I'm a man, 25 years old. My electronic scale tells me 69 kg and 18.5% body fat, and my fitness seems to be bad when compared to my friends at similar age:
- I run very slow. Most of my friends run 5 km around 20 minutes but I need 23 minutes at race speed.
- When I run with my friends together, I always lag behind them whenever an upward slope / stairs are encountered. My friends seem to not lose speed when going up the slope, however, for me I think it is natural for the speed to be reduced as physical phenomenon.
- My ankles feel very stressed whenever I run, and get pain after long (starting from 8 km) runs, coming with swollen feet, exactly like this article describes (https://runnerunleashed.com/2013/06/20/running-with-peroneal-tendonitis/). Therefore I am afraid of long runs, and my longest race is only 10 km in about 48.5 minutes. However, the pain and swell can be relieved by jumping into the sea and float for 10 - 15 minutes. I tried to run along a coast highway, and for about 8 km each I went down to a beach and floated on the sea until my ankle pain disappeared, and continue running, and ran 20 km in total on that day. Adding salt to the insult, the pain comes almost immediately if I try to run uphill or on uneven ground, probably because of increased stress on my ankle, therefore I never do any cross-country race but I cannot avoid it in my orienteering.
- Some of my friends start, stop and turn very fast in their run, i.e. have great acceleration. However, if I need to run long, I must start my run slowly with only little acceleration, otherwise I will get exhausted very soon. For comparison, a bus always start much slower than a motorcycle. In my 10 km race, I think I used nearly a km until I reached cruise speed.
- I cannot tolerate heat. Even though I can run 10 km at the above speed in winter, in summer (e.g. at 32℃ 80% humidity) I can't run anywhere near the above speed for ANY distance. If I attempt to run at the race speed, I will become overheat in less than 1 km and have to stop. In contrast, I always run with sleeveless and athletic short even under 10℃ and get sweating if I run hard enough when my friends are already wearing t-shirt. The same holds in swimming as well, the so-called "swimming season" in my region is April to October but I seldom swim in July to early September because the water temperature is SO DAMN HOT, like 29℃ sea temperature under the afternoon sun, where I cannot tolerate and must exit the water maybe only 100 to 200 m of swimming. The pool is worse than, the water temperature can reach 32℃ where heat stroke is a real concern. However, I LOVE swimming out-of-season when the water temperature goes below 24℃, and swim for an hour in the middle of winter where the water temperature is only 16℃. Fat is a good insulator of heat, does that mean I am too fat if I can swim comfortably in the middle of winter?
Does reducing fat solve my above problems?
P.S.: Before I got my full-time job, I was only 62 kg. I didn't have the body fat scale at that time but I think the amount should be about 13-15% based on my shape, at that time I actually ran faster (about 22'12" for 5 km but now need 22'50"), did more push-ups (about 30 at that time but now having trouble even completing 20). However, after 1 year of full-time job, my weight increased to 73 kg because I didn't have ANY time to exercise, and left that job on contract maturity because it damaged my health too much.