While Kolata's columns sometimes leave me scratching my head, I feel that this one has a lot of good takeaway for the reader. She uses a lot of great examples here, and I like her use of Tom Fleming's insights:
My running coach, Tom Fleming, a former elite runner who won the New York City Marathon twice, in 1973 and 1975, said that he always tells his competitive athletes “that the perfect weight is the weight you are the day you P.B. in your event,” referring to the time you achieve your personal best — or fastest — finish.
“Your body will tell you” your perfect weight, he said, and when you are there, “you will feel fast, race fast.”
Andre Agassi's former trainer imparts a really good mindset, too:
Andre Agassi, the tennis star, and his longtime trainer, Gil Reyes, discovered through experience that Mr. Agassi’s best weight was between 178 and 182 pounds (Mr. Agassi is 5 feet 11 1/2.)
“We came up with a number, but we did not seek a number,” Mr. Reyes explained in a recent telephone interview. “It was all about him feeling strong and fit.”