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Food and diet

There is no doubt about it, training for events is tough! You’ll be well rewarded however when you’ve completed an amazing feat. Stick to our training advice and you shouldn’t go wrong!

When you start to train
What you eat when you start to train will impact on your cycling and energy levels. Initially when you first start training it's best to concentrate on eating in a regular pattern and trying to reduce your daily intake of saturated fats. This includes less fried foods and dairy products as these will counter any training you start to do.

As you build up your training
It's worth trying to ensure that at least one meal a day is high in carbohydrate to give you energy. Carbohydrate is found mainly in the form of potatoes, bread, pasta and rice. You must also combine with a good mixture of vitamins and minerals found in fruit and vegetables.

To be in tip - top shape
Meat and fish provide some essential micro-proteins which help muscle development. It is best to eat fish and white meats such as chicken; if you are going to eat red meats you should cut as much fat off as possible and cook it in a healthy way such as grilling. If you are a vegetarian this is not a major point of concern: you will have probably established a balanced diet already, so you may only find yourself looking for food stuffs that give you more energy.

Whilst you are out cycling
Fruit in particular is an ideal food for cyclists because it is high in fructose which also provides cycling energy as it is more easily absorbed from the stomach for use than other sugars (such as insulin obtained through eating chocolate). Bananas are usually the preferred energy provider for cyclists especially when needing to maintain energy out on a ride.

There are many energy bars available on the market now such as power bars or clif bars, which are a concentrated source of energy providing elements to help you maintain your cycling should you start to wane. These do work but are much more expensive than bananas or other forms of fruit.

Drinking fluids
You will have to increase your intake as you will start to lose more from your system. This is simply combated by drinking a lot more (water, not alcohol!). You can also increase your energy levels through the intake of isotonic drinks or concentrated fruit juices, some people find these work very well and the psychological effect by itself is often enough to make them worthwhile. If you intend to use these on the challenge it is a good idea to get your body used to them while training.

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