My continuing low carb experience – will ketosis make me a better cyclist?

Cycling Ascents - Accommodation and Training Camps at the foot of Alpe d'HuezIf you’ve not seen the previous blog posts I’ve written on my thoughts and experiences on a low carbohydrate diet, then this would be a good time to check them out!  I’m going to go into some depth in this post so if you’ve landed straight here you might be better to come back after reading these:

Exercise without Carbs

Cycling on a Low Carb Diet Update

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Swimming and Running Coaching with Take3 Tri

Cycling Ascents - Accommodation and Training Camps at the foot of Alpe d'HuezOne of my & Delphine’s Christmas presents to ourselves this year was to book a swimming and running analysis session.  We were due to be in the UK the week prior to Christmas, and found Mark Harvey (Take3 Tri Performance Centre) online.  A quick read through the ‘About Us’ page on his website convinced us that as well as having a bunch of coaching qualifications, he clearly had practical knowledge, and was also possibly a bit of a nutter 🙂  I hadn’t even heard of a 5 x Ironman let alone met someone who was bonkers enough to do one!

Running analysis Cycling Ascents with Take3 Tri

Getting our running style checked out!

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Cycling on a Low Carb Diet / Ketosis Update (before Christmas ruins everything!)

Cycling Ascents - Accommodation and Training Camps at the foot of Alpe d'HuezA quick update as promised, but I’ll keep it brief as we’re pretty busy (as I’m sure you are) prior to the Christmas holidays!

I’ve now been on my LCHF (low carb high fat) diet for around 6 weeks now, and despite not being in ketosis all the time (the state where your body is purely running on fat), I think I’m getting the hang of it.

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Exercise without Carbs? Can Cyclists use a Ketogenic Diet?

Cycling Ascents - Accommodation and Training Camps at the foot of Alpe d'Huez

As I alluded to in my last post, I’ve come back to an interesting diet that I tried a few years back.  Before all who know me exclaim “why would you want to lose weight???”, the primary goal for this diet isn’t weight loss but to experiment with an alternative ‘fuel’ to carbs – historically I’ve often had stomach issues at one point during the sportives round here, which happen to take about 6 – 8 hours for me.  I’ve done a lot of them by now, and a common theme is that 5 – 6 hours in, my stomach rebels against all the sugary liquid, gels, and bars I’m stuffing down my neck.  By that point I’m usually reduced to just drinking water, which means that the last portion of my ride is a gamble between serious stomach discomfort vs bonking massively.

Fuel for La Marmotte

All of this is out for the time being!

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2016 Summary – No training, Triathlons, & lots of Fat

Cycling Ascents - Accommodation and Training Camps at the foot of Alpe d'HuezSo it seems that this is the time of year when I get enough time to myself to remember that I haven’t written on my blog since…well this time last year.  I promised to do better last year but perhaps I should just wait and see this time!  Anyway, I’ve got a year to cover in one post so better get on with it.

Ride during one of our July '16 Training Camps

Ride during one of our July ’16 Training Camps

We’ve had another great year at the B&B with lots of friendly guests but a few things were a little different.  The main one is that this year we ran a few week long Training CampsContinue reading

Transition to Winter Training – the (dreaded?) turbo

I fully plan to write some ‘retrospective’ entries (races I’ve done this year, training effectively, etc., etc.) however right now, looking out the window at the not particularly inviting weather, my mind turns to – “how am I going to keep fit this winter without getting painfully cold hands / feet or soaking wet through?”…..

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Back to Blogging

Well apologies for neglecting the blog for so long…a lot has happened in the last few years! This is just a very short post to say that as it’s now our off season (it’s been a long and busy summer!) I’ll get back to writing. Expect to see some more of the usual (riding, racing and just living in the French Alps!) along with posts about training – as I’ve started a level 3 coaching course.  Bye for now!

Coping with Time off the Bike

Normally, if I spend more than a few days without riding, I get restless, irritable, and eventually I just have to get out there (I’m typically sent away by my wife, who’s had enough by this stage!)

This year, I was just getting to the end of my recovery period after this year’s Marmotte (soon to be written up as a blog entry – only 3 1/2 months late!) when it was full steam ahead with DIY.  The construction company handed over our mostly completed house mid July – not finished, but as they were on the brink of liquidation we were forced to get out of the contract with them as quickly as possible (we made it just in time). As our first customers were due to arrive at the end of August, there was a lot of work left to be done, and – it hurts just to write this – no time for cycling.

The first week was the worst – but it was made easier by the fact that I was really busy, plus actually quite tired at the end of each day (I’m not used to manual labour if it involves more than just moving your legs up and down!).  I still had a few twitchy moments, but the nagging voice at the back of my head, which usually says, “you’re losing fitness – everyone else will be out there training”,  was now telling me, “you’ll never get the house ready for the end of August…..”.

I did manage to spend a little time on the bike – but this was just riding from our rental house to the B&B and back a few times a day.  Only 2 km, but I made sure that each one was a VO2 max interval!  I’m sure the locals wondered why the hell the strange guy with paint / dust / dirt all over his clothes was rushing forwards and backwards 4 times a day on his bike.

Eventually, we moved into the new house, and I didn’t have any chance at all to get out.  The need to ride my bike slowly faded and (I’m ashamed to say) that 3 1/2 months on I’ve got the opposite problem – a lack of motivation.  The weather doesn’t help (it’s cold and wet out there), but soon it will be winter – and this is what will hopefully save me.  The threat of an enforced 2 – 3 months of turbo trainer when there is snow on the ground is more than enough to remind me that I should get out as soon as I can and make the most of the great outdoors again!

Getting off the beaten track

Most of the groups whom I provide accommodation for and ride with that come over to Bourg d’Oisans are very much focussed on getting up the ‘big name’ cols – Galibier, Glandon and Croix de Fer (as well as of course Alpe d’Huez).  While this is entirely understandable – as it’s why they’ve chosen to come here rather than somewhere like Provence, for example, there are many other ‘unknown’ rides very close by that offer up some impressive scenery, quiet roads, and often a sleepy village at the end of the climb. Continue reading

Pretending to be a Pro Cyclist….

I’ve written a blog entry on my website about the Dutch charity event ‘Alpe d’Huzes’ already – where 8000 Dutch ride up Alpe d’Huez up to 6 times to raise money to fight cancer.  This year I managed to get a few photos during the ride up, and due to the enthusiasm and noise from the Dutch supporters it really is easy to believe that you are a pro about to win a mountain stage….. Continue reading