Managing Off Season Body Weight

Hey triathletes, runners, swimmers, cyclists and everyone who is active all summer and fall.  Here are some thoughts on your nutrition plan over the winter and for some what we call “the off season.”  Now is the time to be thinking about your 2019 Racing Weight.  Some might call it “Ideal Weight.”  Racing season 2019 is NOT the time to be trying to lose weight.  Those pesky pounds you may put on during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Super Bowl…   

In our culture of Feast and virtually No Famine, this is a real issue.  The struggle is real.  There are three really big things.  Did you ever notice there are always three big things?

First, get a number in mind, or a range of numbers.  I struggled all 2018 racing season.  I trained in the 190’s, felt over-weight and frustrated.  I would have liked to race at 170.  It didn’t happen, and “watching my weight” during long training rides, and swim workouts didn’t happen.  How did I arrive at the 170 number?  When have I felt most healthy?  (I was about the same build in High School and weighed in at 165#)  In 2013 completing Ironman Florida I weighed in at 179#.  When have I looked my best?  I have a Photo Coffee Mug from Cotteeman Triathlon, 2011.  Darn I looked good.  I weighed about 172#.  That was at the pinnacle of Boot Camps, Running, biking and serious nutrition management.  These are the times I have been most fit, happiest with my life, and looking my best.  My ideal weight is between 175# and 180#.  There are entire books written on the subject of “Ideal Weight.”  Check out Matt Fitzgerald’s, “Racing Weight.”

2nd Big thing- it’s o.k. to gain a little weight in the off season.  May I emphasize the word LITTLE.  Once again get a number in mind.  5#  ?

10# ?   Only you know how easy or difficult it will be to take that off come the end of January.  For early racing plans that start January 1…opt for the #5 .  Perhaps you are at a place where you are determined to stay at racing weight.  God bless you!  I’m going to have a little turkey at Thanksgiving, a cookie or two at Christmas, and some pumpkin roll at Super Bowl and maybe even a slice of pizza.  Easy does it.  Give yourself an allowance if you must.  Better yet, strive for that healthy balanced lifestyle.  Last year I went Twenty Up and I paid the price.  Twenty pound is a lot harder to lose than 5 pounds, thank you very much Captain Obvious.  Cindy says, “Try to maintain, not gain!”

Third big thing, no diet, just a good nutrition plan.  What’s yours?  Take an online class.  We’ve got a nutritionist on staff at the YMCA.  Use your My Fitness Pal app.  My Plate .org.  Be the big boy and big girl.  No, be the grown up.  Eat good food.  Cut out the crap.  Try something new.  Dust off all your one liners.  “Don’t drink your calories.”  “Use a smaller plate.”  “Read labels.”  “Write it down.”   “Eat light be light.”  “It’s up to you.”  I guess I’ll end with that one, because it really is up to you.

I will be coaching a Lose to Win team at the YMCA this winter.  Join a gym.  Join a class.  Get accountable.  Contact us.  We can help you.  Clark and Cindy