Living the Dream Vol 3 – Fuel The Machine

So this is the first blog of the year and it has been an interesting start! After a very relaxed and chilled Xmas period I set about training with an FTP test on 1st Jan and settled straight back into work/training routine with good motivation and purpose. The first 4 weeks of the year went well! I hit some big swim weeks, some tough turbo sessions and finally put the injury dramas of December behind me and started to build my running again which made me very happy.

My big fail though came on the last weekend, along with training well and as a lot of us I’m sure have done I “cleaned” my diet right up and was back on prepping and eating healthy meals and cut out all the rubbish. Unfortunately though I think I was a bit too keen and by the end of the month was nursing a pretty decent calorie deficit which then bit me on the ass…….HARD!

A failed run session turned into a good feast which turned into a few days of it which turned into the rest of the week and before I knew it I had (or at least felt like at the time) un-done all my work from the last 4 weeks and jeopardised my whole year. Thankfully though us triathletes can be a bit melodramatic at times and in reality yes whilst I had certainly had a poor week with plenty of missed sessions and far too much junk food I had taught myself a very serious lesson early on in the year. You have to fuel the machine and ooh have to duel appropriately for the type of sessions you are doing!

It left me realising that I have to get on top of this for 2018. Nutrition and fuelling is key especially with a high training load and is critical to my progression as an athlete. It forced me to look at what I was doing and how I could make it better, make it easier for me to get what I need and also do it by achieving the body composition/race weight I need to perform at my best on race day as well.

A week back under my belt of solid training again and although in the first few days of the week things felt pretty rubbish I finished it strong with some swimming especially that is certainly up there with as well as I have ever swam, running is still a fair way off but progressing nicely which is what is important and the bike is in a good place as well. Ultimately I’m in a much better position than I was this time last year that’s for sure. It’s great having Mark at the helm now and I am really enjoying not thinking so much and just reading the sessions and doing the training. It has taken a lot of the mental stress of the training away and worrying that I am doing the right sessions at the right times. It has been a different approach to what I would have given myself as well which is brilliant with fresh stimulus compared to what I would have done which would have been very similar to training before for this time of year.

The focus is now on consistency again and applying these lessons going forwards. All being well through February I will update with what I have been doing again at the end of the month, the changes I have made to my eating and if I get organised may be I can provide a little food diary for a day as well as some of the changes in my training for this year as well. By the end of the month as well I should have some race plans finalised, for the first half of the year at least which I will share and hopefully the weather will be improving as we inch ever closer to summer again as I am seriously looking forward to being able to run in shorts and t-shirt again and getting the TT bike out on the road again!

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