I often get asked how I train for the different challenges I’m undertaking this year and what I eat. I’ve started from a base of knowing nothing about nutrition, diets or training plans and race strategies, other than generally going forwards as fast as I can. Through other people’s experience I am enjoying increasing my knowledge and understanding of how structuring my training and my diet can make a massive improvement performance.
Anyway, my point is that I keep learning loads of new things so, I thought I would try and share some of this in a very short weekly blog update. I know it won’t be new for a lot of people but hopefully of some interest.
Beetroot Juice – I’ve read a lot of articles and I’m still not 100% clear on the science (my A-Level biology is really of no use here, plus I’m pretty sure I got lower than a C so…) but suffice to say there have been extensive tests which found a connection between the nitrate found in beetroot and it having a positive effect on athletes performance – they performed better while using less oxygen, essentially they become more economic.
A tip I picked out was, if you drink it don’t swill your mouth out after, as this stops the nitrates being broken down by your saliva, which apparently is a pretty important step in the science.
Anyway I’m always up for joining the hype (albeit a bit late) so as per the science, I took two shots of James White Beet It around 2 hours before my 144 mile London to Brighton and back home challenge. It’s an acquired taste, but not wholly unpleasant, but that said I will be using it again – I felt my lungs were more open and that I was breathing deeper and more freely, particularly on the long hills. FYI, it turns your wee pink, which if you’re going for whole unicorn vibe this could possibly be an added bonus for you…
Coconut Oil – Fat-burning super food or worse than beef lard!? Again a sciencey one and another one I don’t fully understand, there was something again chains of fats…I got lost pretty quickly. I use this product as a range of fats and oils, including Olive Oil and Rapeseed oil, for various types of cooking. Not going to comment one way or the other on this one because I’ll probably get lynched, but suffice to say I am going to carry on using it (kind of have to as I’ve bought it and I am a bit of a tight wad) as part of a healthy and balanced diet – as my mum always said everything in moderation.
…Having now written this bit I’m not sure if I technically learnt anything here?
Avocados and Custard – now, I have only just (as in 2017 at the age of 35) got in avocados and still on a strictly limited use basis – blended in to a smoothie or smashed under a couple of poached eggs. It’s a textural thing for me, a bit like a banana sandwich – but then again that’s wrong on so many levels in my opinion. Anyway, I read that M&S first introduced the avocado into its UK stores in 1968 as an “avocado pear” and as such people ate it “as a dessert with custard”. I’m out…
I hope you enjoyed those ‘facts’ and thanks for reading…hopefully I will have learnt something next week in order to keep this going.