General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Calculating ideal race weight Rss Feed  
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2014-03-10 10:38 AM

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Subject: Calculating ideal race weight

Is there a way to calculate your best race weight? I've been Googling around and haven't come across anything that useful. Just curious if everyone else does it by "I feel good" or an actual calculated number based on height, BMI, body fat %, etc.?

I'm still 6 weeks away from my race, but yesterday discovered I'm literally at what I thought was my "ideal" race weight (purely unscientific -- it felt good and it's what I've always considered "race weight" because that's the weight I'm at by the time the races roll around).

Soooo I'm thinking maybe getting a teeny tiny bit lower could be good for me for the marathon and maybe help me gain a bit of a time advantage.

I'm not currently dieting (plant-based eater, so it's a pretty healthy diet to begin with). I have started drinking protein shakes after longer runs and I think that's contributed to the current weight loss somehow.

But I think if I actually bothered to pay closer attention to what I ate, I could drop a couple more pounds...

I'm just confused -- how do I know what's the best weight for me? Is this even a good idea? Thanks!



2014-03-10 11:52 AM
in reply to: swishyskirt

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Subject: RE: Calculating ideal race weight
You keep losing, until your results start getting worse. Seriously, that's the answer - you can read it in Pfitz Racing Weight or any of the other books on the subject. It's the only way to know for YOU.

You can figure your range though with a bit of math and your age range assuming you have a decent body fat scale.

So if you're a 30 year old woman, at 20% bf, and 150 on the scale, and you think you can get down to 17% then:

150 * .20 is 30 lbs of fat. 150-30 is 120 lean muscle/bones.

So 120/1-0.17) is 144.5. So you need to lose 5.5 lbs total to get 17%.

On scales, I tried 4 different dept store scales and they all sucked till I ordered online:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B004NXUAXW/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=U...







(Ideal-Body-Fat-Percentage-Chart3.jpg)



(Ideal-Body-Fat-Percentage-Chart2.jpg)



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2014-03-10 1:10 PM
in reply to: Khyron

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Subject: RE: Calculating ideal race weight

Thanks, that's useful. I think I'm already pretty lean. 123 lbs, 22% body weight. If I go down to 17%, I'd be 116 lbs. Seems crazy low, but I've never tried to be that light. But I guess that means it probably wouldn't be bad to drop a pound or three...

2014-03-10 5:19 PM
in reply to: swishyskirt

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Subject: RE: Calculating ideal race weight

all other things being equal.  losing 1lb will net you about 1 min faster come race day (marathon distance).

At your weight- there are probably no health or even aesthetic reasons to lose weight- so decide how important a little bit of performance is to you.  If you're on the hairy edge of a BQ... then it would be worth it to me.  (and it was... and I did... and I did)

2014-03-10 5:34 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Calculating ideal race weight

Originally posted by morey000

all other things being equal.  losing 1lb will net you about 1 min faster come race day (marathon distance).

At your weight- there are probably no health or even aesthetic reasons to lose weight- so decide how important a little bit of performance is to you.  If you're on the hairy edge of a BQ... then it would be worth it to me.  (and it was... and I did... and I did)

Ha -- I'm dreaming of a marathon PR...so yeah, one pound would be worth it to me. I'm really looking to squeak out any extra advantages wherever they can be found.

2014-03-10 5:44 PM
in reply to: swishyskirt

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Subject: RE: Calculating ideal race weight
Originally posted by swishyskirt

Originally posted by morey000

all other things being equal.  losing 1lb will net you about 1 min faster come race day (marathon distance).

At your weight- there are probably no health or even aesthetic reasons to lose weight- so decide how important a little bit of performance is to you.  If you're on the hairy edge of a BQ... then it would be worth it to me.  (and it was... and I did... and I did)

Ha -- I'm dreaming of a marathon PR...so yeah, one pound would be worth it to me. I'm really looking to squeak out any extra advantages wherever they can be found.




Just don't diet now - you're supposed to drop most of the weight before the training cycle. Do it now, and you'll just hurt your workouts. A little calorie defecit to maybe loose 1 more pound isn't a problem but don't try for 4-5. Like you said, you're not exactly on the chubby end of the spear.




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