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Your Essential Tips to Get Over the Christmas Break as a Cyclist

The festive period may well have taken its toll on you, both mentally and in the belly-butt regions! And let’s not forget how your lungs will be feeling after your first session – they thought they were still on the beach in Sri Lanka, yet you’re asking them to perform like usual when you’re back pumping up the hill climbs in 3C conditions!

Before you start feeling guilty about enjoying the festive period, get your riding back on track and find your rhythm again. Follow some of our useful pointers in this article that will help you get this right.

Indulgence Season is Over!

All those tasty sweets and tasty things that make you go mmm… yeah, forget about those! December was your time to get the extra portions in and to tuck into one too many bottles of beer; January is the springboard for you to get back on track as quickly as possible following the indulgent period. Leave it too long and, man, it’s gonna hurt all that much more!

If you were lucky to be given some nice, fancy wines or those extra big tubs of chocolates, stash them away for another time, because you’ve got work to do.  If you can’t be trusted, then why not wrap them up and give them as presents to someone else?

If you were particularly boozy over the Xmas period, then cutting back on alcohol really is a vital part of getting your riding and training back together and running smoothly.

Some of the main reasons to swerve alcohol are:
  • Contains a large amount of calories
  • Will contribute to weight gain
  • Alcohol affects hydration levels
  • Has a detrimental impact on your training and overall performance

Achievable Goals

There’s little point is saying that you’re going to polish off a 40-mile ride at an average of 22mph and only eat foods that are fully nutritious every day, because, in reality, we all know that this is a quite unrealistic goal. Instead, be more realistic about the training and nutrition goals you set yourself. Remember, if this gets too tough, or unmanageable then you’re likely to quit, and no one likes a quitter, so don’t let that happen to yourself.

If you can slide back into your usual plan, then great! Even better, if you can add some small tweaks that you know you wanted to add or adjust that will see your training and performance hit the next level, then you’re surely on to a winner! Regular training helps to encourage a calorie deficit as well as assisting in muscle mass maintenance and growth. It’s not just fat loss that is attributed to you losing weight, so consequently, without proper training, weight loss can come through may muscle mass loss, which you don’t want.

When it comes to shifting a bit over festive timber, it’s really essential to bear in mind that you should be realistic about the weight you can achieve. You should lose no more than 0.5kg per week, which can be accomplished through a 500-calorie deficit per day. Keep a record of your food intake and exercise as a way of making sure you hit your goals.

Top points to take away:
  • Don’t go overboard
  • Get back on a realistic plan and stick to it (training and nutrition)
  • Be properly fuelled for your training sessions

Healthy Diet

They say it’s 70% about your diet and 30% training, so post-Xmas, it’s vital that you get your diet back to being nicely balanced if you let yourself go a little slack. Are the meals you are eating filled with essential nutrients, and are you reducing the things you don’t need to eat? If not, why not?

High-quality protein, from sources such as broccoli, can help you feel well fed, while the slow release carbohydrates (low GI), such as porridge and brown rice, can assist in providing energy for longer, and will assist in keeping those naughty snacks pangs at bay. Sticking to these rules will help you to cut portion sizes down to normal.

Try Fasted Training

If you’re heading out for lower intensity rides early in the morning, then try fasted training. Just avoid food prior to your ride as exercising in a fasted state trains the body to use your fat stores as a means of fuel – this could help you wave goodbye to those excess Xmas pounds.

Remember, it is important you remain fuelled for your regular exercise sessions, and you it is important to keep your ‘fasted’ sessions to a maximum of 2-3 times a week, during a low or medium intensity, that last no more than 90 minutes. If this is too extreme for you, then try eating a breakfast high in protein to evade hunger pangs.

Have you found any tips to overcome the Christmas break? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s to a year of happy and successful riding!

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