Jonny Says Eat Cake

Just over two weeks to go until the OSB Events Outlaw Triathlon and I have just completed a high volume week before I start to taper. I tried a couple of different sessions this time; with the hot weather I decided to do a non-wetsuit swim, just in case wetsuits are banned on the day. It was so much harder than I expected and made me realise how much support a wetsuit provides, especially for my legs. Here’s hoping that I can use my wetsuit on race day! For my “long ride”, rather than going out on the road, having had an unexpectedly long and hard ride the weekend before, I took to my turbo trainer. I have become very keen this season on using my turbo trainer in conjunction with “Trainer Road”, an online training system. The obvious advantage is you can train when it is wet and/or cold outside but it is also time efficient as you are constantly pedalling; an hour on the turbo trainer is equivalent to an hour and a half on the road. This also helps maintain the balance between training and family life.

My normal turbo session varies between forty five minutes and an hour and a half but I found a three and a half hour session designed specifically for “iron distance” training. I set the turbo trainer up in front of the TV and put on Tour De France coverage, thinking this would be a breeze. How wrong I was. The power I had to pedal at was not especially high and for two hours it was fine but then boredom set in and I found myself just stopping pedalling. First, the postman interrupted, and then the Phyllis Tuckwell lottery man turned up, further breaking my concentration. The remaining hour and a half became a tortuous mental battle to keep focused and keep turning those pedals. The session turned out to be far harder than I expected, both physically and mentally. Sunday was a 15 mile run, half below race pace and half above race pace. At the end of the weekend, my legs were in agony.

This means only one thing: possibly the most painful experience a man can put himself through, easily more painful than child birth. Yes, a visit to the sports masseur! The thing is, Andrew Moss from Hart Sports Massage is one of the nicest chaps you could meet and we always have the best conversation whilst he is inflicting the most hideous pain. I should just add that, when the massage was finally over, my knee felt so much better.

We had the first proper ride out in the new ECTC kit last weekend. Now the one I have is the “race fit” version so it is, shall we say, rather snug, so I was slightly concerned that it would be uncomfortable after a long ride. However, I am pleased to report it was very comfortable and in fact, “I forgot I had it on”. Writing this line reminded me of that advert in the 1970’s for women’s underwear that said something along the lines of “it was so comfortable I forgot I had it on” (This is the closest I could find!) Well, bib shorts do have quite a high waist band which does hold in that middle aged spread so they are a little like a girdle…

My wife is currently on one of those point-counting diets with a limit of 30 points per day which generally means any “junk” food is off limits. So you can imagine how excited she was when she heard about an ultra-thin pizza from Marks and Spencer’s which comes in at under 500 calories; a “fakeaway” she calls it; yes, you heard it, “fakeaway” ... So, how then did she end up returning home with two fat boy pizzas, a creamy trifle and a mac and cheese starter? The explanation: the lady in the shop convinced her that this was a deal she didn’t want to miss. My wife decided to “point” the “normal” pizza and it worked out at 40 points - 25% more than a day’s calories.

That made us think about what we used to eat on a Saturday night before we decided to eat heathier and how many points it would add up to. So, on a typical Saturday night we might have polished off a gin and tonic (not pub measures), half a bottle of wine (sometimes more), half a pack of crisps (the home-cooked family sized packs), a pizza and a half a tub of Ben and Gerry’s. This lot worked out to 100+ points, over three days calories in one evening! Is it any wonder people put on weight? It is enough to make you take up cycling so you can wear bib shorts to hold it all in …

I came across a Guardian article from 2012 this week, in which they interviewed Jonny Brownlee. It caught my attention. The headline said: “When I am training seven hours a day, eating cake is okay”. I am sure he meant to say ‘seven hours a week’, so there you have it - it’s okay with Jonny to eat cake and tri …

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