Race Weight

Race weight is what the scale shows me on race day.

Photo from gallery: Spring 2011
April 10, 2011
The first indication that I
should have been focusing
harder on recovery:
A failed long-run a few
days after I started to
be strict instead of smart
with diet choices

Trying to cut weight in the final three weeks before a marathon may help on paper but it doesn’t help in real life unless you can do so without getting sick on the run leading up to the race. I wanted to get light and fast, every pound lighter you are for race day is a pound you don’t have to carry along the course for three hours. Every pound you loose should amount to 2 seconds per mile or there-about. If you loose 4 pounds you could speed up by almost four minutes over a marathon. I had put in some hard work and wanted to get everything out of it. I was greedy and I wanted those extra minutes of free speed and I did what it said it took on paper to get them. Realistically I had shattered my own personal records for maximal training loads and I needed to recover 10% harder than I had ever recovered before, which meant I needed 101% of my regular food intake. Trying to eat 99% of my regular food intake was too hard on my body, it collapsed and failed under the training stress I had subjected it to. A PR 10 miler the weekend after a 17 mile detonation run (stats pictured) puts your body in the hurt box. I needed to give it everything it wanted if I wanted it to give me a fast race on May 1. Instead I kept asking for a little bit more every day, I asked it to cut fat while it was trying to recover. I wasn’t asking a lot, I cut three pounds in two weeks and then got sick. Three pounds is all? Yeah, I think those three pounds cost me the race. I went from lean to skinny over the course of about 18 days, you probably didn’t see me with my shirt off, but I did, 3 pounds out of 195 is a dramatic change. I watched it happen, I thought I was getting fast, instead I was punching my immune system in the face. Losing those three pounds of fat was roughly 20% of my fat reserves. That’s a dramatic change, even more dramatic than stringing together a PR 107km run week from a previous PR of 91km, that was only 17.5% larger and I knew that was risky.

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