Reach Your Racing Weight the Right Way

What is the best way to train for maximum performance? Follow the 80/10/10 rule. About 80 percent of your running should be done at a very comfortable pace. Another 10 percent should be done at a moderately high intensity (or lactate threshold intensity, which is about the fastest pace a well-trained runner can sustain for one hour in a race). The remaining 10 percent of your training should take the form of high-intensity intervals.

More: High Intensity Interval Training FAQs Answered

As for mileage, you should do close to the maximum amount of running each week that you can comfortably handle. The single best way to improve your running is to run a lot. That's because running is a motor skill like any other, and the more you do it, the more efficiently you'll do it. Doing 80 percent of your running at a slow pace will enable you to run more without burning yourself out. And as you can imagine, maintaining high average weekly running mileage is not only a great way to get fitter but is also a great way to shed excess body fat.

What is the best way to eat for maximum performance? Focus on quality instead of quantity in your diet. High-quality foods are vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meat and fish, and some dairy. Eat as much of these foods as you like. Low-quality foods include refined grains, fatty meats, sweets, and fried foods. Eat these foods sparingly. If you maximize your diet quality and obey your appetite you will be able to shed excess body fat without compromising your training and post-workout recovery.

More: 3 Steps to Long-Run Recovery

In addition to training smart and eating right, regularly monitoring your weight and your performance will help you avoid losing weight the wrong way. Once every four weeks or so, weigh yourself and conduct a standard performance test such as a 10K run at a 90 percent effort. As long as your performance continues to improve in these tests, any change in your weight is a good change. But if you lose weight and your performance suffers, you've done it the wrong way.

More: How to Estimate Your Performance at New Race Distances

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