What is MORE important for speed, Fitness or Weight?
The above chart shows my times in the four 5k's I have raced and what my weight was on race day. Admittedly, my fitness has improved over the years but my weight has also dropped. So that brings us to the question of what is more responsible for the drop in times and the positive gains in speed - The weight or the fitness? The answer is probably a bit of both and the chart above makes the case for each side of the debate.
BUT, If you asked my opinion ...
I'd say dropping the pounds is more crucial to enhanced speeds then overall fitness. And I am not alone in this thought process:
Matt (author of the excellent book, Racing Weight) and I could be completely wrong and overall fitness could be the ultimate trump card but we will find out on February 2nd in an upcoming 5k I am racing. My fitness is very average right now and nowhere close to the levels of 2011 & 2012. However, my weight is as low as it has ever been as an adult, wait for it ... 144.2 lbs.
So what we learned today is that my unscientific test of Weight vs Fitness is going to be forever answered in two weeks. Good, moving on ...
Surely you are now wondering, "How'd you lose the weight to get down to 144.2lbs?"
I will try and break it down. If you are a regular reader, you'll probably recall that I was really sick back in September and October with a virus. After getting over the sickness I ballooned up to 163lbs and decided it was time to make some changes to the diet and went and saw a nutritionist. My BF% was over 17% (up from 11-12% in August) and I looked flabby, especially in the mid-section.
The nutritionist devised an eating schedule that included cutting out fatty proteins, adding tons of veggies, consuming water like a camel, and eating 5-6x per day. I also choose to dramatically limit my Wheat consumption (including beer). It has worked. I have not been perfect and actually had a couple of relapses like when we traveled to Memphis and when I went to Pittsburgh around Christmas but for the most part I have followed the plan and it has worked.
My BF% is under 10% now and I can really feel the difference in my running and cycling and will be entering the 2013 at a perfect Racing Weight for the first time.
Do you agree with me and believe weight trumps fitness or do you reside in the fitness trumps all camp?
Thanks for Reading,