We Have a New Nemesis

This was kind of always an underlying thing, but I never really gave it any thought until now. I guess it’s because actually watching Kona on the tele right now, and really seeing how the best of the best work, kind of drove the nail home. LIGHT is the word that comes to mind, and not just because they make themselves look like they’re gliding the whole race. LIGHT, because that’s how these athletes weights would be described as. Let me explain…

Regardless of what you’ll hear and read, which I suppose you could apply to this post too… but there is no ideal race weight that goes across the board; no ideal body fat percent, no perfect body composition. The one thing you will see, however; is that the pros are lean and light, and that the lighter you are, the easier it is to excel in this sport; especially on the run. You’ll see that there aren’t many professional triathletes built like NFL linebackers or bouncers; enter my new nemesis…

I’m not a big guy; I waver between 140-155 lbs depending on where I am in training, with a constant 7-8% body fat. You may be thinking that’s pretty good, but when you’re just at 5’7”, that’s a pretty good deal of extra muscle that you’re lugging around over the course of your race. And I like long course, so that’s 140.6, yes I’m including the swim because muscle doesn’t float, that I have (rough guesstimate) 15 extra lbs I don’t NEED. Yeah; there’s some good that comes from it, like my ability to be a decently strong cyclist, and fly up hills on the bike and run, but I think the cons outweigh the pros. I only noticed because my arms are twice the size of Macca or Raelert or Lieto, and I don’t think there’s a lot of curling done on the Big Island come race day.

Even with only doing sport specific weight training 2x a week, I have the gift/curse, depending on your outlook, of putting on muscle just by picking up my bag when I’m leaving for class. I have a plan though: CANNIBALIZATION.

Yes; it is about as fun as it sounds… Lots of low protein days; fasting; toeing the line between losing muscle, but still recovering well for the next session, so on and so forth. BUT; I need to do it now while I’m in base, so that come May 15 (REV3 KNOXVILLE!!!), I’m in peak condition, body wise(idk what my A race will be this season; possibly Rev3 CP full-rev), so that I can keep that ideal ratio(for me) all season. I really think this is the one thing that’s kept me on an AG podium, and not an OA podium, so I’m going to fix it. And I’m going to fix it now, so that you WILL see me on a podium this year that I’ve never been on, with an OA award in my hand.

10 thoughts on “We Have a New Nemesis

  1. I’m interested to see how you’re able to balance the strength & weight issue. We’re similar in size & weight and I’ve also wondered how much more weight I could lose. I’ve lost about 6 pounds this year and I hover between 151 -155, but have been told I look like I’ve lost a lot more. Although the weight loss has not been huge, the inches loss has been noticeable. I’m trying not to focus so much on weight (would love to be under 150, hoping for 148 next season) as a measure of performance and fitness. Then again, I’m not as fast as you and I don’t have a chance of being on a podium.

    I’d also be concerned about going low protein. Isn’t protein important for recovery? I would think that low fat & low calorie would help in reducing weight. Of course when doing high endurance sports, you need a lot of calories for fuel. Like I said, I’ll be interested to see how you’re able to balance all of these. Good luck and stay healthy.

    1. Important; yes but it varies. It’s also why I’m during it during base. This is a lot more common than people seem to think; especially with people who do gain muscle super super fast and easy like me. Let me just put it this way without going into a 7page rebutal; LA would have never won TdF if he hadn’t lost all the mass that he did when he was in chemo. Looks at Potts over the years too; he’s slimmed down a lot since he started racing longer distances, and had success because of it. This isn’t something that will go on long, but I’ve put on close to 10lbs since our photo shoot, so I’ll just cut hard for 2-3 weeks, then I should be back to normal.

      1. Completely agree on LA and he even admits to it in one of his books. I want to be leaner for the same reasons you’ve stated. I’ve cut out fast food, but I’m completely in the dark about proper nutrition and dieting, so I’ll be spending a lot of time researching and learning how to cook healthy meals.

      2. Go see my nutritionist!! Google “optimal nutrition for life” and her name is Ilana Katz. She’s local, maybe no so much for you, but still… She does great stuff and she knows what she’s doing.

  2. Sounds like a good plan. Cut the calories now while the volume is down and you’ll lose weight. Get to the weight you want and then just maintain as the volume increases (and carb intake increases). I did the exact same thing earlier this year and dropped 10lbs before my Build phase started. Example of my results – January 2010 @ 163lbs – 20:42 5K. Oct 2010 @ 152lbs – 19:43 5K. Running volume and fitness levels were very similar. Bad part of being this skinny is I look like Tom Hanks towards the end of the movie Philadelphia!

  3. Looks like a good plan. I am TRYING to do something similar, but I am a pig. Snort. But I want to drop ~ 10-15lbs pre-season mostly for..speed! Everyone freaks out and acts like I am anorexic or something, drive me nuts. Good luck, see you on that podium!

    1. Oh I understand everyone’s ridiculous accusation…especially from my VERY southern grandmother and southern family who still kind of believe that food is only good when cooked in butter and cheese, as well as is it’s own medicine. Check out my last post and check out the Shape21 book I mention; it’s really really good and brings results fast, and in less than an hour a day.

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