Just what is my ideal “Racing Weight” supposed to be?

I woke up at 4am last Saturday to get my 18 miler done ( which turned into a 19 miler) because apparently I can’t do math. I had a glass of water, sprouted wheat peanut butter toast and a big cup of coffee. I definitely never skip out on my coffee. I packed a bunch of raisins for the run and I was off.

It was a frosty start because I hate being overdressed, but I quickly warmed up , with the exception of my hands. Despite having hand warmers, my hands were freezing ( and it wasn’t even that cold! upper 20’s?). Note to self: Wear real gloves this weekend. For the most part, the run went pretty smoothly , but I just felt off. I couldn’t figure it out. My legs weren’t sore and I was well rested, but my body just felt tired and hard to move. I felt like I was running with a weighted backpack, not just a fuel belt with a few raisins in it. I got home with enough time to eat a few peanut butter protein pancakes some water and I was rushing off to take the boys to their basketball game.

Virginia Beach Oceanfront sunrise views on my long run Saturday

The week progressed and I didn’t think much more about my run until I was at the grocery store yesterday. I picked up a bag of 5 pound carrots and realized how much it actually weighed. And then I remembered reading Matt Fitzgerald’s book “Racing Weight” a couple months ago (highly recommend for anyone looking to tweak their nutrition aspect of training, by the way). Specifically, the part where it talks about the two ways to get faster: 1) increasing speed and/or intensity of workouts, or 2) losing weight. Trying to do both at the same time is a bad idea, because calorie deficits reduce ability to perform during workouts. And better performances in workouts, in turn, make you a faster runner (done in small amounts, as based on the 80/20 theory, or Lydiard training). Since I am working more on my aerobic capacity and less (or none) on speed, I am going to focus more on weight loss during this training cycle with hopes of decreasing my race times .

No, I do not think I am fat. No, I do not think weight loss is the key. But, I am curious to see if this works and would like to experiments a little on myself. I am going to aim to lose 5-7 pounds in two months. My baseline is going to be my time at the Resolution 5k, which was on January 1, 2019. My time was 19:49 and my weight was roughly 136 (that’s what it was today). I will compete in another 5k a couple weeks before or after the 60k in order to see if there has been any improvement on my time (providing the fact I have lost weight and not any other factors have changed). I must say that I’m excited to see the result for I am a true scientist at heart. I have a number of years of immunology research behind me, but then I had my three boy babes and life had other plans for me.

I don’t plan on making a lot of adjustments to my current diet (other than maybe eating a little less peanut butter). I already make pretty wholesome food choices with lots of fruits and vegetables in the mix. I will just try and eat more mindfully, stopping eating when I am a little less full. Or having a glass of water between servings of food (and drinking more water in general) to see if I am truly still hungry. And hopefully the increased mileage over the next few weeks will take care of the rest of it for me.

Another favorite pre- long run breakfast

I know this post was supposed to focus on pre-, post, and during workout nutrition, but what can I say? I’m easily distracted. I have lots more long runs coming my way, so that post will not be forgotten!

Crush those miles this weekend!

-S

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