Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I Eat In A Day: Carb Loading Edition

I've been asked a lot about what I eat in a day because it can seem a bit like I'm always searching for the next snack. I posted my day in food a little while ago, and it's still one a post that gets lots of views. If you're intrigued by what a normal day of eating looks like for me, check out What I Eat In A Day HERE.

But... Race days and event days are different and for big endurance events (before I ran my marathon or in this case, the lead up to Ride100) it looks a lot different. Pushing your body and being on the move for several hours continuously requires lots of fuel, and that means carbs. There are lots of mixed opinions on how long you should carb load for, how best to do it, and whether it is worth doing at all. All I can say, is that it works for me. Having done longer runs and rides feeling wrung out and drained for a week following, I'm not in a hurry to change my routine. You'll also not I've approximated calories and although the carb content is much higher than my 'normal' day food diary linked above, the number of calories consumed are approximately the same at around 1600.

Welcome to the Ride100 edition of What I Eat In a Day: Carb Loading!

Breakfast - approx 300 cals

Whilst I'm normally a protein & fruit smoothie breakfast kind of a girl, carb loading calls for porridge- yes, the instant kind because I'm lazy like that and not being a morning person, I'm not in a hurry to add 'fight with my dad for space in the kitchen' to my morning routine. I like to add either a spoonful of jam or a teaspoon of my favourite nut butter- MyProtein Triple Nut Butter

CarbLoading Breakfast


As with a more normal day, breakfast is more than enough to see me through to lunch, but down the hatch with 1.5-2L of water. I drink a LOT of water and that means I have to watch my electrolytes and sodium carefully when it's warm and during endurance sports. I've talked about drinking too much water before right HERE

Lunch - approx 550 cals

This is about the time in the day I start to find Carb loading just a bit weird. Lunch is normally heavy on salad, fats, and protein. I tend to reduce my fibre consumption fairly during carb loading too, so no avocado for Chloe, but I'm not quite ready to give up my vegetables just yet...

Cheddar, spinach, tomato and German mustard toastie. Happy Saturday.

Cheese, home cooked ham, tomato & (very minimal) spinach toastie on my own wholegrain bread.

Snacks -  approx 110 cals

Normally I'd go hard and heavy at mixed nuts or a small piece of cheese, maybe a small piece of chocolate for a snack.. Today... These small flapjack bits from Aldi are a bit of a lifesaver. They're around 100 calories a shot and being individually wrapped means I can shove them in my work stuff, I also use them as fuel during exercise whether it's long runs or long rides because they're tasty, small enough to not feel to heavy and again, gotta love the individual wrapping!  Oh, and it's only 75p for five!

Are you loving the table cloth at our temporary accommodation?

Dinner - approx 450 cals

I totally lucked out on this one, I happened to be staying with my parents who are on a mission to empty the contents of the freezer in their temporary accommodation, and it so happened that there was steak to be eaten. SHAME! I passed on heavy buttery sauces (normally I'm a sucker for bearnaise) because they don't agree with me when I have lots of sport to do, but this is carb loading, so say hello to the potato mountain. Not that steak and wedges are an especially normal occurrence for me, but I wouldn't normally be eschewing vegetables or salad, but with 2 days to go before an event, now is the time I start to reduce the fibre in my diet. It's tedious, but I've also learned through experience, that this works for me. My favourite, tried, tested, carb loaded pre-race dinner though? Homemade pizza...

If I say so myself, I make a really rather good pizza. #pizza #primitivo #carbloading

More Snacks - approx 200 cals

Something else that is incredibly unusual is the addition of a dessert or snack. It's not something I often have room for, and I still can't stomach the weighty suggestion of toast or muffins or similar after eating a full meal, but an apple with nut butter, a(nother) small flapjack or a cereal bar type snack I can usually manage. Yay... Carbs....

apple & nut butter

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ride100: A Training Update & #RaphaWomens100 2016

So.... I have a nice pretty, organised and highlighted blog schedule sitting there in my diary. And I've managed to get through a grand total of none of the planned content for the last 2 weeks. Who knew an office/business move, house move, endurance event training and social life could get in the way of productivity?

So, what about that endurance event training- because it's 6 days to go until Ride100. The 100 mile cycle that I last spoke about because I was starting to become seriously concerned about my lack of training... Remember this post about my training?

Not only did I not manage to get creep that mileage in, but I also went down a deep dark hole of 'what have I done?!'. The Fear kicked in big style, and I was all set and ready to pull out, and call it a bad job. But. And here's the big but... I did decide to have one last shot at a long ride to see how it went.

I should add in here, this is not a way I would recommend to approach a challenge where you'll be pushing your body. Going into an event undertrained is dangerous especially if you've never done an endurance event before. There are a few reasons I decided to give this a shot...

-I am fitter than I've ever been. I'm more active and I'm more in tune with my own limits.

-On that note, I used to ride 100-120km at a time on a single speed bike (no gears) and I used to do just fine. I'm meeting this particular challenge head on with 30 gears and a bike specifically designed for the job at hand- gotta help with those hills!

-I am stronger than I think I am- this brings me nicely on to the #RaphaWomens100 ....

17th July 2016 marked my 3rd Women's 100 ride, a chance to celebrate and encourage women's cycling and all the awesomeness that goes with it. It's not a single organised ride, it's a day in the calendar on which women pledge to ride 100km world wide- solo, en masse, with friends, in mountains, by lakes and through cities. Pretty cool, huh?!

2 years ago, I rode London-Southend for my Women's 100 pledge and it was horrendous. Essex isn't all flat, and undulation in 28 degree blazing sunshine on a single speed destroyed a little bit of my soul. I didn't have fun, I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment, I could quite happily have left my bike on the rail tracks at Southend Central Station that day.The only saving grace was the ice cream I demanded we stop for at the end of the ride...

2 years ago we rode London to Southend for the @rapha_uk #womens100 and tomorrow despite thinking I'd be unable to as I'm on call, we're planning to do the same. 2 years ago I rode my single speed up 1750ft of climbs and I was miserable at the finish line
Southend 2014 

This year, I decided (with Tom in tow, because anything I can do, he has to have a go at too) to have another shot at London-Southend to exorcise some of those demons and to take one last training ride with 2 weeks to go until Ride100- which is roughly 160km (100 miles). I've mentioned my training has suffered massively, but I also know with endurance sports training is as much about making sure you can keep going for a length of time as it is about running or riding or whatever it is you do for a set distance. I didn't run 26 miles before I ran a marathon but I also knew that if I found 100km tough going 2 weeks before Ride100, it would be time to seriously consider whether I would be putting myself at risk by taking part.

Had the best time this weekend. We adulterous hard, we cycled hard and we conquered all... Well we bought a strimmer, cycled to Southend and demolished fish and chips... #weekend #loveis #onelife #cycling #londontosouthend #womens100
Southend, 2016

I had a BLAST. I'm hoping it'll remain tradition for London-Southend rides to be gloriously sunny. My tan lines are something else. I joined a BHF organised ride with marshalls & rest stops (I signed up officially, I didn't just hijack it...)  and it was lovely to see people of all experience levels setting out for the day. My bike rode smooth and easy, my hydration and fuel were bang on the money- I didn't constantly need the bathroom, but no dehydration or hyponatraemia problems, the hills didn't leave me feeling weak- one or two made me work for it, but for the most, part, I had the much sought grin and feeling of joy that first drew me to cycling outside of my commute. I finished the ride having made an effort to maintain an 'easy pace', and it showed- whilst hungry, I wasn't so shattered I could barely move, and no soreness or stiffness either!

Still trying to even out these stripes from #womens100 last weekend... #girlswhoride #tanlines #womenscycling #cyclingblogger
No soreness.... just tan lines! 

So no, my training hasn't gone to plan. No I wasn't entirely sure, and I'm still not entirely sure how 100 miles will go. But I know that I am fitter and stronger than ever before. I know that I have a better understanding of how my body performs during endurance sport than ever before, and I'm now looking forward to Sunday more than ever before.

Over the course of the week, I'll be sharing a few more Ride100 posts- I'm very lucky that I'm working with Skoda Cycling for this event- they are one of the sponsors and you may also have seen thier sponsorship of the Tour de France as well as having their own pro team. I've got some really incredible kit to show you thanks to the lovely people at Altura Cycling(seriously though, clever kit AND it's green....). And I'll be doing another 'What I Eat In A Day' post to show how I prepare myself for big sporting events. It's been a bit quiet over here on my blog lately, but I'm back, and ready to fly the flag for Team Skoda, for women who like to kick sporting behind, and for myself- let's do this!

OMFuckingG I'll have hopefully completed #ride100 by this time next week! Bring it on! #teamskoda #girlswhoride #cyclingblogger #fitnessblogger