Originally Posted by Joe Bernard
Look at their body comp, it's called skinny fat. They are really skinny (because they need to be in order to run such long distances) but they have no muscle whatsoever, it's all fat.
Joe did you watch any of the long distance events in the Olympics? Did you see one "skinny fat" runner. Yes they are very lean, up to 20% below average body weight for their height. But they certainly are not fat. Elite male runner often are about 5-8% body fat.
The term "skinny fat" can just as easily be applied to the average gym fitness enthusiast or the average chap in a Crossfit affiliate. It's not applicable to elite athletes. Don't confuse the guy you see plodding around the park with Samuel Kamau Wanjiru who runs a marathon at a faster pace than most people on this board (myself included) run a 400 m.
Nicholas the higher your protein intake the greater the percentage of said protein is catabolised. Not a big issue. I agree with Joe that you should use LBM to calculate your requirement and that 1g per lb of LBM seems a good starting point. After that use fat and carbs to cover your energy requirements. The ratio will depend on your metabolism, activity levels, and personal taste. The Zone seems a good place to start for most people. Tweak as needed.
FYI most mainstream nutrition books are aimed at endurance athletes as that's the biggest audience.