Many runners including myself have the erroneous belief that if they increase their weekly mileage and train harder without proper recovery can get that new PB are looking for. I have to admit, I was in that position and sometimes we change things that makes the situation worst and ignore some simple facts like achieving your ideal marathon weight.
So let’s go back couple of years, back in summer of 2018 and I will explain you how i manage with logging the same mileage doing the same training to cut off more than 30 minutes from my previous marathon best time,
In summer of 2018 we spent our holidays with my wife to the beautiful island of Thasos in Greece. Every time we are planning our summer holidays, I do my research about the running routes I can safely run there alone and of course I do my research to find a good running book to enjoy while lying on the beach.
That time I knew that I had few extra pounds since my height is 5.34 feet and I was weighting back then around to 152 pounds. My weight wasn’t really bothered me since I was feeling healthy and really enjoying some extra food since I was running some serious miles every week. During my summer holidays book research on Amazon I ended looking on two books of Matt Fitzgerald, the Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance and the Racing Weight Quick Start Guide: A 4-Week Weight-Loss Plan for Endurance Athletes , two books that I didn’t know that time that would change my running game forever!!
After reading the two Matt book reviews, I purchased both and loaded them on my kindle and started dreaming the time I will be in the Greek island, enjoying the sunshine, some local beer and snacks on the beach and reading my Racing weight books how to implement my marathon weight loss , kind of Oxymoron though 🙂
losing some pounds while you are training for a marathon sometimes can be tricky
Just to cut story short, I read the books in July and promised myself that on my upcoming November 2018 Athens Authentic Marathon I will get leaner following Matt advices. So using the formulas, I calculated my ideal racing weight and I set my target to go down from 17% of Body fat to 12% body fat and that would be going down around 9 pounds.
I didn’t know back then where its possible but I thought I will give it a shot. So losing some pounds while you are training for a marathon sometimes can be tricky because if you cut down on carbs and protein you may feel more weak and its like sacrificing from your performance. As Matt suggest in his book, you should achieve the racing weight before you get into your main marathon plan because your training will be suffering and injuries may occur if you don’t get the appropriate protein carbs ratio for recovery.
I included below a link that you can download the racing weight calculator i created so you can calculate what is your ideal marathon weight it is. You must always seek professional advice and consult a professional to give you appropriate advice on your diet and how to lose some weight. Racing weight does not imply a healthy weight since the racing weight is a point you go there for a certain amount of time to utilize it and go for a peak performance and the healthy weight is the one you should be stable on it for most of your lifetime.
So from Matt book I learned how to calculate the calories I must intake per day to lose some weight and I start counting my calories using a mobile app, whatever I was eating every day I was immediately passing it to the app. I was doing that mobile app calories entry for two weeks, after that I found it unnecessary since, I new out of my head to calculate them and sum them up anytime of the day by just back tracking what i ate. In order to calculate my racing weight I had to know my current body fat so I purchased a RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale that was able to give me lots of stats and track my body fat and weight loss improvement as well. Bear in mind that it is always good to weight yourself once a week the same time of the day – there is no need to do that everyday.
Finally, i managed the 12% body fat target and in November I was even down to 10.5% body fat and 137 pounds, never felt so fit in my life, I could actually see that abs really exist 🙂
Just wrapping it up I want to let you know that going for the optimal racing weight can help you become faster, reduce the rate of injuries since you carry less weight and every pound really matters when we consider the impact of endurance running that is placed on the body. Closing, body weight is absolutely related with the VO2Max improvement – considering that with the same amount of training effort by just losing weight you improve your VO2Max since your body will be able to utilize more oxygen as you run.