Welcome to my first post. Hopefully you have seen the website and read my 'Ethos' and got a feel for my views on our sport. If not, please take a look at www.workingclasstriathlete.com
For anyone that doesn't know Triathlon - A big part of the sports market these days is the nutrition, be it post training recovery supplements through to race day fluids. All competitors will have been there. I certainly know I have..... Racking my bike up with gels, getting up early to mix powders in my bottles in just the right combination so that they can work the promised miracles as extoled on the back of the packet - accompanied by the image of a super human hero flying past the unfuelled competition.
What I soon realised was I could do without them. And I could certainly do without the cost. What I did work out quickly, and do still believe in though, is that you do need a good quality fuel after a hard training session or a race. As has long been known, 'You are what you eat'.
I'll start by sharing one of my most treasured inventions. I'm giving away the family silver here inside my 3rd paragraph as a blogger. The perfect antidote to the expensive gels that we all use on a longer training or Olly distance+ event. Behold - THE AERO BANANA.
The Aero Banana. Simple. Effective.
Fortunately I have always loved gardening, and have cultivated an allotment for the last 10 years. Over the last 3 years I have juiced every conceivable combination of fruit and vegetable that I can grow on my plot. Some have been disgusting, most have been ok, and just a few recipes exceptional. What never gets boring is testing them out on others....
Without fail though, a pint of juice after a session of any kind not only quenches the thirst, but also the hunger. It lights up your eyes in a way no bought supplement can. You can feel the goodness rushing through your veins. Its organic, its as fresh as it comes and its rammed with everything I need to replenish what was lost. Anyone that knows me in local sporting circles will have had the dubious honour of being forced to sample 'Ball Juice'. A hard won nickname for a man who is never far from a bottle of his homemade wonder drink.
So with 'Ball Juice' in mind, and in the interests of spending time as a family while looking to prepare now for the 2015 season we set out on Sunday to collect apples. We ended up with over 50kgs of the fruit of a tree I planted from a seed with my grandfather some 33 years ago, and that now fruits amply in the garden of my parents home.
All these will be juiced down in the trusty Juice Lady Junior over the next week, and frozen in bags as a base for my juices in the spring and summer when we are busy. Making the most of the available time now, the seasonal glut, and to save time and money later in the season. These apples are not overly sweet, but they add enough of the necessary natural sugars to provide an instant energy hit, and I can tweak the additional freshly juiced elements down the line to either provide a full on race day energy hit by making it largely fruit based, through to a carb and vitamin/mineral heavy recovery drink that steers clear of sugars by carefully selecting veg from the allotment as required. Besides all that its fun to do, and producing a big jug of it at a time for the fridge ensures all the family get a great start to the day regardless of what they are doing.
Try 20 apples sliced into bits, 8 carrots, and a lump of fresh ginger. Be sure to let the sludge run through into the jug to give it some meaty umph at the end! 10 minutes from start to finish, and you have a dependable and solid work a day juice.
I also have my mother well trained. She now keeps us in sure supply of the finest 'double yolker' local organic eggs from a secret supplier she knows somewhere in their village... Through this winter period of extensive and prolonged base training plenty of protein is vital to repair the pummelling my muscles are taking.
My youngest has taken to writing our names on the eggs after she was cheated with a boiled egg breakfast that was only a single yolker.... she now stands with a torch under the stairs shining a light through the shell to spot those with 2 yolks in. We then get our names written on them to ensure even distribution.
Its all about enjoying what you do. If you train hard, you have to take the trouble take care of your body. Fresh homemade juice and local eggs give me everything I need in that respect, and cost little but our time spent as a family enjoying it..... perfect.