My Mum – bless her – is worried I don’t eat enough. But for a guy that weighs in at 54.5/55kg I actually consume an impressive amount of food. Often upwards of 3,000 calories a day.
I’ve learned a tough lesson recently; How vital it is to stay fuelled, eat right, and not to count the calories when you’re training heavily.
Over the past few months I’ve been on the light side. That’s actually a bit of an understantement. If I’m being honest at 54.5kg (and at times lower) with my height and build I just wasn’t fuelled enough to perform at my best. My power went down with my weight and I saw a dip in form. Especially on longer endurance efforts.
Thankfully my watts/kg has remained pretty much the same because of the loss of weight, but in the real world it doesn’t make me a faster bike rider. I was “eating my own legs” as Michael Hutchinson put it so well in his book, Faster. I’m now on a mission to eat well, and eat often. It’s surprising though just how much food a cyclist needs in order to recover well and stay fuelled for the next training session.
“I was “eating my own legs”
So I’ve stopped worrying about calories. The Christmas weight well and truly lost, I’m now concentrating on eating good healthy food, and doing so until I’m satisfied. With my current training load I’m unlikely to gain any excess fat this way. Putting on some lean muscle is the goal. If I’m hungry – I eat. But I try and hit every meal just starting to feel hungry again. I still want to avoid overeating and found it difficult in the past knowing when to stop and have eaten myself sick more times than I care to admit.
I love breakfast, so that’s always a good meal and never one to skip. After a ride I’ll eat some fast acting carbs with some protein. Usually high GI snacks such as a slice of Soreen and a chocolate milkshake. Then I’ll let that settle and eat a well balanced meal within a few hours. Then continue to eat Low GI / lean meats / fruit & veg throughout the day when hungry.
Today’s training is a pretty straightforward ‘moderate’ session, consisting of a steady pace ride of around 32 miles. Typically around an hour and a half on the bike.
2,780 kcal / 393g carbs / 55g fat / 182g protein
602 kcal / 43g carbs / 4g fat / 19g protein
- 450ml Freshly squeezed Apple, Orange, and Carrot juice
- Banana & Blueberry Porridge
- Flat White Coffee
- Danone Actimel
My favourite training route: The now infamous “Elswick Loop”. Today my average speed was 20.1mph, done mostly in zone 2. A very typical endurance ride for me! During which I burned 1,288kcal in just over 95 minutes.
When I got home I had a banana and a recovery hot chocolate (yes, it exists. And it doesn’t taste too bad either).
1,288 kcal burned / 221 kcal consumed / 47g carbs / 0g fat / 10g protein
637 kcal / 63g carbs / 19g fat / 47g protein
I’ve written about my love of sandwiches before. Absolute favourite lunch. Total staple for me, with no end of options and combinations available to keep things interesting.
- Chicken & Butternut Squash soup
- Roast Chicken Sandwich with:
5 Seed wholemeal bread
491 kcal / 92g carbs / 1g fat / 95g protein
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Apples
- 2 Sat Sumas
- 250g Greek Yogurt
- 50g blueberries left over from breakfast
- Soreen Malt Loaf
- Few handfuls of grapes
834 kcal / 85g carbs / 25g fat / 71g protein
Dinner tonight was one of our favourites. Home made chicken fajitas! Nutritious, delicious, quick & easy. It doesn’t get much better!
- Chicken Breast
- Red Pepper
- Green Pepper
- Red Onion
- 3x Flour Tortilla
- Homemade guacamole
- Mature Cheddar Cheese
- Rocket Salad