A few months ago I purchased a book called Racing Weight which explains the benefits of being at ideal body weight (and composition). Aside from being generally healthy, being “lean” translates into faster racing (the book is not just for runners – the same principles apply to swimmers, cyclists, skiers, etc.). Extra weight not only slows you down but may predispose you to injury, especially when we talk about running.
I bought this book in part because I gained 10lbs while training for my first marathon. And, sadly, those 10lbs have stuck. I obviously feel that I’m under-performing a bit when it comes to pace so maybe losing those 10 lbs would help? (Or maybe losing a bit more than 10 lbs since I’m not sure I started at ideal wight.)
When I started reading the book, it basing a lot of its guidelines on body fat composition. And strongly recommends a body fat scale to monitor body composition. I put this item on my wish list and promptly set the book aside. In the meantime I started tracking calories on myfitnesspal to try to lose weight. This didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. And with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and no power for 10 days, I stopped tracking, I’m less than 1 lb above the 10 lbs I had already gained so the storm didn’t cause the massive weight gain I feared.
In the middle of our powerless stretch, my 41st birthday present from my well-meaning husband arrived – a body fat scale!!! With no electricity and indoor temperatures around the 40F mark, my new toy would have to wait. Today was the initiation of the scale.
I’ve always weighed more than my clothing size and appearance would suggest so I suspected my body fat percentage would be higher than I wanted. And oh boy was I right! As far as endurance athletes my age and gender go, I’m near the bottom. As I researched my number compared to the general population, the data was less bad. But still not good.
What does this all mean… I need to lose a few pounds. Before the eating disorder police come out in force, I don’t think I’m obese or super fat or anything like that. I’m slightly above a healthy weight for a non-endurance athlete and quite above a peak performance weight for an endurance athlete. I need to make a bigger commitment to fix this. Partly so my clothes start fitting better again. Partly so I’m at a good healthy weight for life in general. And finally to help improve my running performance.
How will I do this? I’m honestly not sure. I started using myfitnesspal again today. I’m committing myself to drinking more water as that seems to improve my weight. And I’ll try to add some cross-training on my non-running days – once I can start walking again from my weekend mileage!
If anyone’s been highly successful at weight loss while training for an event, please share your story!

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