Do you know where your limits are?
We often ask ourselves if we have limits? If we know how far to push ourselves before we hit the end and cannot go any further. As yet, we haven’t been able to answer that question because we keep pushing ourselves and haven’t reach the end yet. We are not afraid to step outside our comfort zone. Sure we get nervous and a little anxious and sometimes wish we had stayed in that zone where we feel safe and content but there is a certain satisfaction you get when you push yourself and come out the other side, stronger & more determined.
Last weekend we attended a two-day training camp in Lorne with 7 other fellow athletes to ride the Great Ocean Road, the surrounding hills and to throw in a bit of running & swimming for good measure. Going into this weekend we didn’t quite know what to expect, ignorance is bliss.
What we learnt
You need support
What we learnt most about this weekend was, when you have others around you to guide & support your limitations are endless. Small words of encouragement can go a long way to seeing you ride a hill of a gradient where you almost feel vertical. After almost 12 hours on the bike over two days, we almost began to feel comfortable descending!
Learn to embrace challenges
We love riding hills, the challenge of going up them, finding that zone where your legs are just spinning and you think of nothing but grey matter – its just a matter of turning the legs to get you to the top. What we don’t love is descending. This is our greatest challenge but we are not going to get any better if we just stay at the top, we must come down. Although slow we believe in our ability to ride a bike, to trust that we will get down the bottom and know that when we are faced with the next descent, we will be more confident than the first.
Our endurance weekend of riding and the other tri disciplines of running & swimming were all carried out on a plant based diet. We are powered by plants and believe what we consumed helped us power through each day’s ride and assisted with recovery too. Food is an important part of our fitness regime; we need to nourish our body with the correct fuel to carry out our daily training. We try hard to stay away from refined sugar products such as gels and sports drinks and instead have nature provide us with the essential electrolytes and energy.
Our daily menu for the bike weekend
- Salted caramel bars made with dates, activated raw cashews and Himalayan sea salt
- Nut & seed crunch bars made with almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas and brown rice syrup
- Spirulina bliss balls made with almonds, walnuts, dates, chia seeds and spirulina
- Sweet potato, brown rice and kale balls
- Coconut water, orange and lemon juice with chia seeds
- Beetroot & ginger juice
- Water with pure glucose
Our main meals either side of refueling on the bike were clean wholefoods; avocado, hummus, rice cakes, salad and roasted vegetables…OK so the vegetables were on a pizza but we didn’t have the saturated fat of cheese clogging up our insides.
After each days’ session we recovered with a Tarian cookies and cream recovery smoothie which was bursting with antioxidants. Our smoothie was made up of:
- Almond milk
- Raw cacao
- Vanilla bean
- Medjool dates
- Almond butter
- Pea protein powder
This combination was rich in magnesium, potassium and protein all essential for muscle and nerve function and well as promoting recovery and supporting the immune system.
Maximise your energy gain
You are what you eat so when you head out for an endurance training session you want your food to be assisting not hampering your efforts. Sure you are burning more calories than you ever would in a gym session but eat wisely. We read recently a quote about running a marathon but it pretty much summed up our training weekend and current state of mind: “I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” John Hanc