Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review of ‘Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance’ by Matt Fitzgerald

Just finishing Matt Fitzgerald's 'Racing Weight'. A lot of good information contained within the covers from Fitzgerald. Here's the publisher's description: "Endurance athletes are weight-conscious and given the miles and hours spent training, there's a lot at stake. Weighing in just five or ten pounds over the ideal weight can dramatically impact race results. Author Matt Fitzgerald shows athletes how to identify their optimal weight and body composition to realize their goals. This 5-step plan to get lean is the key to faster racing and better health. With tools to improve diet, manage appetite, and time important nutrients, Racing Weight will inspire and equip athletes to make the subtle changes they need to start their next race at their optimal weight."

As I read through the chapters, I found myself seeing a lot of 'Eureka' statements, those that your gut (okay, pun intended) tells you that you knew. It's great to have a book that pulled all the issues together. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars because of its easy read and easy steps to follow. The only complaint I had was that it isn't in Kindle format, which I did submit a request to the publisher to change.

The 5-Step plan is improve your diet quality, balance your energy sources, time your nutrition, manage your appetite, and train right. I found his best information in timing your nutrition (eat 25% of your daily calories in the first 30 minutes of you waking up) a section that tells you what the pros eat, and the truth about supplements. His Appendix has something most running books are missing: strength training for runners, swimmers, and other sports. I have longed for a section, or even book on this, and most that I've read have always come up short. This one didn't.

I have to admit, I skimmed the recipe section. If there are more than 3 ingredients, I'm not going to take the time to make it. But he does give sample menus that you can pull out of anyone's refrigerator. I enjoyed his emphasis on thinking of what you eat and when to eat it. We've all heard it; it takes 30 minutes before you brain catches up with your stomach and tells you to stop eating. But he gives you some skills to try to make that connection happen faster.

Again, we all know that 10 lbs over an ideal weight slows us as much a minute per mile (for each ten lbs.). What I like about his approach is to stay away from the quick weight loss plans and emphasis on making a 12-24 week commitment to a better weight. It's a habit that we can translate into a better weight for a lifetime.

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