Adam Lewis and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Adam rides for the Dutch UCI Continental team BEAT Cycling Club this season, an innovative team that markets itself as a professional cycling team based on a club. This is Adam’s 5th journal entry…
So for this journal entry I thought I would do something different than the usual race reports and give a small insight into my preparation for my goals this season.
So obviously the biggest contributor towards achieving my goals is the training I do. After the first meeting with BEAT in November last year I was given a rough idea of the programme of races we’d be participating in. I could then start thinking about which races I wanted to focus on and be in good form for. After speaking with my coach Jody from Neo Pro Cycle Coaching, he laid out the progressive training for me to complete in order to hopefully hit my peaks.
I love the work you have to put in each day to be successful in this sport
I believe its fair to say I am committed to being the best I can be. I think 99.9% of the prescribed training set I have completed. That all adds up to a lot of hours on the bike, day in, day out. My biggest month came when I flew out to Girona in January clocking up some big hours in the Catalan winter sun. Now the race season is firmly underway the sessions become more race-specific, including some taxing intervals. Although right at the moment I am in a rather busy period of racing so basically the time not spent racing is spent recovering, but more on that later.
Personally I love the work you have to put in each day to be successful in this sport. It’s a constant battle with yourself to see which piece of the puzzle you can improve today. As the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last race! There are definitely some days where motivation is low and it becomes a struggle to get the training done, but when it is done the satisfaction is great looking back.
Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day, so much so I can sometimes go to bed simply looking forward to waking up and tucking in
When you’re training 20+ hours per week, the food you put into your body is just as important as the session itself. Fuel incorrectly beforehand and you’ll end up, to coin a familiar cycling term, bonking. Nutrition also plays a vital part in the recovery post training. I am not going to go into massive details here, as nutrition is a hotly debated topic, so I will just give a few little insights into what I do. First of all, pre-training. Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day, so much so I can sometimes go to bed simply looking forward to waking up and tucking in. My ‘go to’ meal before a big workout is a hearty bowl of porridge with all the toppings. I really go all in here trying different combos most mornings and it provides everything I need before training.
We are lucky enough at BEAT Cycling Club that we have Isostar nutrition partnering us, so this basically covers all my energy needs whilst out on the bike, which is ideal. When we are at races our soigneur Sibe also whips up some top notch rice cakes which are a personal favourite I must say. Putting the food back into your body post training is again another important process in order for me to go out the next day and dig deep again. My meal of choice at the moment is a chicken stir fry, ticking all the boxes I need and it tastes great. Generally after a race I will consume a whey protein shake immediately after as I know I am not going to be eating a big meal straight away.
Possibly the most important piece of the jigsaw, and often most overlooked, is recovery. Without recovery I will not see any adaptations from the workload I have been doing. A lot of people see it as lazy when they see athletes just lying on the sofa post training for the rest of the day but this has to be done in order to recover. And generally most of the time I come home ‘buckled’ from training. It’s still something I am getting used to. I can say I am a bad rester, as I always like to be doing something, feeling as though I am being productive with my time. So writing these journal entries is perfect as I can do them lying on the sofa and feel productive at the same time: best of both worlds I say. One thing I focus on is ensuring I get enough sleep; this is really where the body adapts and recovers. I will try for a minimum of 8 hours a night plus a cheeky afternoon nap when I can.
Hope that gives you a little insight into what I do behind the scenes to prepare properly for races. So what is next up for me? It’s going to be a very busy month by the looks of things following on from last week where I competed in the Circuit de Wallonie (UCI 1.1), then straight into Tour de la Mirabelle (UCI 2.2). A few days of R&R then it’s into a block of UCI 1.1 races before I head home to compete in the National Championships around Norfolk. Then a week later I head up north for round 6 of the National Road Series, the Beaumont Trophy. So a lot to look forward to. The form is good, time to get stuck in!
Featured photo: Nick Kidman
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