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Spinning your wheels: 6 lessons from cycling and why you should clean-out your cupboards


6-Lessons We Can Learn from the Cycling World

As I’m sure you’re no doubt familiar, taking up cycling is a tricky task to say the least. Long hours on the saddle & often a real mental battle to keep going through those pesky hill climbs too.

Adding Fuel to the Fire?

In the midst of the ‘sugar epidemic’ we are supposedly facing, there’s a certain stigma that’s arisen against carbs in particular. But, as the body’s primary fuel source, they simply can’t be ignored. Aim to include some ‘slow burners’ such as fruits, veggies & wholegrains which each meal to give you sustained energy throughout the day.

One of my all-time go to sources has to be a good old-fashioned Cinnamon & Raisin Bagel with a spread of peanut butter & jam for good measure.

If you're looking to add an extra boost to your day, a higher-carb approach at each meal will serve you well. Aiming for wholegrains is another effective strategy for sure.

‘Wetting’ your appetite?

A big one for many of us, especially if we’re training hard for an upcoming event too. Making sure to stay well hydrated throughout the day is a key focus for even the beginner cyclist.

We can take inspiration perhaps & it’s a habit that will pay dividends for sure.

Aim to consume around 2L per day as a minimum (~4 average sized bottles), with a view to sneak in some extra to support those intensive workouts.

Switching Gears

Something worth trying is cycling to work/uni instead of facing the usual ever so frustrating rush hour traffic for a start.

An ideal way to sneak in extra exercise to your daily routine & a handy way to maintain your fitness outside of training too.

For anyone currently sitting down for long stretches (me too sadly), a good anecdote of sorts to help undo any tension by getting those muscles pumping once more.

In the often so busy world of work, looking after our wellbeing can seem a challenge at times. Adding in extra activity out with the 9-5 can pay dividends in more ways than one.

A Chain Reaction

Something I’m sure we’ve all fallen for is the temptation to go ‘all-in’ with our nutrition & fitness goals. Perhaps instead of setting impossible mountains to climb, consider an easier approach of sorts.

Start small, make 1 change per week & imagine yourself starting on a level incline, allowing for each individual improvement to add up.

Before you know it, you’ll have a solid foundation & each tiny link will really get you going. Think a cog in the wheel, with each cog playing an equally important role.

A Bumpy Ride

A lot of the struggles we face are often down to our environment. Sure, we can fix punctures & re-inflate our wheels so to speak, but it’s worth taking a different path or route.

Taking the plunge & having a kitchen ‘clear-out’ in a sense works wonders. Gone now are the temptations to devour those Caramel Chocolate Digestives you were saving for your next coffee break.

Forming new habits is never easy, but we can be smart in a way. The less energy dense & far too delicious foods we have at our disposal, the more likely we’ll stick to those nutrition goals.

Paced Out?

Often tricky too to find the right approach to our physique/training goals. What to eat? When to eat? How to eat? The list goes on.

Decision fatigue is real & one that we all struggle with for sure. Some of the most successful cyclists indeed have a brilliant team behind them.

Perhaps worth taking the next step too, reaching out to a coach who can provide you with the right support, guidance & even education in many ways.

Finding some mates & a group community can play a key role in our success long term. Accountability can be hard to come by, but the motivation to do more can be a team effort.

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So there you have it, plenty more reason to tune into the Tour de France perhaps (once the Farming Protests are over!).

Planning your nutrition can seem like a mountain to climb, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with the basics, look for mini-wins & find what works best for you.

If you’re currently struggling with your training/physique goals, I’d love to offer a hand.

Drop me a message today or email me at decmclaughlinnutrition@gmail.com

No more spinning those wheels? Absolutely.

DM

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