Outsiders often think that athletes never have to worry about weight. That all the exercise that we do allows to eat absolutely anything in sight. The truth is actually quite the opposite. Sure, we are unlikely to get FAT, but we also have a much different idea of what is acceptable. We ask a lot of our bodies and our bodies deserve some help from us in return. Here is where there is a delicate balance:
1. We need to fuel the body so that it can perform optimally
2. We need to stay light and lean. Running is a high impact activity. Every extra pound we carry is more force on the joints. Furthermore, lighter is faster. Looking at this calculator, every pound of fat I lose means 42 seconds over 1/2 mary. That's a lot!
This year as I slowly become more competitive I have decided to be more serious about my day to day nutrition. No more peanut butter (not that it's a terrible thing, I just would snack on it CONSTANTLY). Big breakfast every morning, good recovery with protein after my hard workouts, no food after 8pm and no dairy (I have issues with lactose...).
Well today, I finally hit what I consider acceptable race weight! It's not really a pre-set number, but I've found in the past that as soon as my weight dips under 120 I feel like a totally different person when running. I feel light, my joints don't ache after my runs, and nothing jiggles! Now I need to keep it off. My goal is to hit The Desoto Triple T at about 117 pounds. That is a huge running load for one weekend and I want to reduce as much impact as possible (but of course keep on enough body fat to maintain a healthy immune system).
I'm curious how many of you have target race weights, and how do you pick that magic number?