I have to admit, when I was asked to write a blog on ‘what I do and what I eat to keep me going on a normal day’ I found it quite tricky because there isn’t really a ‘normal’ day in my planner. Training is as normal my day gets and I often find that my day off is spent wondering ‘What “normal” things I can do today?!’ 110% of the time this results in wandering to town and sitting in a cafe drinking coffee to build the energy to wander home!
A normal training day for me will look a little like this. I’ll wake up at 7.30 after hitting snooze on my alarm a few times. I like to get up and out when I’m training... I’m not really one for a lie in. I head into the living room and slump myself on the sofa, while waiting for my coffee. I LOVE breakfast, it is hands down my favourite meal of the day. I usually will have gone to bed dreaming of what I will have for brekkie in the morning!
I strongly believe that a good breakfast sets you up for a good day. I tend to go through phases with what I eat – at the moment I’m really enjoying 2 slices of toast topped with honey and 1 banana. Oatcakes with banana and honey are nice too. I tend to eat my brekkie whilst scrolling through Instagram and Twitter, checking what everyone else is up to and what’s going on in the world. I know a lot of people aren’t keen on too much social media and I definitely wouldn’t advise staring at it all day, but I often find some really inspiring posts that put a fire in my belly for training ahead. After checking the weather forecast I will then get dressed (usually layered up in the UK). By this point I’ll most likely have had two coffees and I’m ready to hit the road somewhere in between 8.30 and 9am depending on the length of the ride and when I want to be back.
Coffee stopping is well known for cyclists, but I tend not to do that so much. Recently, I’ve tried to stick to the rule of only stopping on my ride if I am aiming for over 5 hours. Sometimes I do start craving a lovely coffee midway through a ride and will therefore end at a cafe close to home. I like to relax after riding and It gives me a chance to keep up to date with filling in my daily diary!
When I’m filling up my pockets up for riding I will base it on one snack an hour. I’ll have either a banana or something from the Nairn’s range like their new Oat Bar or a pouch of Fruit & Seed Oatcakes. I’ll only ever take snacks that are going to be useful in fuelling me, but also it’s important to make sure I include something to look forward to when I need a mid-ride pick-me-up. It can get grim out there and every little bit helps!
Once back from training, I’ll get on with uploading my training from my Garmin over to my laptop then onto my training peaks. I’ll write about my day then move on – I’m learning to try and not get too hung up on training. If it’s been a good day, great. If not, then I tried my best and tomorrow will be better! Food-wise I’m not a fan of protein shakes, which leaves me needing sufficient recovery after my training. I have an alternative though… a pint of milk with 4 scoops of hot chocolate powder!
I’m actually usually pretty awake after training but as soon as I sit down, I’m ready to nap for the rest of the time. After a tough day, I try to get into the velodrome (which is only 10 minutes away) and get a massage in. Once training is finished it really is all about how I can efficiently recover for the next day.
The best thing about my normal day is that it usually means I eat, sleep, train and eat again! Eating is so important to keep my energy and recovery at its best. I look forward to every meal and snack I get to indulge in! Protein is super important in my current training block, so I’m busy trying to keep a protein snack in my diet every 4 hours. That’s usually either a protein gel (choc orange if we’re being picky) or before I sleep every training evening I will have a bowl of greek yoghurt, honey and Brazil nuts... that snack wins every time!