Optimum % Body Fat and Best Race Weight

Q: Recognizing that individuals will certainly vary, could you advise how you determine if you are at about right weight or correct % body fat for racing? Could you also comment on how age and altitude may play into finding your best race weight?

A: Race weight is a tricky issue that, as you mentioned, may vary greatly from one individual to another. I put much more emphasis into energy levels and response to training than race weight. If you are responding well to training and are feeling good, then I would venture to guess that your weight is just fine. If you were feeling weak and not feeling recovered between workouts, that may be an indication of being too light. Again, we tend to stick with the “if it ain’t broke” principle when it comes to weight.

As far as altitude’s effects on weight? Simply living at a low oxygen environment forces your body to up regulate it’s basic aerobic functions. Your body is burning considerably more calories than I am sitting here in Madison WI.

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