Cut Out Excess
Thursday is doughnut day at my office. Now I don’t know about you, but I like a good doughnut! I used to sneak three! Who needs three doughnuts before noon? As I got a little more serious about cycling I decided to reason with myself, I decided that one doughnut should suffice. I did not cut them out all together, and I think that is important.
Why did I want three doughnuts? Well, it is likely that I ran out the door on the way to work because I valued sleep more than food. I am not a morning person. I recently heard a phrase that goes something like, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Although I do not necessarily think they had the cyclist in mind, because of hard workouts, I do believe in the theory. Unless you just returned from a long bike ride, then your body likely does not need all the calories in the evening as it is shutting down for bed; on the other hand, in the morning, it is just getting fired up!
Swap unhealthy snacks for healthier snacks. Even swapping Potato chips for popcorn is a win. Cake for dark chocolate. Ice cream for frozen fruit. I used to get hangry (hungry angry) between 4 and 5 o’clock, I would wait until Mary (the receptionist at work) left her desk so I could steal the candy that was meant for the clients. Now I go to the grocery store and buy a veggie plate and stick it in the lunch room. Simple.
Plan Your Meals
Here is definitely one of my weak points. Thank God for my Fiancée! She loves cooking! I buy her a cookbook and she thinks I am wonderful. Go figure. It has nothing to do with my hidden agenda of having delicious and healthy food cooked for me. Variety is the spice of life, your body needs different nutrients in order to stay healthy; otherwise, we could just eat power bars and honey stingers all the time.
Fuel Properly During and After Rides
I used to get on a bike, go for a rip, have a few swigs of water, then take a shower and eventually get around to eating. I would wake up sore and tired and it would undoubtedly turn into a couch day. Now when I ride i make sure to fuel properly. That in itself allows me to ride harder and get in a better workout. Then I eat within 30 minutes after a workout, and this allows me to recover more quickly. The faster you recover the better cyclist you will become. If you eat within 30 – 60 minutes after a workout your body will fast-track those nutrients to muscle repair and glycogen replacement. Cycling is really about fast recovery.