I picked up this book over a year ago, and while I cherry-picked reading the parts that interested me (“Hmmm, wonder what Shalane Flanagan eats”), vacation post-PR marathon afforded me the motivation and convenience via Kindle version to finally read it in toto.
While Fitzgerald at times tries to paint broad strokes to appeal to a larger audience, this book primarily speaks to my particular weekend warrior niche. I’m obviously never going to be Kara Goucher, but I’m also not a couch potato who thinks a three-mile morning stroll is a workout. For most of my adult life, I have been a runner, involved in a sport and various fitness activities, or a gym rat. I’ve also eaten pretty healthy and maintained a weight in the normal range. This book addresses how to kick it up a couple notches to reach optimum performance for my athletic level.
Racing Weight hits the right tone not only for whom it addresses, but in its level of information. It backs up its proposals, but doesn’t get bogged down with too much research data and is quite accessible even for the numbers-and-formula challenged like myself.
This book is practical, and while it gives some hard numbers and guidelines, it also allows for a lot of flexibility and figuring it out yourself. For example, there is a specific formula to determine your ideal racing weight, but Fitzgerald suggests you monitor your performance because, as one example demonstrates, you might perform better at a slightly higher weight than what was originally determined as your optimum racing weight.
If you’ve been running races for a bit but find your times stagnating in the same range and have not fully addressed your nutrition and weight, this book can give you the information and motivation to get you to the next level. Racing Weight is accessible but geared toward a non-novice like me, and I will for sure be referring back to it as I continue to strive for faster marathon times.