Friday, February 13, 2015

Race Weight pt2

The Wrong Direction

I was planning on CX to help me get through the work related potlucks, plates of cookies and dinners with Friends and Families.  But… that didn’t work out (again) and leading into the new year I’d peaked out at ~192#.  Most of the season I’d raced at 185# +/- 2 so we’re not talking about a ton but it was (surprise) the opposite way I’d hoped the holiday weight would head.

Not too many sane people would object to the idea that (all other things being equal) a lighter person could travel up a hill faster than a not-so-light person.  Kinda duh right?

Relating this back to mountain biking, or any form of cycling really, losing “extra” weight would help me get closer to the front of the field.  I mean a lot of other things have to go right but… 

How much faster could I (or you) get?  Well, thankfully there are people out there who are smarter than me and have thought this through:


Now realize that there are limitations to mathematically modeling the physical world but we’re not here to debate limitations of the math used.  I just want an estimate of how much faster I could be if I could race at ~10# (or maybe 5kg) less this year.

Thankfully Katie Compton’s dad told me that I’d be about 5 minutes faster (314 seconds) up a 2000m smooth asphalt hill at 8% grade.  It’s not a big surprise that this time gap rises as the surface quality deteriorates.  Regardless of how many 2000m & 8% hills there are, that’s a hell of a lot of time to try to claw back – and yeah, all things being equal, I’d gain SOME of that time back by being heavier but not enough to really make a dent in the lead I’ve gained over the heavier me.

Side note - Spend some time checking this page out, it’s pretty cool.  You’ll soon figure out that the truth around “rotating weight” and some of the other unsubstantiated ideas floating around.


How do I drop 5kg?


Back on track, a few weeks with the Garmin Vivosmart and some semi-careful dieting led me to guestimate I’d need ~2,000 calories to lay in bed all day and stay at 192.  I estimated that I used ~200cal operating my desk and walking to/from the handful of meetings I had – really surprised it was that low but I guess if anything that’s being conservative.  So roughly 2,200 calories to keep on keeping on.

The general consensus is that to lose one pound, you need to create a caloric deficit of roughly 3,500 calorie.  Note that the 3,500 is a ballpark.  You’ll see that some people get all bent out of shape over this assumption but I’m not trying to plan my weight loss aspirations down to the gram.  This sort of math works for my planning purposes.  There’s some variance around converting your workout to calories as well as some big assumptions that your body digests/consumes the calories in the food you eat.  I don’t know enough to get into that so I’ll just pretend these don’t exist.

Alright, so way back when I’d targeted being 185 by next weekend (2/20/2015) and figured that in order to do so I’d need roughly 400cal/day less than my "keep on keepin on" diet so the target was 1,800cal/day.  This would have me losing roughly ¾lb per week.  Something I hoped wouldn’t really affect my workouts - where I’d get extra deficit also.

Thus far it hasn't affected my workouts but I'm also only really just starting to ramp things up.  Once I'd reached my 185# target, I'd planned to bump the calories up at least 100 leading into the TrueGrit Epic.  This week, I decided to change that to 2,000cal/day since my weight loss happened faster than anticipated suggesting that I'm either not estimating my consumption correctly or that I'm using more than 2,200cal/day.

I’m running out of time so next week I’ll post more about what I’m eating and when so you don’t think I’m on some whacked out plan.


Have a kick ass weekend!!!

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