Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Racing Weight - Matt Fitzgerald

Continuing our reading and/or book review week . . .

Racing Weight - How to get lean for peak performance - 5-step plan for endurance athletes. By Matt Fitzgerald.

I read this book last winter hoping for inspiration and suggestions for getting to a better weight for Leadville. The book is oriented towards fit, almost appropriate-weight endurance athletes who are looking to get "lean" for that extra bit of speed or racing ability, but the lessons applied to me as well. I won't go into my personal weight issues, but it is fair to say that I am on the heavier side of the fit and ready category; clearly Clydesdale and quite a bit above "racing weight". Nonetheless, as I said, this book does have a lot of common sense information for any athlete trying to lose weight.

I like the joke about the most effective weight loss book in the world having two pages. One page says, Eat Less. The other page says, Burn More Calories. There really isn't any more to it than that, but for every person who weighs more than they would like, it is aggravating how simple the equation is versus how difficult it is to implement. This book goes into strategies for helping with both of these points, by discussing timing of food, types of food to eat to control appetite and promote weight loss, as well as food to help with training, lean muscle mass building and fat loss.

If there were a secret in this book, I would be glad to share it, but really it is just a framework to consider common sense information that we know, almost know or should know.

Like most books for cycling/running that involve a "plan", whether for weight loss or training, you can either jump in and follow along point by point, or take the basics and apply them to your own plan. I did the latter and actually managed to drop about 20 pounds between January and mid-August. I have a secret desire to continue this process until spring and come out next year at a more appropriate riding weight, so maybe it's time to pick this book up again and get re-focused or re-energized.

I would recommend this book for any endurance athlete looking for some common sense advice for weight loss. It avoids some of the crazy diets that the general population are gravitating towards and considers the needs of endurance athletes. Even those of us on the larger side of the equation.

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