I’ve always had a thing for sports, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I like to eat so much!
In the last few months I’ve challenged myself to a few intense races – the Yorkshire half-marathon and the 100km Tour de Yorkshire ride.
The day before the half-marathon my cycling pal Kat suggested a ‘quick’ bike ride. A day before running 21km we ended up cycling 108km, which was pretty challenging!
We stopped at High Nellys in Tideswell to get our energy back up. I realised that fatigue was kicking in and tomorrow might not happen.
I was training for around a month before the run, including the week leading up to the half-marathon. I would repeat a similar diet and exercise most days.
My diet would consist of:
- Breakfast: Porridge – either oats, semolina or buckwheat boiled in milk. I would add strawberries, raspberries, bananas or any fruit that I had in. Preferably with herbal tea or coffee.
- Lunch: Rye bread sandwiches with avocado and salmon. I would have a box of chopped fresh vegetables alongside this. No white bread as it would bloat me too much.
- Dinner: Either steamed vegetables with chicken or just something light like breakfast. And a nice brew before bed.
no snacking and no artificial sugars – fake energy.
The whole idea of this was to avoid too many carbohydrates, so that your body gets used to using proteins and storing energy. Also around 1.7l of water a day is a must. Otherwise you will end up dehydrated before the race.
Our friend Josh, who finished 15th, had a rest week leading up to the run. He put in an absolutely amazing performance, so you can see how different training plans work for different people. Well done Josh 😎👏
My time was 1:35 and Kat beat me by a few minutes (that is quite a lot). There were a lot of people who ran without preparation and finished. Determination is important as well!
A few weeks later I cycled in the Tour de Yorkshire. If you have ever been to the Yorkshire Dales, you’ll know what kind of landscapes you’re facing. There are some 20% incline hills and it’s up and down all the way. On the first hill of the race I was forced to leave my companions behind, because if you slow down to wait you will lose momentum.
Similar to running, your food and hydration needs to be spot on. This needs to be a regular and routine part of your life if you are planning on taking it seriously. Eventually, if you are consistent, you don’t even notice it.
During the race I had: 2 carb. gels, 4 tracker bars and 1 tablet of electrolytes in my drink. My breakfast was porridge with banana, apples and biscuits with coffee. Before something this intense, I don’t like to get too stuffed! During the race I was having an energy bar every 20km and gel every 40km. I tend to use tracker bars rather than SIS, because they are much cheaper, more delicious and the nutrition values are very similar.
100km in 4:01 hrs – not bad! I was broken at the end, but I can say that I’ve done it.
It was so satisfying to finish the race and hear the crowds cheering. It was very tiring – even though I’m used to cycling the Sheffield hills!
Thanks to Ellie and Min for bringing me food and drinks after and thanks to Peloton CC for joining me! Those guys have gone from amateurs to pros in the last few months! 👏👏👏
My only advice is to start doing sports that you enjoy and just throw yourself into it. Please don’t think that you have to cycle 100km and run 40k in a day. Find what you like and stick to it. As long as you enjoy yourself, that’s the main thing!
Thanks for reading,
- Pre-run ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/933216666/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1491665138
- Half-Marathon: https://www.strava.com/activities/934610372/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1491742753
- Tour de Yorkshire: https://www.strava.com/activities/964236394/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1493551099