7 Things I did to Get Down to Racing Weight

Are you trying to get down to your racing weight?

And maybe take a little time off of your PR or finally break that time goal in an up coming race? Well here are a few tips that worked for me. I thought that I had nothing to lose at 5’5″ and 124 lbs, but I got down to 115 lbs in just a couple of months by using these tips.

Racing Weight

As a result of achieving my racing weight I set new PRs in several distances and you can too!

7 Tips to Achieve your Racing Weight Goals

If the following tips aren’t enough, try the 1000 calorie challenge

  1. Ask yourself if you are hungry.  Sometimes your stomach starts growling and naturally you head to the pantry to grab a snack, but often this is actually an indication that you are thirsty.  Next time, simply grab a large glass of water and drink it first. If you are still feeling hungry in 10 minutes, then go ahead and grab a snack.
  2. Eat apples.  Apples leave you feeling full.  They are juicy and delicious and have good fiber content. Plus, they are only about 60 calories each. Next time you are hungry, try snacking on an apple.
  3. Just do half.  When you server yourself dinner at home, just put half of what you normally eat on the plate. Eat that, then wait a few minutes and ask yourself if you are still hungry. If you are, you can get another portion, but chances are that you won’t be.
  4. Be a picky snacker. I often find myself snacking needlesly at night. If you want to have a snack after dinner, choose something satisfying but low in calories. My favorite snack is Pop Chips, one serving is a little more than 100 calories. Another good option is popcorn. Of course, you must choose the healthier non-buttered style. Popcorn doesn’t need tons of butter to taste good, just try sprinkling some flavoring on top of it.
  5. Just say no!  When you see that bowl of chocolates at your co-workers desk, don’t mindlessly grab a few from the bowl, just walk by and ignore the bowl. Eating a few chocolates here, a few pieces of candy there really add up and can add on hundreds of calories per day.
  6. Log it!  Yes, I know that sounds like a pain, but you will truly not understand the impact of what you are consuming until you take the time to log everything you eat for at least one week. This can be as simple as writing it on a piece of paper.  Grab a small notebook and at the top of the page write the column headers ‘Food’, ‘Calories’. Pretty simple right? Ok, now keep that notebook with you and after everything you eat, jot down the name of the food and if the calories are available, write those down too.  If the calories are not available, you will have to look them up online.  I can generally find what I want just by searching for the food name plus the word calories. You will also need to know how many calories you should consume per day, to figure that out, use a calorie counter. Compare how many calories you consume to how many calories you need. If you want to lose 1 lb per week, you will need to create a 3500 calorie deficit, so about 500 calories per day.  This log will really highlight some food you probably eat that are very calorie dense and don’t offer much nutritional value, like for example pop tarts. Yes, it is hard to believe that two little toaster pastries can have so many calories. A much for nutritious, filling and healthy breakfast alternative is Greek Yogurt, with one fifth the calories and lots of protein to keep you feeling satisfied.
  7. Eat more protein. Foods like greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, chicken and steak leave you feeling full for a longer time that foods with little or no protein, plus, the calorie count is usually pretty reasonable, just make sure you choose lower fat cuts of meat and be selective when choosing things like yogurt and cheese, get the reduced fat versions.

Well that’s it!  Following those 7 tips, I dropped got down to my racing weight and as a reward set new PR’s in the 5k, 10k and 10 mile race distances.  So, don’t think twice, start trying some of these tips today!

Additional Resources

In this video, Matt Fitzgerald offers advice on using high intensity training to help achieve racing weight

4 Ways to Reach your Ideal Racing Weight

Win more races by getting down to your ideal racing weight

Half Marathon Training for Beginners