Weight Loss, Running, and Triathlon

Distance: 30.3 miles
Time: 1:32:50
Average Watts: 188 watts
Normative Power: 197 watts
Average Heart Rate: 156 bpm
Total Work: 1,070 kJ
Average Speed: 19.9 mph

Monday was an out and back where I fought the wind and somewhat won on the way out and enjoyed the spoils of my victory for the ride back. Tuesday was the opposite — I did an out and back with the wind at my back on the way out and then I got relentlessly pounded all the way home. Comparatively, my power was down slightly, but meh, I will take the ride. Anytime I can average almost 20 mph on a windy day it was a good ride. This ride puts me at 70 miles for the week. My goal for this week is 250+ miles, and I think I will hit it with an epic ride I am planning for Saturday.

How to Lose Weight

I am not a small man. As a matter of fact, when it comes to triathlon and cycling I am bigger than most of my competitors. That doesn’t mean that I am fat or even muscular, but if I stood next to the winner of my Age Group at any race, I look positively huge. Participating in endurance sports has shaped my perception and body image to the point that at 6’0″ tall and 185 lbs., I feel like I am carrying an extra layer of nutrition right under my skin. If you want to read what I think about body image, read this.

So every year about this time I feel I need to lose the extra 10 lbs. I am carrying and get down to what I call my race weight. It is amazing how much faster that even a little weight loss like that can help you improve your speed and endurance. Running and biking speed is impacted when you drop weight. Think it through — lose 20 lbs. and it is like you are biking without your bike.

“But Mike, I have tried everything and I am at the weight my body is happy at.” BS. That just isn’t true.

“But you don’t understand — I am super busy and my schedule does not allow for clean eating.” Again, I call BS.

Let me give you some tough love here. It is possible for anyone to drop 10 to 20 lbs. over the summer, especially those of us who are in training. Regardless of your preferred sport — cycling, running, or triathlon — you can drop those last pounds and get to your goal weight. On top of that, it is actually easy.

Want to know my secret? I have three things I implement when I want to lose weight and the pounds start to come off. Believe me, these steps work, they are easy, and they do not take any additional time out of your schedule.

  1. Quit carbonated beverages. I love Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew. The high fructose corn syrup that is used to sweeten those drinks packs a serious caloric punch. I limit myself to two a weekend and don’t drink them during the week, so I cut back about 1800 calories by substituting water instead. Total time commitment: 0 minutes.
  2. Cut back on your portions. That just means eat less during meal times. You will be surprised how many calories you can save by not going back for seconds, thirds, etc. I especially will cut back on fatty foods and substitute raw fruits and vegetables when I can and when it is reasonable to do so. When you go out to eat, order the salad or order from the kids menu. You may get funny looks from your waitress, but think about the calories you are saving. Total time commitment: 0 minutes.
  3. Eat healthy snacks. I am a firm believer in grazing between meals, but make sure you are eating smart instead of just eating. Look at food as fuel for your body and just not something you throw down your gullet. Between meals I will eat unsalted nuts, fruit, raw vegetables, raisins, and from time to time I will pound a half of a ProBar. Man those things are awesome. I carry them with me on bike rides and eat them around the house too. They aren’t cheap, but oh dang are they worth it. Check them out here. Total time commitment: 0 minutes.

I am not a Registered Dietitian, but my cousin is :). There are plenty of great people who blog about clean eating that I will leave that to them because, well, they are much more intelligent than I am in this area. My suggestion is to start with these three steps, exercise like you mean it, and then you will see the weight start to drop. Then you can focus on cleaning up your diet and getting to the point that you are eating healthy all the time.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...