Tag Archives: Cycling Fitness

Cycling in the mud and sun

Two months since I have found time to blog. I was trying to do it as much as possible but, work and family became hectic.

What has happened in the 2 months since my last post?

I am down to 95KG which is a total of 9KG lost since January. I have bought a mountain bike (Kona Hei Hei – for the tech heads), have let my weekly total drop to 20 miles a week (meaning I have only totalled 700 miles this year), competed in a 12 hour relay mountain bike race and have tried to get mileage back up again in the last couple of weeks.

These last two months have been crazy with work. I have been struggling to get the motivation to cycle while giving work my all. It has been an unusual 8 weeks, so I am hoping to get things back to normal.

I have come on holiday with the family this week to reset the mind and body. It has been great, I have managed to get 10 miles in a day and around Falmouth that is just up and down. The roads all start with sharp steep climbs with equally steep downhills. In 10 miles I have been averaging 1400 feet of ascent.

The Zing Deluxe On Holiday
The Zing Deluxe On Holiday

Last weekend, I went on a great friends stag weekend. It must have been one of the best stag weekends of all time. No forced drinking and stupid night clubs where you spend tonnes of money. Instead we did a 12 hour mountain bike race at Erlstoke. Guess what?  We even podiumed.   We came 2nd out of the whole field. I got a new set of Truvative bars for the Hei Hei as a the prize.

Stag Getting on His Way
Stag Getting on His Way
A muddy Team Mate
A muddy Team Mate at 2300 hrs
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
The Red Bull Tent At Prize Giving
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team
A Podium Finish For the Stag Team

In terms of diet, I have kept up the 5/7 diet and added in natural green juices for breakfast every day. Which is a an elixir for life. Great to give your body all the natural vitamins and nutrients one requires. It has also helped to get me more into shape.

The holiday may have set me back slightly on goal, as it has been indulgence fest.  I figure that everyone needs to release at least once a year.  However, I have been cycling 10 miles a day.

Time to cycle, juice, work and have fun like never before.

Goal for June – kick it to 93KG (keeping the weight slow, so it remains off) and cycle at least 10 miles a day with a couple of 40+ days chucked in for fun too.

Sunny Falmouth
Sunny Falmouth

FC

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Its the end of the……..month as we know it

…..and I feel fine …..great

31 days of no wheat, no alcohol and on the 5:2 fasting diet.  What is the result?

I have lost 5kg (11.02lbs)!

My body is definitely less bloated.

I have way more energy!!

I have cycled 230 miles in 2 continents.

The bonus is I have not had a hangover for 30 mornings (obviously discounting new years day).

But what have I learnt?

That I can go for a whole day on 2 apples plus an evening salad and not even notice.  This is something a month a go that I thought would be impossible.  I also thought that on the 5:2 fasting diet I would pig out the day after each fast.  Looking back, at the beginning I did at least for the first two fasts (first week), but after that, my body felt so good the next morning I did not want to fill it up and feel lethargic.  In fact the fasting diet has made me control portion size and only eat when I am actually hungry.  Incredibly I am doing this with out even thinking about it.  This is a real positive change for me.  I feel I am getting to know my body for the first time and I am sure in a couple of months this will be even more apparent.

However the plan to masticate and not eating in front of the TV has not gone so well.

I am constructing a plan for February and masticating / TV dinners are going to be the focus.

Heres to completing the first month of 2014.

FC

Making Business Trips Work

Cruising to the back straight.
Cruising to the back straight.

I am not sure that this is always possible, however I like to try and find the hotel gym or similar when staying away.

To be honest, I usually find the hotel gym, acknowledge that it is there and feel that I have worked out.

But not this trip.  I am currently in Abu Dhabi.  In my new state of I am going to crack this being fat thing.  I thought I would plan ahead and sort an activity that I would really enjoy and that would work my body.

When the research started little did I know that I could link to of my favourite things together….cycling and F1.

On Tuesday night the F1 track is opened to cyclists for free (if you have your own bike) or 100 AED for 2 hours to rent a bike, you can then race round the F1 circuit (at 10% of the speed of the drivers).

I am feeling on top of the world, incredible day of meetings, then rather than drinking at the bar to celebrate , I pumped out 38 miles on the most glorious smooth asphalt I have ever ridden on.

Smooooth Asphalt
Smooooth Asphalt

I have started planning February more to follow.  It is going to be more painful.

FC

3rd weekend the downfall of New Year Resolutions

Did you know that the 3rd weekend in January is when most people give up their New Years resolutions.

Although I have said that my experiment is not a New Years Resolution, the fact that I started it on January 1st is not helping.

However, I am staying strong. After a dinner party last night and a wedding today, I have still not drunk a drop of alcohol and I have not knowingly let any wheat into my body.

My thoughts to people who are thinking the hell with it or are about to quit what ever they are trying to achieve in 2014 as a ‘new you’ are as follows:

1. It is half way through the month, you have made it this far. What is one drink or whatever you have given up going to achieve in the grand scheme of things. Whatever the reason, I will guarantee that in the back of your mind you will feel you have let yourself down. Keep going for only a bit longer.

2. Think back to why you are doing this anyway. I am sure you had some fairly good reasons. Really try to picture those reasons. Maybe write them down. What ever it takes to re-focus your mind.

3. Life is full of little challenges. If you have set yourself a challenge for January and you complete it, think, how you will be able to tackle the rest of the challenges that crop up over the next 11 months or even your life.

Even writing this has made me even more determined. Good luck.

One last thought. Surround yourself with people who will support you. The longer you go on the easier it will get. But at the beginning of doing anything ‘different’, for some reason some people (even so called friends), will try to talk you out of what ever you are doing. For example not drinking. Why is it such an issue? Some people just cannot help themselves from trying to persuade to have “just one drink” or “this is a special night, how many weddings/birthdays/team building nights are there this year…….”. Why?  because they feel guilty that you are about to do something to better yourself. If what you are doing makes you happy keep going. I have surrounded myself with some of the best people I know for January. Two of which are new to my life, but little do they know they have made a huge impact. No malice and supportive of whatever others are trying to do. I am sure it is to do with their labradoodle…….

Life feels great. We have one life. Lets make the most of it and enjoy every second.

FC

On the 11th day things are looking up

On top of the world with a cracking sunset.
On top of the world with a cracking sunset.  Click on the pic for a better view.

What a great day.  So much energy.

Today, I went for a ride with my eldest son, Jago.  He easily managed 5.2 miles on rural roads.  See instagram feed on the right hand column.

I then felled 3 trees, cross cut the wood and split it for my in laws.  They think something is very wrong with me.

After a lunch of Chicken and avocado I proceeded out on what was to be a leisurely hour ride.  But what happened was unexpected.  I climbed over 2,400 ft, rode for 30 miles and got 4 personal bests on Strava.

After the first climb (which was created by the devil himself for fat guys to cry at the top of), I cycled over to my other least favourite climb 10m miles away and climbed that too!!

Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.
Planes, bikes and beautiful views what more could FC want.

What is up is with me?

I think there might be something in this but I do not want to jinx it just yet.

The question is, do I jump on the scales to find out if it is working?  I feel slimmer and Mrs. FatCycles is saying that I look slimmer, but she is very kind and slightly biased.

Well I am going to treat myself with some Green and Blacks Chocolate and revisit the ride by staring at my stats on Strava.

Oh and one last thing.  If you are crazy enough to give up alcohol for a month like me.  I have discovered a great trick for dinner parties.  I have been putting a bottle of Shloer – fizzy grape fruit juice – in the fridge.  When topping up guests with wine, I re-fill my wine glass with Shloer.  No one questions it and thinks that I am drinking wine.  This is great because for some reason when you are not drinking everyone feels the need to encourage to drink with them. This negates that.  Added bonus of no hangover and loads of energy for the nippers.

FC

Cliiiimb by 4iiii

If you’re pursuing Strava KOM segments, new from 4iiii (read: four eyes) is the Cliiiimb that provides real-time audio and visual feedback, along with heart rate chest monitor.  Simply download a Strava app, link via ANT+, and when a segment begins, you can race against the time of another rider or your own PR.  The unit attaches to your sunglasses.  Released in November, the Cliiiimb Pro retails for $199.

This is re-blogged from those awesome guys at bike war.  I could not get the video to upload while re-blogging.  If you are into bike war is a great blog to follow.

A morning ride with a buddy

An unexpected surprise
An unexpected surprise – Part of having to get up to meet  your cycling buddy means you might get to see things you might have missed if you were still wrapped up in bed.

I would suggest that if you are getting into cycling or have just got into it, get yourself a buddy.  I was cycled solo for years.  I didn’t want to slow anyone down or get pushed past my comfort zone.

But I have to admit cycling with a buddy has really opened up my cycling.  My cycling buddy is a lot fitter and in better shape than me, therefore at his standard pace I really am having to push.  It  has got me beating personal bests on Strava and it is great to have someone to gossip about cycling with – not what Mrs. FatCycles considers a great topic for conversation.

'Ice and Slowly, capturing my cycle buddy.  Although my iPhone bag seems to have misted up somewhat.
‘Ice and Slowly, capturing my cycle buddy. Although my iPhone bag seems to have misted up somewhat.

If you are looking for people to go cycling with look up your local club.  There are loads of resources to find clubs, in the UK try British Cycling

I promise you will get more from cycling, get fitter, meet like minded people and have a laugh.

FC

Knowing when full is actually full

20140104-085345.jpgThe reason for this post, is a sort of typed personal arse kick. You see I am the first person to get another bowl of cereal or grabanother sandwich when at a meeting buffet. However since quitting wheat (all of 3 days a go – evidently no right to preach), I have been reading more about the human ability to just keep on eating.

Apparently there is a 7 minute delay between the stomach and the brain. Did not know that. Therefore if one could distract ones self after a seemingly small meal one might then feel full.Some nutritionalists believe that distraction is actually the cause and not the cure. There is a theory that if you read, blog, surf the web or watch TV while eating, this 7 minute delay is almost negated. Your body just carries on eating until the stomach can literally take no more. Completely full. Where all your body actually needs is a fraction of the amount you just rammed into your body.

There are loads of books out there documenting this.

So for the next 7 days I am going to put a little experiment on top of my January goals / experiment. From what I have read these are the 7 rules that are going to apply to everything I put in my mouth.

1. Mastication – I must fully chew every mouthful. To start with I am going to go with 20 chews. This sounds a lot and I am going to look very funny when out with my buddies. I like to add a bit humour to the evening. Seriously though it slows you down and increases the surface area of your food, making it easier to digest and meaning you get all the nutrients.

2. Put sandwich down – OK so in Jan I am not eating wheat, but my point is that, I am going to put my food down every time I have a mouthful. This includes cultery. The food is not going to run away, I do not need to pre load my fork with the next massive load, or hold the sandwich/bagel/apple/snack near my mouth or even in my hand. Put the food DOWN between every mouthful. The upside for Mrs. FatCycles is that I am not going to be inhaling my food off the plate.

3. Concentrate on every mouthful – no more TV dinners – OK well only for a week. But if it works maybe longer. Basically concentration on what I am eating. No books, no iPad – nothing. The food is my enjoyment, I will concentrate on that is my entertainment.

4. No standing room – I must sit down while eating anything. Main meals must be at a table and not my desk.

5. Am I full – by doing all of the above, I should theoretically slowed down my eating enough to know when I am full. I have to listen to my body. And when I am full STOP EATING.

6. Drink before every meal – most of the time one feels hungry, apparently it is just thirst. The body confuses thirst with hunger. So I am going to have a pint of water before allow anything to go in my mouth.

7. Am I really hungry – Last rule of the experiment. If I feel truly hungry – not bored or thirsty – then I can eat. Theoretically if 6 has not worked I must be hungry.

OK time to get into some lycra and get wet on the bike.  Pictures to follow later.

FC