Thursday, January 29, 2015

Training for My First Ironman at 66--Racing Weight

One topic I have avoided is weight.  I have finally lost the 3 pounds I gained over the holidays.  Now I am trying to decide what is my ideal, or practical, racing weight.

Some coaches say your high school weight is your ideal racing weight.



No way.  My teenage physique sailed a long time ago to never return.  Nevertheless, if I use any of the online ideal weight calculators I get a number that is pretty darn close to my high school weight. 

Not going to happen.

Now elite athletes are different.  If seconds matter then weight matters.  Tour de France cyclists weight between 2.1 and 2.3 pounds per inch of height.  According to Joe Friel, no one weighing 2.5 pounds/inch has ever won the Tour.  Elite marathoners are even lighter.  And the few professional triathletes I know weigh in the 2.3 pounds/inch range.

But I am not an elite athlete--by a long way--; I am just focused on finishing.  So determining a racing weight has nothing to do with what professional weigh.

Another way to determine racing weight is to base it on current body fat percentage.  There are several calculators online.  I tested a few and they all are basically the same and give about the same answer—give or take a percent.

I used Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald to calculate an “optimum racing” weight.  Optimum meaning if you are already pretty fit, you can realistically only reduce body fat so much. 

Using his recommendations I need to lose between 6 and 8 pounds.  Doable but hard.  The last time I remember being at that weight was 1975.

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