Eat, Sleep, Cycle – Tips for the weekend
It’s Friday and as we all get set for another weekend out on our bikes here are a few tips to help you along your way.
Off the bike
- Eat a good breakfast, preferably porridge and some form of brown unburnt toast with tea or coffee. Stay away form the greasy full Irish.
- Eat a healthy lunch. Soup is a great way to stay feeling full for longer.
- Eat a small Dinner, or Tea if you live outside a metropolitan area. Try to finish before seven pm.
- Try to have as much of your food natural and unprocessed as is possible.
- Leave the table before you’re full.
- If you want to loose weight, eat less. You cannot out-train a bad diet.
- Avoid sugar and salt as much as possible. You get enough of both unbeknown to yourself.
- Drink about 2 litres of water throughout the evening when you are going cycling the following morning to get yourself well hydrated.
On the bike
- Eat every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Try to eat naturally. Energy bars are good but most contain a lot of sugar, so don’t just use them on their own.
- Bananas are good enough for Alberto Contador so they are good enough for you.
- Sip your drink every 10 minutes, especially in cold weather when you are more likely to forget.
- Electrolyte drinks are good, Carbo ones get you through longer spins without eating as much, but plain old water is the key to them all.
- Recovery drinks are great if you are training two days back to back. The best ones have colostrum as an ingredient. Otherwise known as beastings, the first milk produced by a cow after it gives birth to a calf. If you don’t have a recovery drink, a glass of milk is the next best thing.
Sleeping is a huge part of recovery. Recovery is what makes it possible to train hard day after day and recovery is just as important in you becoming fitter and stronger as your time on the bike.
If you are on the dole, single, without kids and live alone, go to bed for 2 hours after each training spin. If you have a job, wife or partner, kids, a house to keep, a dog to walk, a lawn to mow and three and a half thousand other things going on, here are a few tips to help you cram in some recovery time.
- Go to bed early. One hour before midnight is worth two after.
- Set your alarm to go off at the time you want to go to bed, not the time you want to wake up. Once you have to get off the couch to turn it off and are reminded of the commitment that you have made to yourself to go to bed early the momentum will carry you up the stairs. Unless you have to be up at 5am you should not need an alarm to wake you, and even then, within 3 weeks of going to bed 8 hours prior to your getting up time you will awake naturally anyway. If you cannot wake yourself in time you are not getting enough sleep. Plain and simple.
- Nap. 10 to 15 minutes around lunchtime is all that you need. There are loads of apps like Pzizz for your phone that help with this but a natural way is to sit back in a comfy chair, close your eyes and hold your keys in your hand. When the keys fall from your grip it will wake you and you will be after hitting the sweet spot of just the right level of sleep for a power nap.
It’s the weekend, the perfect time to get out on your bike. We are cyclists. Many of us are the wrong side of forty so it is not possible to party until 4am and then be on your bike at 9am for a three or four hour spin. Stay home on Saturday night and do your socialising on Sunday morning with your cycling buddies. It’s a better craic, you have the same banter and slagging as you would in the pub but without the hangover and empty wallet.