior year is exciting. A lot of awesome things come along with being the top-dog of the school, but you, right now, are building the foundation for the next 4 years that you will spend in high school. I know you've heard it all. "Get involved", "You'll regret not going to prom", "You're going to miss this". As redundant as these seem, they're true. Although I am just at the beginning of my senior year, I am realizing how many lasts I am encountering.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Power Of Prayer Saved My Best Friend's Life

At the end of the day, there is something out there bigger than all of us, and to me, that is the power of prayer.

Julie Derrer

Imagine this:

Keep Reading... Show less

Why Driving Drives Me Crazy

the highways are home


With Halloween quickly approaching, I have been talking to coworkers about what scares us. There are always the obvious things like clowns, spiders, heights, etc. But me? There are a number things I don't like: trusting strangers, being yelled at, being in life or death situations, parallel parking. All of these are included when you get behind the wheel of a car.

Keep Reading... Show less
Baseball Spring Training Is A Blast In Arizona
Patricia Vicente

Nothing gets me more pumped up than the nice weather and the sights and sounds of the baseball season quickly approaching.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments