As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been dieting to try to shed a bit of weight ahead of the race.
For the couple of months of training I had been doing 1.5 – 2 hours every day before work and a long ride at the weekend, and my weight remained consistent – around 107 kg (16 St 12 lb). Even though I was burning a lot of calories training, I would be getting to work and having cheese and beans on toast or similar – making up those calories.
And whilst I had no issues with that, the weight is definitely more than what I should be, and it would make it more difficult for the race, especially with the amount of climbing involved. Not good for the knees!
So I decided to do something about it, and for about 8 weeks, I have put myself on the Slim Jim Fast Plan™.
Tonight I weighed myself and am 98.8 kg (15 stones 8 lb). I.e. in 8 weeks I have lost 8kg (18 lbs). I’m quite pleased with this as I didn’t expect to lose so much so quickly.
So what is the Slim Jim Fast Plan™? It’s actually really simple. Monday to Friday I skip breakfast, I have a Huel shake for lunch (Black – Salted Caramel is the best, Black / Normal – Vanilla also very good, Black – Banana is terrible) which is 400 kcalories. If I get super hungry in the afternoon I’ll have a snack bar, such as a Nakd vegan nuts & dates bar. And that’s it. Dinners are normal – which is usually a cooked meal at home – sometimes with wine, and sometimes it is takeaway Fish and Chips or Indian. Sometimes there are cheese and biscuits after dinner, or a dessert. I eat until I am full. And weekends I eat normally too, with regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I typically drink a load of coffee (with oat milk) during the morning, and instant decaf in the afternoon. In the office at the moment it’s quite easy. I’m often the only one there, and I just don’t buy any snacks / food, so there is no option for me to have anything!
And whilst I’ve been dieting I’ve also been training less – I’ve been typically going for three training rides during the week and a long ride at the weekend.
Anyhow, with the race just over a week away, I’ll now be eating normally again and taking things easy, so in theory I’ll be well and rested for the start.
Having ridden with the Sugino double chainring on a long ride, and on a hills ride, I was happy with the performance, but having to change the chain over with either a deft move of the heel (big chainring to small chainring) or using my fingers to manually move the change over is a bit of a drag and a time-suck.
Last night I fitted a front derailleur. It’s not straightforward – there aren’t any Brompton components to acheive this, so it’s a case of getting other components to work. It’s a bit involved, so I will write this up properly, probably with a video, another time.
Anyhow, I’m pleased to say it performed very well on today’s commute. The worst bit was the £4 front shifter – the way the shifter affixes to the handlebar isn’t great and so it’s a little loose. I will try to imprve this. with some packing. I’ll do a few more rides with it, but fingers crossed it continues to behave. It’s great having the huge range compared with the normal 6 speed range (which is good for pretty much everything, but just lacks a little in range for a loaded bike on mountains).
One Week Left
So with a week to go, most people are super organised and ready. I’m still experimenting with gears, and I haven’t thought about packing yet. This is partly because I’ve done it before and so I can just take the same stuff again and know I should be ok. I have a few minor things to buy – such as buying an emergency foil blanket (no idea where my old one went!), check and replenish first aid kit, buy some antihisitamine, paracetomol, ibuprofen, water purification tablets, a small tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, and so on. Considering buying a portable bluetooth keyboard so I’ll be able to more easily keep a diary during the race.
Anyhow, getting excited now as it’s getting close. There is a certain amount of luck in making around, but if I can go in as prepared as I can be, I improve my odds.
There will be a site during the race which monitors all the riders progress, and updates from the Pan Celtic Race team. I’ll publish details next week.