Written by: Matt Fitzgerald
According to scientific surveys, more than half of competitive endurance athletes are above their ideal racing weight at any given time. And never are endurance athletes more likely to be above their racing weight—or farther from their racing weight—than on the first day of a new year.
Most of us train less in December than we do in any other month. And why not? Our last race of the year is behind us and the first race of the next season is far off. You need to dial back your training sometime, and December is the right time for many. Of course, reduced training tends to promote weight gain unless there is a commensurate reduction in food intake. But the typical endurance athlete eats more, not less, in December, because it’s the holiday season, after all. The result is five or more pounds of body fat accumulation between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
January 1 is the traditional day when endurance athletes begin the effort to turn their body weight situation around. How has that effort worked out for you in the past? Has the process been slower and ultimately less successful than you hoped it would be? Why not try something different this year?
This coming January 1 happens to be the official publication date of Racing Weight Quick Start Guide, authored by—Yours Truly! This book presents a comprehensive four- to eight-week weight loss program designed to give endurance athletes a “quick start” toward their racing weight goal before they begin focused training for an important race. You can use the program to drop excess body fat anytime, but it’s particular useful at the start of the year for those athletes who follow the typical routine of racing between late spring and fall and taking the winter as an off season. Based on scientific research and real-world best practices, the quick start program (I believe) represents the most efficient and appropriate way for endurance athletes to pursue rapid fat loss, and I’m confident you’ll find it to be more effective than whatever methods you’ve relied on in past New Year’s weight-loss resolutions.
The Quick Start Guide is a companion to Racing Weight, which was published around this time last year. If you’re familiar with Racing Weight, you might wonder how the Quick Start Guide is different. I’ll tell you.
One of the important premises of Racing Weight is that it is impossible to maximize weight loss and fitness gains simultaneously. The fastest way to lose weight—significant calorie restriction—just does not provide enough energy to fuel optimal performance and recovery during periods of heavy training. Therefore, within a race-focused training cycle you need to make fitness your clear top priority and pursue weight loss only as a secondary means to that end. In most cases you can and should get leaner as you get closer to a big race, but you can’t lose weight as quickly as you would if you didn’t have to worry about racing and were thus free to cut calories more substantially. Racing Weight is all about how to lose weight in the right way to maximize race performance within a race-focused training cycle.
One point that I try to state very clearly in Racing Weight is that there is an appropriate time to flip your priorities, putting weight loss first and fitness second. The best time to do this is during a period of several weeks immediately preceding the start of a new training cycle. Shedding a few or several pounds of excess body fat quickly before you turn your attention to developing race fitness sets you up for maximum success in that fitness-building process. Racing Weight does not discuss the ins and outs of such weight-loss focus periods in any depth, however. The Racing Weight Quick Start Guide does. It is all about how to lose body fat fast in the right way at the right time as an endurance athlete.
I designed the quick start program to take all of the guesswork out of shedding body fat in a way that serves the special needs of endurance athletes. It shows you exactly what and how much to eat and how to train to drop body fat and retain muscle without going hungry and while also establishing a solid foundation of endurance fitness that you can build on when you transition into the training cycle.
I know I’m biased, but I am certain that you will be very pleased with the results that you get from my Racing Weight Quick Start Guide.
And it makes a great gift for the athlete you love![sgi:MattFitzgerald]