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Power to weight ratio

Posted by Nancy Clark RD CSSD on Oct 9, 2008 8:18:22 PM

More often than not, the avid bicyclists I counsel express concern about the power to weight ratio. As one cyclist, Hal, explained to me. “Nancy, biking is all about the power to weight ratio. I’ll be more powerful on my bike if I’m lighter. I really want to lose about 20 pounds so I’ll be able to bike faster.”  I asked this lean man what his wife thought about this idea. He responded, “She thinks I’m crazy.”  I silently agreed with her; Hal didn’t have 20 pounds of excess fat to lose.

 

I reviewed Hal’s eating patterns and made some suggestions to help him ride faster by being better fueled. In his efforts to lose weight, he currently was actively restricting his breakfast and lunch.  No wonder he lagged on energy during his late-afternoon bike rides. He thought he was slow because he was weighed too much. I think he was slow because he was underfueled.

 

I’ll see him for a follow-up consultation in a month. If he’s like other cyclists, he’ll happily report, “I haven’t lost any weight, but by eating better, I’m much faster and I’ve been setting PRs.”

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