I was reading some marathon related discussions over at Runners World when somebody mentioned about called “Racing Weight”. The book had helped him to better optimize his diet and accordingly he improved his running. Since I am on a fast-track towards the Las Vegas marathon I decided to see if my local library had a copy. They had.
This review is for the first edition. Last year a newer edition was published. I do not know how much has updated, but the first edition made a really good impression to me. The book was written by Matt Fitzgerald. Matt is an authority when it comes to fitness and nutrition. He is a contributor to many fitness magazines. He is also a fitness coach and of course and avid runner and athlete.
This book is not your normal weight loss how to book. As a matter of fact, it is not a weight loss book, but a book that looks at your optimal racing weight and how you can achieve it. Matt writes about the importance of being lean and how weight naturally affects your performance. He explains how you can determine your optimum racing weight and also visualizes things to make it really easy to understand.
A very important part of the book covers the importance of the quality of your diet. Matt developed his own scoring system called “DQS” or better “Diet Quality Score”. Other food scoring systems sometimes over-complicate things and by using his own system Matt breaks things down to an easier level. Anything too complicated makes people cringe and forget about it after a while. By making things easier Matt addresses some of the problems other food scoring systems have. Keep in mind that Matt knows a lot about nutrition and that he is an authority in his field. Matt even takes the scoring system to a level where most other systems fail. As an example, if you eat 1 serving of a specific food item, it might be really good for you, but if you eat a second or third one during the same meal, the positive effect of this specific food might no longer exist. Matt created his own system to address issues like the one described.
Matt also teamed up with Pip Taylor – an Australian pro Triathlete – to provide a 7 day meal schedule that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. While the recipes look delicious on paper, some seem a bit too complicated. But that is not really a problem. You can find plenty of ideas how to adjust your diet from other parts of the book.
I just finished reading the book, but will read it again right away. There is just too much information to absorb. I do have several ideas where to further improve my diet. My optimum racing weight is certainly in range, but I need to make sure that I also fuel correctly for training runs and the race itself. Losing weight is secondary at this point – I am 5’ 9” and the scale showed 157.6 lbs. this morning.
PS: The newer edition of this book is available on Amazon Kindle or as a hard copy. But do not forget to check your local public library – I picked it up for free that way.