Thursday, April 24, 2008

Race Weight

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?

In other news, The Oracle has another great set of blogs on HR training. I encourage everyone to go check it out!


Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

I don't really have a target weight as much as I have a weight that I want to get to. After I hit that point, I'll kind of let things settle where they want to and see what that ends up being...but that's still 19 pounds from where I am now. Damn. I better go for a run. See ya!

Ken Schulz said...

"The trick is to keep losing weight until your friends and family ask you if you've been sick. then you know you're within 10 pounds. if they start whispering to each other, wondering if you've got cancer or aids, you're within 5. when they actually do an intervention, you're at race weight" -Slowman

Bob Almighty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Almighty said...

Sadly I can't make either, my co-workers alread snagged those vacation weeks. Although we'll probably clash at clearwater...I would be down for a fall race or even an Ironwar in 09.

Vic said...

Ken (above)is dead on the money. I'm a skinny-ass to start with so race weight is only down about 5 lbs but the "eat cookie alreaady" comments come out of the closet when I hit RW.

TJ said...

No jigglin' ):
LOL at Ken. I've actually had family and friends ask the "Are you sick" question. My race weight is 135. I'm usually 4-6 lbs over that most of the year and get it down before a big race. Anytime I get much below 135 the questions get a bit more serious...."dude...are you sure you're not sick, maybe you should get a check-up or something".

TriGirl Thea said...

No wonder youre so speedy! Jings!

My approach to target race weight is pretty much like Charlene's! But I totally buy that 2 seconds per mile per pound thing

--- quick calculation ---

Now if I can just make it down to 46lbs maybe I stand a chance of catching you!


Wingman said...

No race day weight here for me, more of a race day feel. I know if I eat really clean in the weeks heading into the race my body is going to feel tremendous, plus there's no way I'll ever be one of those 150 lbs runners.

One caveat to your post - we can eat as much as we like as long as it doesn't actually taste good, why oh why does it take me 3 days to feel "normal" after a bacon cheeseburger now!

erichollins said...

Good job on getting down to the race weight. I expect to be getting the "you need to eat some cheeseburgers" comments by the middle of the summer.

triguyjt said...

the scale is your friend...

props to you