07th Apr 2012
We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.
(Extract from ‘Advent’ by Thomas Kavanagh. One of favourite poems)
2012 was the first year as long as I can remember that I did not partake in lent abstinence (sorry, mom!). With Easter Sunday tomorrow, I’ve decided to make up for it by flipping things on a head and starting my personal lent tmw – to not miss a single cycling or strength/flexibility training session over next 6 weeks.
Cycling is a beautiful sport, a sport of abstinence in itself at peak season when alcohol, bad foods and late nights get thrown aside – my key goals in next 6 weeks are to:
(1) Reduce bodyweight to 72kg from current 78kg – strange as it sounds, my plant based diet has led to increased weight over past 7 months, most likely due to the heavy travel patterns that involved many rice meals, but I now have a diet plan to ensure this decrease happens by reducing my fibre intake (juicing), boosting protein intake, cold showers, roots, garlic and eating more legumes.
(2) Improve my lactate threshold power by 40 watts, and by a further 35 watts in following 6 weeks – this will be done by measured intervals on turbo trainer. I see this as the key element for my ultra-cycling events so that my cruising speed in races feels easy compared to daily training levels.
(3) Improve my calcium and micronutrient intake – I am doing this by simultaneously boosting my daily intake of vitamins A, D and K2. As a plant based athlete, there are several difficulties to overcome in maintaining a solid daily micronutrient profile. I am currently relying heavily on my personalised ‘Morning Bear Shake’ to supply any of the micronutrients I may be missing in my diet alongside my other 3 daily meals but will also get a test done at Spectracell in 6 weeks’ time to gauge if I am below par on any nutrient level.
(4) Not go too religious – a glass of wine can be good for you.