Monthly Archives: June 2011

I know the chicken noodles were over but I thought the Molotov concoction of fiery sauce might help!

Nutrition.

It’s been a point of weakness for me in the past, coming from the bad boy school of fry-ups before rides and heavy nights on the black stuff. But I’m finding that as you get closer along the road to your aspirations, the finer detail becomes important.

I’m sat waiting for my lift out to Mountain Mayhem for the 24 hour endurance race in Eastnor, Herefordshire. I’ve just finished a hearty jacket spud with tuna, my food & recovery drinks all packed for the weekend. I chuckle when I think back to our first some 8 years ago, as I seem to recall we were a little on the green side when it came to surviving an endurance race. A couple of years on I disproved that lager was a suitable means of revitalising yourself between laps. Yup, we have fun memories of Mayhem.

I wouldn’t say we take things any more seriously these days, but our fitness has improved & experience shows when it comes to pack for such an event (it also comes from doing several in a year!).

There’s the obvious stuff that everyone generally knows about; carb-loading the day before a physical event. Pasta parties were an early lesson in the biking competition world.

Then came carbohydrate drinks to stave off cramp during later laps as the legs began to tire. A crucial second learning & I’m surprised to find the odd biking acquaintance who doesn’t generally keep some hydration supplement handy, particularly at events. I’ve certainly come to use them religiously during hard training, long rides & races finding huge benefit in recovery & stamina. These days I find myself experimenting with quantities & variety of products, favouring Torq for hydration & Clif Bars for substance between laps.

What do I have to add to the story? I feel I’ve gone full circle For those of you starting to train hard & compete for the first time, don’t forget the basics: less sugar & more carbs, your 5-a-day, 8 pints of water a-day… 8 hours sleep (where you can get it). Maintaining your health & strengthening your immune system is key in continuing to train & compete. Oh and certainly avoid overripe or out-dated foodstuffs as I found out to my dismay last week, finding that my stomach is less cast iron than I thought, after a rather overripe Pineapple…

Has anyone had any revelations in terms of hydration & nutrition in training & competing?

 

Sometimes life gets in the way.

Of late, I’ve found myself frustrated and swimming against a rising tension within my core. Why? I’ve started my own business in the vein of an industry I enjoy; I have started to settle with the thought of how the next 5 years of my life should roll, so what the hell?

The crux of it is: “the wind down”

What?

After a stressful day, week or even month – how do you wind down?

I bike. I mean I really bike. I love the kick I get out of getting fitter & faster on my mtb steed. Caning it round a long XC route come rain or shine, it cleanses the mind & soul and revitalises the body.

So why the frustration? I’ve been struggling to fit my training in. Long days in the infancy of my new company, whilst trying to retain a grasp on my relationships with friends & family does mean that priorities can fluctuate wildly. I find that I have to constantly remind myself that life sometimes get in the way.

But don’t let that stop you. Adapt. Think of ways to do the things you want to do around everyday life. There’s little to zero chance you can predict the future so treat is as another factor in your life and make the most of every opportunity that arises. For me it has been a small change in my morning routine, different forms of exercise (e.g. running when I’m away from home “sans bike”) and swapping engine for pedals for any journey. Think laterally too; this theme of this post has been in my head for a few weeks during which I’ve dealt with injury and illness in-between races and that poses a different problem with physical restrictions. So I’ve considered diet and nutrition much more carefully.

“I’m too busy”

Don’t let me hear that. If you find yourself frustrated at being unable to do whatever it takes to chill, don’t let it engulf you. There IS always tomorrow (at worst) but more importantly embrace that 5 letter word – ADAPT. The world’s getting a whole lot busier and increasingly efficient and you could consider it a life-skill to go with the flow these days.