The next training phase requires completing 6 weeks of Base training to build on my endurance fitness. This means a progressive increase in training hours, which includes running, riding, and strength training. The bike work will be mostly on the road bike at aerobic pace but will also include at least 1 session per week on the MTB with some aneorobic efforts and skills work. Once completed, my plan is to complete 12 weeks of build work, gradually increasing the intensity in the lead up to round 2 of the Shimano series which is scheduled for mind-June. This means more MTB work and less road bike. My training plan also includes 5 lower priority races to help tune the engine, but more importantly to keep things fun! Training and not racing is obviously very boring so I've scheduled a few races between now and June to keep things interesting. The AMB100 in April is going to be the toughest of these. I have the choice of either 100KM or 100 mile categories. 100 miles around Stromlo Park is a painful but challenging thought. It will come down to mental strength to complete this one which is what I find appealing. Definitely going to be a solid test! So that's the training plan. Let's talk about the diet.
My weight increased by 1.5KG to 72kg-ish over the last couple of weeks due to a decrease in training load. This will come back down naturally with the added training load over the next few weeks, and my plan is to be 70kg by June. Key things to note on diet progress to date:
Until the next post!
No 'training' this week, and no plans to train this coming week either as part of my post-race recovery and in the lead up to my next training block. This past week has been devoted to commute rides on the roadie into work, swimming, a fun MTB ride with mates earlier today, and foam roller work to help with the sore muscles. Overall, just chillaxing :) Sleep has been pretty good (8hrs average), HRV, and blood indicators are all healthy. I also stood on the scales and recorded 70.9kg. The cool thing is that I've been eating a lot this past week so it's great to see that the additional calories haven't hurt me. My target is 69-70kg, a weight that I expect to reach through increased training volume as opposed to caloric restriction. I've found that the low carb diet has allowed me to control weight without having to starve myself, and in fact quiet the opposite. If I feel hungry, it's only in the evenings, in which case I have seconds and maybe some nuts or berries for desert until I'm full. So after a few months of experimentation, I think I've found a solid formula that works for me and I don't expect that I'll be making any major adjustments, just minor tweaks. Speaking of tweaks, after reading 10% Human (see my book list) I have introduced probiotics into my daily diet. I'm trialling two products currently, one in capsule form and the other as a liquid. The capsule (Prescript-Assist) I take during lunch, the liquid (Bio-Fermented Tumeric+) I take with dinner. Both products are sourced from Optimoz Australia. The desired effect is a healthy gut, which according to various studies is fundamental to a healthy immune system and critical to overall wellbeing. The book I referenced was quite the eye opener and I highly recommend it. I often say this to people I speak with "don' take my word for it", which should encourage you to do your own research before making changes. I've also introduced homemade Kombucha for an added boost, so it will be interesting to see how this combination plays out over the coming months. The expected result is an ongoing and general sense of wellbeing, basically continuing to feel like I do now, happy, fit, and strong in the lead up to heavier training loads. On that note, if there are any local folk that are interested in some Kombucha please let me know. You will just need to give me a large jar so that I can provide you with the active ingredient (the bacteria) which you can continue to 'feed' and grow at home. Until the next post!
Finish the 7hr race - check, avoid bonking out - check, feel comfortable and free of major pain throughout the course of the race - check. 5th place for my age group (30-39) with 10 laps is an encouraging result for my first race back from injury. Best of all, I had a ton of fun and finished the race with a big smile on my face. Let's start with the weather conditions. I was expecting intense heat but instead we got heat and sporadic rain throughout most of the day. The rain helped cool the body but made for some very slippery tracks, particularly during the first third of the course which consisted of mostly coastal rainforest surroundings (real pretty by the way). This means lots of fertile earthy terrain and plenty of tree roots. It's nice and tacky when semi-dry, but horrible under the rain. I had to really focus to stay on two wheels, and when I didn't (on two occasions) I came off. Fortunately these were only minor incidents. Bike wise, the new rig performed really well under these conditions and I did not experience any mechanical faults *phew*! I should note that I was super happy with the tyres (2018 Specilaized Fast Trak) despite running 30psi, excellent all round except over the exposed tree roots. The rest of set up (suspension, cockpit etc) was spot on. Specialized have done an amazing job with the new design. She's off to the shop tomorrow for a full strip down and rebuild. Call it preventative maintenance :)
So what about the lessons learnt? Firstly, the keto diet is working! I rode the race on a 16hr fast, relying on pure water, salt tablets, cacao fat chocolate, hard boiled eggs, and nuts for most of the race. Towards the second half of the race I threw in some bananas which gave me a surprising boost of energy to help finish things strong. More importantly, there was no sugar crash (a first for me) and minimal lower back inflammation. I've suffered from lower back pain ever since I started mountain bike riding and this is the first time I've been able to get through a race without only a small amount of pain. This is extremely encouraging and by far the biggest positive for me. Secondly, the bananas were a new addition that I had not experimented with during training but something that I will now keep up my sleeve for race day. I think the potassium, magnesium, and carbs helped avoid the hard hitting end of race fatigue. In fact, my pace increased towards the end because I felt a surge of strength kick in. The cacao chocolate didn't do much so I'll cease using it in future. Overall, I firmly believe I'm onto something that I can now use as a basis for further improvement. I ended up clocking in my 10th lap with less than 10 mins of race time remaining. Normally I would have headed out for an 11th but by this stage I was very happy that I had achieved my objectives. It was a weird feeling to call it a day with that much time left feeling completely satisfied with my effort. So what does this mean? It means that I'm now extremely motivated to continue learning, and building on the foundation that I have laid for further improvement. I can now start working on pace. My new goal is a podium finish in June :)
Until the next post.......
I'm a 36 year old male from Carwoola, New South Wales, a small rural area situated just outside of Canberra, Australia. I'll be using this blog to share my experiences with training, dieting, and other methods to optimise overall well being. The basic idea behind all of this is to have lots of fun with the learning and experimentation process. It's worth noting that what may work well for me may not work as well for others. I also don't think there are right or wrong answers, as things are constantly changing and evolving.