Monday, April 7, 2014

book review: racing weight: how to get lean for peak performance

i JUST got around to reading the first version of the racing weight book (it was published in 2009, for reference). there is a new version out that has six steps (published 2013), instead of the five in the first version (do we really want more steps??). for most people then, this review is old news. for me, however, this book has been on my shelf for years and i finally got around to reading it.

i was particularly interested in getting into this book again because i'm about to embark on my 2014 running goals/training. i'm meeting with my trainer this week to come up with a plan, and i'm 99.9% sure part of that will involve slimming down a bit from the winter/off-training weight i've put on. i thought reading this book would give me a mental heads up on what to think about and how to prepare.

i'll break the book down by what i liked and what i didn't like, because i feel like thats how i've structured it in my mind.



what i liked:

  • the chapter on supplements. i am a supplement junkie and it was great to read about a couple i was already curious about and some that i hadn't considered. i felt the author was real about which to try and which to pass on, too. no sales pressure here!
  • examples of athlete's food logs. it was really neat to see sample food logs from some of the world's best athletes. it didn't make me feel any better about how my food logs compare, but i think it provided great perspective on the type of natural and performance driving fuel elite athletes use. wouldn't you know, we eat a lot of the same things! (:
  • sample recipes. i thought the recipes provided were simple enough that a normal person could actually make them at home. did they all sound delicious? no. but could they be made in a normal kitchen? yes. good enough.


what i didn't like: 

  • it felt super science-y. the book read like there was a research study cited every other paragraph. if you like that kind of stuff, it might not bother you. but for me, it was a snore and made the chapters hard to read through. i would prefer if the book cited a study and just laid out the findings and how it applies to my goals, versus a long elaborate paragraph about the study design, science of it, outcome, etc
  • no recap at the end. the five steps were outlined in five separate chapters, but there was no recap at the end that combined all of those steps into one page with a summary for each endurance athlete profile. my best advice is to take notes while reading this book, because if you're like me, you'll forget stuff and not want to skim back through each of the chapters to find the important parts. without the summary, i finished this book feeling like i had forgotten the five steps already and how to apply them to my training. not a good feeling!

my overall thought is that there's practical information in this book if you're willing and able to sort through all the other words to find it. i'm not sure how the style and structure compares to the newer version thats out, but if its at all the same, i won't be reading it any time soon.


has anyone else read racing weight, either the first or newer version? what were your thoughts?


1 comment:

  1. I haven't read either of these versions so thanks for the review! I have so many running books on my shelf that I haven't read yet and I often wonder if i'm missing out on something!

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