I have taken my training for my Vuelta seriously, setting myself targets, monitoring what I eat and my progress during various exercises. Whilst I enjoy my cycling, I have never done anything like this before and though am looking forward to 3 weeks of cycling I am aware that I am a cycle-tour virgin and my base level of fitness will need some tuning up.
I “went at it” in January, picking up my Gym work and recording everything I ate. My diet is generally pretty good anyway, so I wasn’t too fussed about it. My sins are chocolate, whiskey and wine. All now well pushed back as I focus on May.
However, I was surprised to find that, in the process of focusing on my carb’ intake to fuel my exercise, I wasn’t eating anywhere near enough protein. The balance was askew.
I watched this for about 3 weeks and then went down with this damn cold, now turning into a cough which keeps me awake at night, and I can’t help thinking that, even though it’s the season for such bugs, the getting of the bug and the deficiencies in my diet are linked.
I had to take a week out from training – which was a bummer – but then resumed again this week – cough or no-cough – and I have restructured my diet as much as I can.
I’m not a big man, by any standards, and today’s teenagers easily dwarf me in inches and muscle, and consequently I don’t tend to eat big meals. This then, is a problem, in that my need to “protein-up” is proving to be a challenge in that I’m not used to eating so much/much more. Apparently I should have 56 grams of protein per day (10% of my calorie intake) and spread the protein intake throughout the day. There sin’t much protein in a walnut whip, apparently. Therefore meal planning is key to getting this right and fortunately I do enjoy most protein laden foods. My only grizzle is that I’m no egg fan but I’m even forcing them down.
So far weight lost is 8lbs (3.5 kilos) and I would like to lose another 3 kilos before my ride. The plan being, of course, whatever I can lose is “in the bank” when it comes to loading up my pannier bags.
I’m on the case, throwing all the prescription drugs I can find to get rid of this bug and working on improving the balance of my diet. Stepping up training and enjoying seeing the improvement. All in all, it’s a learning process, a cycle journey on several levels, and I’m looking forward to feeling the benefits. Who knows, Mrs. Monkey might get her six-pack man after all (but I doubt it 🙂 ).