A weight scale that costs over $150 might be classified as a unnecessary purchase and a waste of money by many. You can buy a pair of top-of-the-line running shoes and running shorts with that much money. The scale also monitors fat mass, lean mass, and BMI, in addition to body weight. And it comes in very sleek glass top (black as seen on the left or white). Big deal. Still, one can buy a decent digital scale that does all that in less than $50. But, what if this scale can be connected, via WiFi, to a web site that tracks all the data and displays the data in an efficient manner? And you don’t need to do anything but just step on the scale to get that information? Aha! One must want such a gadget! This Withings Body Scale makes the weight monitoring so easy that running performance management gets more efficient. Setting up of the scale is very easy and took me just a few minutes. Apart from some personalization, there is not much more to do but step on it and get your body weight, fat mass and lean mass measured. By the time you step off of the scale and get to your computer, voilà, the data is transmitted and displayed on the Withings web site. I also connected my RunKeeper profile to my Withings profile, so that RunKeeper can calculate more accurate calories burned for any given run, because it knows my fat mass and lean mass. Of course, you can share this information with your friends and blast it onto Facebook and Twitter, but that’s just too much information if you ask me.
Having read Racing Weight, I agreed with the author about the importance of weight (fat and lean mass included) monitoring and of knowing the optimal racing weight. So, I decided to invest in this gadget. If my running performance improves by monitoring my weight better over time, I will call it a great investment. Monitoring weight may get me to watch my diet and consume less beer, ice cream and potato chips. Who knows?
Racing Weight is a book about a weight-loss system for endurance athletes, and it offers a complete solution to achieve the optimal racing weight for endurance athletes. There are two books: The first book is for those endurance athletes who are in the middle of training and want to shed weight to maximize performance. The second book is for those who are starting to get into an endurance sport, or starting a new season, or maintaining off-season fitness and want to lose weight before they get into a training cycle. The author, Matt Fitzgerald, has done good research and developed a good weight-loss system for endurance athletes. However, every weight-loss system comes with responsible diet, and I am just not interested in giving up my appetite for delicious food! Also, I have been following my own training that seems to be working just fine. So, I only skimmed and read parts that explain his inspiration for his writing and logic of his system. This book would be a very good resource if I wanted to change my training or eating habit. I recommend this book to those who are looking for a weight-loss system and who are interested in following suggested diet and training.
Having skimmed through the books, I took note of the importance of tracking my weight and body-fat mass/lean body mass. I recently bought Witherings’ Body Scale that helps me track all these metrics. According to ideal body-fat percent population profiles, my optimal racing weight could be about 160LB. This is derived by Lean body mass / optimal lean body mass percentage, which is 163*0.818/0.835. Of course, I need to verify this by running some distance at this weight and see how I feel. But in the past, my weight has been pretty consistent between 160 and 165 on race days, so 160LB sounds reasonable. I have little interest in finding out if I can run faster if I am below 160LB. I have read somewhere that you could shave off two minutes in Half Marathon if you lose five pounds. I cannot see myself trying to lose eight pounds!
There are much more in these books. For example, the decade-long debate about the best way to get leaner; ie., low- to moderate-intensity exercise vs. high-intensity exercise. The reason why keeping high mileage is a better way for runners to get leaner than calorie restriction. When to eat what. What diets the elite athletes follow. Potential eight-week low- and high-volume workout. On and on and on. I would love to hear from anyone who follows this weight-loss system.