- Series: The Racing Weight Series
- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: VeloPress; 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: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 312 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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"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
"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." ― Letsrun.com
"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
"Fitzgerald is a fountain of information on current research studies and findings from the sciences of healthy nutrition and exercise performance." ― Ultrarunning magazine
"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
"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." ― Letsrun.com
"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
"A crash course on how endurance athletes should think about food." ― LAVA magazine
"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." ― BikeRadar
From the Back Cover
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
Athletes know that every extra pound wastes energy and hurts performance. Racing Weight offers 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 with Racing Weight.
Top customer reviews
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Notably, he states that all of the "other" diets out there (note that he implies this book is not a diet, but it is - any method of eating is a diet) ultimately work by creating a calorie deficit as if to imply that by following this book, you can lose weight without a deficit - but thermodynamics would disagree. Do certain foods provide equivalent satiety to other foods but for lower calories? Yes, there's research behind that. But the author repeatedly states that cutting calories and creating a deficit isn't the right way to lose weight as it can hurt performance, and yet the *only* way to lose weight is via a calorie deficit. There is literally no other way.
There are additional points of information that are only correlation (e.g. those who eat breakfast are leaner than those who don't - and those people also exercise more, smoke less, and a host of other factors that make them healthier) and further statements that are generally debunked, particularly nutrient timing around whether it's best to eat carbs, proteins, or fats at different times of day (he says carbs in the morning, protein at night, but there aren't studies that he references or that I've found that actually prove causation here). Note that I'm not talking about post-workout nutrition which has been studied extensively and for which there is support for carb and protein consumption immediately post workout to maximize both glycogenesis and protein synthesis.
The author also states that if you eat carbs late at night, they are "more likely to turn to fat" which has been proven patently false over and over again (I'm tired of reading and hearing this). De novo lipogenesis (the conversion of carbohydrate to triglycerides) is jokingly low (a few grams a day) except in cases of extreme carbohydrate overfeeding. Carbohydrate is burned in preference to fats when present which thus, in a caloric surplus, will cause overall adiposity to increase, but carbs themselves are very rarely converted to fat in any significant quantity.
But overall, the book has decent suggestions and if you're going from a standard, untracked diet to a measured one, this'll help you, but let's call it was it is - a diet. The author would benefit from being more truthful to the science instead of pretending that there is a magical way to lose weight without going into a calorie deficit. Even despite many of the pros stating that they go to sometimes drastic measures to manage weight, he acts as though this diet makes it simple and easy. Peak performance is not natural, the body cares about survival, not a few seconds off your 5k. Elite performance will require sacrifice.
About me: I am a serious runner in my mid 30's who averages about 100 miles per week. I mostly stick to 5k's and 10k's, but did my first marathon last year and came in at 2:59. I was a state runner at high school, but never quite fast enough to make the college grade. My 800m repeats are fast as are my miles, but I knew that in order to make serious PR gains I needed to drop weight in a healthy way. This book has been by blueprint for getting there. The book has proved to be so comprehensive, well-researched and insightful. It's principles are beautifully and artfully laid out. For the past 4 months I've been following closely the dietary quality score approach and managing my hunger and I've gone from 165 lbs to 155 (I hit my goal weight a few days ago!) The last 5 lbs were stubbornly difficult to shed, but I got there. This spring I'm going to see how my new racing weight will allow me perform at my 2nd marathon. Stay tuned!
The Dietary Quality Score is such a holistic, refreshing approach to eating. I found it so outstanding that I created a family DQS chart for our little boy with magnets on the refrigerator. We challenge him to get as high of a score as possible every day. Thanks Mr Fitzgerald for your comprehensive work!
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.