Racing Weight FAQs and Recipes
Your ideal racing weight is as individual as the type of shoes that fit your feet best or the type of training plan you need to reach your goals. Read on to find answers to the most frequently asked questions about racing weight, find your ideal weight, as well as recipes that contain less than 400 calories per serving from the Racing Weight Cookbook.
What Is Your Ideal Racing Weight?
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In almost every case, a runner's optimal racing weight is the lowest weight he or she can attain without overtraining or consuming too little energy to support optimal running performance and recovery. Individual racing weights are influenced by a variety of factors, including height and frame type.
What's true of all runners at their individual racing weights is that they have low body fat levels. In any single runner, it is primarily the amount of fat on the body that determines how close he or she is to racing weight.
Do I Have to Eat Bland Foods to Lose Weight?
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If you're trying to lose weight and whittle down to your racing weight, it's vital that you consume as many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as possible while also getting the carbs, protein and heart-healthy fats your body needs to support your training. It might seem like a tall order to get the nutrients you need while simultaneously watching your calorie intake, but it's possible if you commit to cooking most of your meals.?Check out a healthier version of a classic, comforting Thai dish: Thai green curry with scallops and shrimp.
Photo credit: Peter Bagi, Courtesy VeloPress
How Do I Calculate My Ideal Racing Weight?
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By definition, your optimal racing weight and optimal body fat percentage are the numbers that are associated with your highest level of fitness. Thus, the surest way to determine your racing weight and optimal body fat percentage is to get in the best shape of your life and then weigh yourself and measure your body composition on the day of a big race.
Should I Try to Maintain My Racing Weight All Year?
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No. An athlete's?optimal racing weight?is not the same as his or her healthy weight range. Most often, the body weight at which an athlete performs best falls at the lower end of his or her healthy weight range.
Even if you're already quite lean at the start of a training cycle, you are likely to lose a little weight as your training approaches the peak level, when you attain your ideal racing weight a few weeks before your biggest race. Peak fitness and optimal racing weight go hand in hand. Consequently, you can't expect to maintain your racing weight year-round any more than you can expect to hold peak fitness from January to December.
What's a Healthy Post-Workout Meal That's Under 400 Calories?
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After a workout, your muscles need protein to start the recovery process, and you need to replenish your muscle glycogen (carb) stores. One-pot quinoa with chicken and veggies is one of my most common post-workout meals; it's a perfect fit for those times when I want some high-quality carbohydrates and protein without a lot of fuss.
Photo credit: Peter Bagi, Courtesy VeloPress
When I'm Training Hard, I Get So Hungry. What Do I Do?
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Eat a big breakfast, eat often, resist the urge to gorge, and consume high-satiety foods. As a general rule, try to consume eat least 25 percent of your total calories for the day within an hour of waking up.
The longer you go without eating, the hungrier you become. Eating frequently throughout the day is an effective way to prevent your hunger from becoming extreme. When selecting the best foods for your caloric buck, choose foods high in fiber, long-chain fatty acids, calcium and protein.
How Many Calories Do I Need?
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If you're trying to lose weight, you should aim to consume 100 to 400 fewer calories than your body uses daily. If you're an athlete trying to maintain a steady weight and make sure your body is well fueled for training, you should aim to consume the same number of calories that your body uses. And if you're trying to build muscle, aim to consume about 100 calories more than your body uses each day. Click on the "read more" button to find out how many calories you need to reach your goals.
Are Skinny Triathletes Faster?
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According to a study conducted by Swiss researchers, Ironman triathletes' body weight was found to have a statistically moderate effect on total race time, with lighter athletes tending to reach the finish line quicker. Body fat percentage had a large effect on total race time and a moderate effect (bordering on large) on swim, bike and runs splits. Extra body weight and body fat affected running performance more negatively than swimming or cycling performance in these subjects.?In a nutshell, this study demonstrated that it pays to be lean and light in triathlon.
If I Just Cut Calories, Will I Lose Weight and Run Better?
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Some runners make the mistake of thinking that losing weight is more important than how they do it. This mindset may seduce them into eating less in order to get down to that magic number. While this approach is fine for nonathletes, it's not right for runners. Artificially restricting caloric intake while training intensively for a running race seldom turns out well. The body needs sufficient energy to fuel workouts and to bounce back quickly between workouts. If you deprive your body of some of the energy it needs you are likely to see your training suffer even as you lose weight.
The bottom line is this: If you train and eat for maximum performance, your weight will take care of itself. But if you train or eat to lose weight, your performance will probably suffer.