Losing Weight In Season – Good or Bad?
I am a competitive middle distance runner, and I want to lose some weight before the biggest meets of the year. These meets are 6 weeks away and I would like to know how quickly I could lose weight without it being destructive to my training. I have already lost around 2 pounds in the first 3 days. Is that too fast? I understand that losing water weight is a risk of losing weight fast, but I drink 3 liters and pee clear throughout the day. Also I am aware of body mass index and body fat percentage and am being careful not to go below those healthy ranges. Any help would be great, thanks.
Weight loss can be a part of a healthy training regimen when done in a smart fashion. It’s important to keep weight loss goals in good perspective. Typically, I do not recommend more than a pound a week weight loss during active training. This means a reduction of about 500 calories per day.
Since you still want to maximize training while losing weight, you will want to slow things down. Losing weight too quickly will inevitably lead to fatigue, reduced training capacity, and if continued, possibly injury.
Pay extra attention to recovery nutrition. It may be wise to structure meal time after all runs. Try to eat within the first 15 and at most 30 minutes after a run.
Make the most of everything you eat. This isn’t the time for sugar loaded sodas and donuts. Aim for high quality food choices at all times. Such choices would include lots of fruits and vegetables, a good source of protein at meals and snacks, healthy fats like salmon and avocado, and dairy products like non-fat yogurt and skim milk.
Finally the last 1- 2 weeks before the big races, discontinue any weight loss effort. Aim for weight maintenance and proper fueling in preparation for optimal racing.