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Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (The Racing Weight Series) Paperback – December 1, 2012

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Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (The Racing Weight Series) + Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes (The Racing Weight Series) + Racing Weight Quick Start Guide (The Racing Weight Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Racing Weight Series
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Velo Press; Second Edition, New edition edition (December 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934030996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934030998
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“I highly recommend reading Racing Weight even if you don't need to lose any excess poundage. You'll come away with a better understanding of your physiology and also of food.” — Joe Friel, founder of TrainingBible Coaching and author of The Triathlete's Training Bible and The Cyclist's Training Bible

“Sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald lets us in on his no-diet secrets that can help endurance athletes get leaner, stronger, and faster.” — Men’s Fitness

“Even if you are already a lean machine, you'll likely still learn something from Racing Weight. From how to determine your optimum weight, to improving your diet and training around it, to controlling your appetite and making your own fuel—it's all in this book.” — Bike Radar

“The mysteries of weight and its relationship to performance are unlocked in Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight. If you've got a basic handle on both training and nutrition, this book offers the means to improve both your diet and athletic performance.” — Daily Peloton

“Fitzgerald is going to go down as one of the most competent and prolific authors of books for serious runners covering just about every legitimate aspect of the all-important runner's lifestyle.” —

“It’s not too hard to convince cyclists that they can improve their performance if they drop their weight to an optimum level. However, that’s generally as useful as a physician telling a client they need to lose weight and then sending them out the office door. There are endless diet or nutrition books out there, but very few specifically catering to the endurance athlete. Into this void comes Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.” — Pezcyclingnews

Racing Weight answers the difficult questions athletes often have about dieting, including how to handle the off-season. The book gives readers a scientifically backed system to discover your optimum race weight, as well as five steps to achieve it.” — Triathlete magazine

“Reaching an ideal weight for endurance sports is important, but doing it the right way is even more important. Matt Fitzgerald provides scientific and sound advice for anyone trying to achieve their racing weight.” — Scott Jurek, 7-time winner of the Western States Endurance Run and 2-time winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon

Racing Weight is the first book written exclusively about an issue that is very important to runners—eating and training properly to get to the start line of the peak race with the right body composition for running fast.” —

Racing Weight offers endurance athletes a simple approach to dietary quality. The Diet Quality Score system is worth the price of the book alone. It’s easy to follow and makes sense. Amateur to professional athletes can optimize their potential with this book.” —

“Every now and then someone writes the giant-killer text, the volume that becomes the bible of a subject. Ten years from now most of us will be wondering how we managed before Racing Weight came along.” — Red Kite Prayer

From the Back Cover

Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance

A 6-Step Plan to a Leaner Body and Better Performance

Improve Your Diet Quality
Manage Your Appetite
Balance Your Energy Stores
Monitor Your Weight and Performance
Time Your Nutrition
Train Right

Athletes know that every extra pound wastes energy and hurts performance.Racing Weightoffers a proven weight management program exclusively designed for and endorsed by endurance athletes.

Revealing new research and drawing from the best practices of elite athletes, coach and nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald lays out six easy steps to get you lean for racing. You will find out how to avoid the common lifestyle and training hang-ups that keep your optimal weight—and your best race—just out of reach.

The Racing Weight program gets you to your fastest weight with practical tools that deliver results:

• Diet Quality Score, a simple approach to better eating
• Racing Weight superfoods to boost your diet quality
• Daily food diaries from 18 pro athletes
• Strength training for a leaner body in just 1 hour a week

Hit your target numbers on the stopwatch and on the scale withRacing Weight.

More About the Author

Matt Fitzgerald is an award-winning endurance sports journalist and bestselling author of more than 20 books on running, triathlon, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss, including Brain Training for Runners and Racing Weight. His byline appears regularly in national publications including Men's Journal, Outside, and Women's Running. An experienced running and triathlon coach and certified sports nutritionist, Matt serves as a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports and as a featured coach on

Customer Reviews

Found the information very helpful and easy to understand.
Michael M Yu
If you recognize the importance of proper nutrition for race performance and are willing to make a change in your eating habits, I highly recommend this book.
J. King
I recommend this book to all endurance athletes without reservations.
Sebastian Fernandez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By NancyR on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a 46 yo female cyclist, 5 ft 3 and had 15 lbs to shed. I wanted to get back into amateur bike racing after 3 years off due to job changes and a series of knee injuries. I kept coming back to this book because of the positive reviews. I'm glad I did! Excellent program and I have already recommended to several of my biking friends.

After 4 weeks on the program I have dropped 10 pounds and feel MUCH stronger on the bike. I've also lost most of my desire for sweets and other junk food - the eating plan the author lays out is very satisfying and easy to follow (besides being super-healthy). It turned out I was seriously undercutting my calorie and carb needs as a lot of women do - I was training 10 hours a week on the bike and eating 1300 calories/day (with few carbs) and not losing weight. And I was getting seriously tired and frustrated. I decided to follow the Racing Weight plan (and the high-volume cyclist training plan in the Quick Start guide) since nothing else seemed to be working. I cleaned up my eating, added in another ~600 cal a day (mostly high quality carbs), and trained a little differently (added HIIT but kept hours on the bike the same). Wow, what a difference and after only 4 weeks!

I'm going to follow the plan through week 6 (at least) and possibly week 8 to see where that takes my weight. As the author states in the book, my best racing weight may actually be a bit lower than what I had thought.

My only wish - that the author would create additional training plans for cyclists as he has for runners. His Quick Start plan has worked so well that I'd like to continue using one of his plans after my 8 week weight loss cycle!
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66 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Emilio GT on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book, and while I do like the general concept of the book, I did not like that the author gives incomplete information with the hope of cross selling his other books, telling you that you can buy his other book to get the detailed diet of the generalities he explains in this book
Also I felt that the book is incomplete in the help you receive with the DQS scoring by food type, where foods are assigned points by type and frequency of consumption during the day, a twist on the weight watchers system where food is also assigned points, but weight watchers gives you many pages listing foods and their points, here you get a guideline where you must categorize all food in seven types and a very small sample of foods and their score, but there are dozens of food I eat I am still unsure how to grade after reading the book, and I get the impression under his system 100% Natural Honey woud be graded to be the same as a Milkey Way Chocolate.
He provides the diet for some endurance athletes but he fails to grade them under the DQS system, that could also be good practice for people starting with his system.
So now I feel that unless I buy the quickstart guide, and his upcoming cookbook I will not be fully able to benefit from this book.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. King on July 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some background on my point of view for this review. I'm in my 40's and am a lifetime runner who's gone in and out of competitive modes over the years. I'm back in that mode now and have finally admitted to myself that nutrition matters, and I should probably do something about it - not only for racing but for general healthy living.

A statement early on in the book immediately grabbed my attention, and that is that the book is not a diet book for the sole purpose of losing weight. It's a book about how to adjust your eating habits to get to your ideal racing weight for the purpose of maximizing your performance. A very important distinction to me.

There were two main ideas I found very useful about the book. The first was in how the author presents a method for generally assessing the quality of your diet. The second was that he provides guidelines on how much of what category of food to eat based on the unique needs of endurance athletes. The best part is that he doesn't get too specific (Day 1, Meal 1: eat this, etc.), but allows you to choose whatever you want as long as you're adhering to the guidelines.

After reading the book, I went through my kitchen and catalogued the nutritional values of everything I had been eating. I compared the results with what I should be eating, and then was able to make some adjustments to get things in the proper balance. It was a process that took the better part of a weekend day, but very informative and productive in the end.

I'm less than a month into the changes, but I have dropped a few pounds, am completing my workouts at a higher level, and recovering well between workouts.

If you recognize the importance of proper nutrition for race performance and are willing to make a change in your eating habits, I highly recommend this book.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Karla Benoist on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was hoping to get some tidbits that would help me with my diet and exercise routine. I did get lots of great tips from this book; more than I expected. I found the what to eat and why sections very helpful. There's lots of info in this book explaining why eating certain ways can help with endurance sports. This book would certainly appeal to pro athletes but I think it has lots great info for those of us who exercise for weight and health reasons.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews