Race weight is important. It’s the weight where you can achieve your peak performance, not the lightest weight possible. Go too low and you may give up muscle mass that could help you. I have been 156lbs since high school (packin 🙂 ) and at my fittest I was 146. This was when I swam for Nebraska and was training 6 hours a day. I ran my fastest mile at this weight and broke the hang clean record (an Olympic weightlifting exercise). I was a sprinter though and I raced in water.. different from my goal now. I’m attempting an endurance event, which includes swimming, but also biking and running. I know that I’ll have to be lighter. Sprinting requires a lot of muscle mass in order to deliver power, something that isn’t the main objective now. I’ve already started to get down to this race weight, currently I’m at 149. By only estimating I’m going to say that my racing weight is going to be 140. I have enough to lose without compromising my muscle mass…. bye bye booty. I’ll have a closer gauge of this weight as I go through training.
Getting to your race weight before heavy training is important. When hard training begins, it’s not possible to train at your hardest, making the most of your workout sessions when enough calories are not consumed. You have to pick one… losing weight or peak performance. True that if you’re not in shape you will have the pleasure of both, but soon there is a point when you’re at an optimal weight and you want to get to your peak performance. If you continue cutting calories at this weight and increase training, your body will take the needed energy from fat AND muscle. There are different forms of energy our body uses at various exercise intensities, and without going into a different subject, when you train for peak performance you can’t risk that hard earned muscle going bye bye.
I can sacrifice a few calories now because though my workouts are hard, I’m only doing one a day which lasts no longer than 1hr 30 min. I estimate that I need 1700 calories to stay at my current weight, when I cut down I’m only going down to 1450. Throughout the day I estimate my calories. I don’t have time to write it down…. so just keep an open eye on what you’re eating. Fill your day with whole foods – anything that comes out of the ground or eats anything from the earth. Just eat healthy don’t make it so complicated or difficult and everything should be good!