Experience with “Race Weight?”

Curious if anyone has mid-long term experience following the guidelines in Matt Fitzgerald’s “Racing Weight.” Ive had a few years of structured training under my belt, but am experiencing the following:

I’m a recent college grad, and completed SSBHV this past spring while doing school from home. In my attempt to lose about ten pounds to max out my W/kg, I ate high protein (130-150g/day) and moderate amount of carbs (probably 300g ish). I maintained a small deficit and lost the weight relatively easy without missing a workout. I put on some weight this summer as I couldn’t train much, but now I can and I find myself wanting to slowly get back down to my ideal weight (160lbs).

I now WFH, a similar low-ish stress environment with ample time to rest, train, and cook healthy meals. After reading Matt Fitzgerald’s “Racing Weight,” I drastically increased my carbohydrate intake to 400-500g/day based on his recommendation for training volume, and slightly reduced protein intake to the recommended 1.2g/kg of body weight.

To my surprise, I actually feel like the RPE on the trainer is higher, my HR is higher, motivation lower, and I’ve had to end a number of workouts early. I’m doing SSBHVI and of course did an FTP test at the start.
I’m wondering if anyone has experienced similar effects from slightly reduced protein intake? Also, 500g of quality carbs is a LOT. I only changed my diet a week ago, but feel like it’s impossible I’ll lose weight always being this full!

You may be still under eating in one of your macros or micronutrients if you feel like that while going off of his guide in Racing weight. You may want to try myfitnesspal for a little bit while you figure out if you do have perhaps to large a deficit somewhere. I use the methods from the book in conjunction with his DQS app and myfitnesspal… This was just for a few days while I figured out what type of score range I was comfortable putting myself in (and wanted to see how the calories compared to the scoring) and that put me in the mood to train. Note that he doesn’t tell you to cut out the bad stuff completely and try to aim for some general ideas. The food-lifestyle that keeps you wanting to do more on the bike (you should almost feel like you’re holding yourself back) is probably the best path to go for the best you.

Remember everyone is different and trying to stick to his stuff word for word may end up causing you more harm then good in some cases. I knew I started getting Matt’s stuff more or less correct when I got in a full day of fruits and vegetables along with healthy fats (I thought of protein as very secondary, in that if I ate fish for healthy fat I also got plenty of protein). I also noticed that my numbers were always better with a small bowl of tillamook ice cream I allowed myself to have at the end of the day :smiley:

On one hand it sounds like you know what works for you, so maybe you’re better off sticking with that- most people struggle to lose weight while still performing well! But on the other hand, my understanding is that 1.2g/kg of protein is an adequate amount for endurance athletes so the symptoms you’re describing might be due to something else that needs to be addressed. Hard to say with any kind of certainty as there’s so many moving parts involved in how food can affect performance, but my suggestion would be to see a doctor and see if you can get some bloods taken. Endurance athletes have higher requirements for certain micronutrients like iron and magnesium, and it’s not uncommon for deficiencies to arise as a result of that.

The other thing that might be worth considering is whether your “ideal weight” is one that is realistic year-round. Often the weight that maxes out watts/kg isn’t ideal for general wellbeing, and you might find you run into a lack of energy and a decrease in performance trying to maintain that long term. Again hard to tell without knowing the whole picture, but at least in my own case I’ve found race weight to be something that’s best reserved for, well, racing. :grin:

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@bibaf I’ve been tracking macros for the past few days as I try to dial it in a little bit, it looks like I’m low on iron. I’ll work on getting that sorted out, I’ve heard that can be a big issue for endurance athletes… +1 on ice cream and better performance!

This is a great point and to take it a step further Coach Chad discussed on a recent podcast his experiences with racing weight. Short version is that he found that his race performance and his watt/kg did not peak together - he actually raced better at a lower watt/kg (i.e. slightly heavier) assumedly because he more depth/durability/repeatability at the slightly higher weight that was worth more than the “savings” on the weight. He noted this applied to climbing races as well.

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How long have you been at the new plan? Could be that you’re readjusting to training again. Even when using a lower FTP, sometimes the first few weeks can be a little higher RPE and take a bit to get into a good groove after an unstructured break.