Why race weight?

By Skip

The keyword around our house this time of year is “race weight.”  “Honey, I am almost at race weight.”  “Only 5 more pounds until race weight.”  “I finally achieved race weight… now I need to maintain it!”  It has become a running joke between the wife and me, especially after being mentioned in the the video below.  I won’t get into the details of how to get to race weight or even how to determine what your race weight is.  I am more interested in explaining WHY it is so important to me as a competitive individual.

Many of us struggle with weight gain, especially when the race or training season is over.  Getting back into groove can get quite frustrating because we remember how we performed the previous year.  Putting in the same effort but your pace is 30 seconds or 60 seconds slower becomes an anguishing mental battle.  “I KNOW I can run faster than this… why they heck is my heart rate so high?  Why am I running out of oomph so quickly?”  I finally found an article that put it all into perspective for me.  Quite honestly, I don’t even know where I found this but I wrote it down on a little scrap of paper and I just came across it the other day.  It said:

Each extra pound will slow an athlete down by approximately 2 seconds/mile running, and 5 watts climbing a hill. Multiply that by the number of pounds by which you exceed race weight and you’ll see how it can quickly add up. Being 10 pounds over race weight can cost 20 seconds/mile running and 50 watts on a climb.

So from the above example, I was about 10 pounds over my race weight towards the end of last year when I ran a 5K.  I was about a minute behind what I normally should run and I was just as beat up when I finished it.  Applying the math above works out and compensates for that extra minute that occurred!

Things always have to make sense for me and if I can see it in numbers and then apply logic behind those numbers, I can plan and predict… that’s what I am all about… knowing my performance level and pushing myself to the max.  I just need to know what my max is and make sure I am in the condition to achieve it.

Why is race weight important to you?

If you have not seen this video yet, you HAVE to watch this!


If you are interested in learning more about racing weight and how to achieve it properly, I strongly suggest this book by Matt Fitzgerald.  To order it on Amazon or to find out more information, either click on the book or CLICK HERE.




If you liked that post, then try these...

Duathlon Nationals? Serious or not!? on July 6th, 2013

The Quest for Boston on March 7th, 2013

Upcoming Duathlon on September 20th, 2012

Race Results :: A1A Half Marathon (2012) on February 21st, 2012

A1A Half Marathon Preparation on February 17th, 2012

Filed in: Diet / Nutrition, Running • Thursday, February 16th, 2012


Great post! Thankfully I’ve stayed at race weight all winter (so far). Things are looking good for the season!!


Leave a Comment

Next Triathlon / Duathlon

Email Subscribe

2013 Sponsors

2013 Charity

Video of the Week

My Race Calendar

2013 Upcoming Races
Labor Day Duathlon
9/1/13, Coconut Creek, FL
Short Course Duathlon Nationals
10/26/13, Tuscon / Oro Valley, Arizona
Turkey Duathlon
11/28/13, Coconut Creek, FL
Space Coast Half-Marthon
12/1/13, Cocoa, Florida
Last Chance Duathlon
12/14/13, Naples, FL
Jingle Bell Jog 5K
12/21/13, Sunrise, FL
2013 Completed Races
Ragnar Relay, Florida Keys (Ultra)
January 4-5, 2013, Miami to Key West, FL
Results: 32:59:17
Disney Family 5k
Orlando, FL, 1/11/13
Results: 18:41
Disney 1/2 Marathon
(Goofy Challenge)
Orlando, FL, 1/12/13
Results: 01:32.02
Disney 20th Anniversary Marathon
(Goofy Challenge)
Orlando, FL, 1/13/13
Results: 03:30:41
A1A Marathon
2/17/13, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Results: 3:10:11   --   BOSTON QUALIFIED!
2014 Scheduled Races
A1A Marathon
2/16/14, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
4/21/14, Boston, MA
Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
5/18/14, Green Bay, WI
Standard Distance Duathlon
World Championships
TBA, Pontevedra, Spain
Ironman Wisconsin, Madison, WI
September, 2014
Click Here For Archived Race Results

Recent Runs

  • 06/05/2016 - 8.68/MI - 1:14:22 - 08:34/MI
  • 05/27/2016 - 5.23/MI - 40:59 - 07:50/MI
  • 05/25/2016 - 4.07/MI - 33:23 - 08:12/MI

Personal Running Records

  • 05:39 Fastest 1mi
  • 18:11 Fastest 5k
  • 38:52 Fastest 10k
  • 1:21:49 Fastest Half Marathon
  • 3:02:29 Fastest Marathon
  • 27.31/MI Farthest Distance
  • 3:54:50 Longest Run


So if you have read any of the blog thus far you know a little bit about me… I can not be told what to do and I push myself about as far as I can be pushed!

But how did I get here and why? Well, that is what this page is about.

I was never really the athletic type. Sure, I played tennis in high school (and quite well, mind you) but running CERTAINLY was never my thing!

The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)