Monday, 31 January 2011

Happy weigh-in day

 Today was weigh in day today and I am really happy with another 2lb weight loss, taking me from 15st 13lbs to 15st 11lbs, clearly the climbs in Rivington assisted.  I also like to think the lack of cake and biscuits as well as fizzy drinks has helped.  I have noticed that in general I feel more awake and can concentrate more without feeling bloated and sickly most of the day. 

Myself and the wife have got into the habit of working out a meal plan for a week down to the littlest item. This week is porridge or scrambled egg on toast for breakfast a small sandwich, or soup for lunch and either fish, veg and potato for tea or chicken.  It has helped in keeping us from from last minute decisions which used to be take away's. 

Got a week of heavy training this week as yesterday really annoyed me with failing on the final climb..  So this week its spinning bike for a week - Sufferfest here I come!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The great climb of Rivington

Wow.  Today three members of the North Cheshire Clarion and a potential new member headed over to Rivington Moor for a few mile mountain bike ride.  We met in a pub car park at 10am and set up the bikes and headed onto the first climb of the day.  The route up to Winter Hill was a rocky technical climb, which for the first big xc ride of this year caused my heart to try pumping out my chest.  Once up the views were fantastic, a beautiful clear but cold day (it was so cold that the normal running water down the side was frozen solid).  As we crossed the moor I could hear a rattle from the rear of the Marin, slightly concerned about this I stopped and discovered that my rear disk brake was loose due to the retaining nuts falling off.  A quick fix with cable ties was quickly unfixed with the first brake as the force of the caliper moving to stop the bike ripped it clean off.  This resulted in stripping the bike apart and removing the rear brake completely. 

As we pressed on my reduced braking capabilities was beginning to terrify me.  We met two really nice guys who knew the moor likes the back of their hand and kindly took us to some fantastic single tracks with some amazing berms, jumps and drop-offs.  In the words of our unofficially guide "it was proper gnarly".  All this with one working brake was not the best idea.  We stopped at Rivington Barn for a brew where I managed to get two nuts to fit the caliper back on.

Pretty pointless putting it back on as it was back on the climb, back upto the top of Winter Hill.  The climb from the barn took close to 45 minutes, which was a killer and one which i was doing well on until we hit a stretch of single track which blew my legs apart, the rest of the climb was a real struggle and I started to realise I had "bonked" (not enough food). 

For me the highlight of the day was meeting an old couple at the very top of the moor, whilst trying to recover my breathe.  The old chap was talking about the cycling clubs he had once been in and mentioned that he thought cycling clubs were reducing.  When he saw the North Cheshire Clarion shirt he suddenly started laughing and told us he was a member of the Clarion in the 50's, which for me was fantastic to hear.  The stories he told during our brief chat will live long in my memory.

What have I learned about my first big XC ride of the year? Eat, eat and eat some more.  I estimate that the ride caused me to burn in the region of 3 - 4,000 calories.  All I had eaten was a bowl of porridge and a nutrigrain bar which is fair to little for attempting such a big ride.  Now home I have consumed about my body weight in chicken and pasta as well as cheese on toast.  I cant stand up and every little move is now hurting but it was well worth it and I had a great time with the lads.

Weigh in tomorrow, if I haven't lost any ill be gutted.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Training and Annual Dinner

This weekend I went mountain biking in Delamere with another North Cheshire Clarion member Si.  The first time we went (earlier in January)  I really struggled with all the little hills.  This time I noticed that the turbo sessions were paying off and I had excellent stamina and strength in my legs for the whole time we were out.  We rode for about an hour with little stopping and although I was warming up I didn't feel out of breathe or that I had pushed myself.  Next Sunday were off to Rivington for some fantastic climbs and some great descents. 

On Saturday night it was the clubs first ever annual dinner and we had the pleasure of Denise Hampson, the former British Track Champion giving a speech, and giving us some motivation as to be a good sprinter on the road.  I found her talk to be very inspirational and gave good insight into how Team GB works.  I had to give the "Chairmans" address to room full of people and to say I was nervous is an understatement.  But with most things about this club there was a lot of support and even though I stuttered my way through my 5 minutes everyone was very supportive.  I have to say a huge thank you to two members, Sarah and Matt who organised, decorated and put everything together to make that night what it was,  Your hardwork is appreciated and that cake was gorgeous (im not going on the scales now haha)

Tomorrow is weigh in day and I doubt to a loss.  Pizza and chocolate Friday night, A three course meal and a skinfull of calorie high beer Saturday night, A full English this morning and a chippie tonight is not the best diet but this week will see the return to diet eating and lots of exercise including playing Badminton with my wife on Wednesday night., 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Weight Yo-yo

Well the second weigh in didn't go to plan.  Going from 16st 6lbs to 15st 13lbs in one week had left me hopeful that the following week would see me lose another few pounds especially with fruit and veg detox diet.  Ohhhh how wrong can one person be, the scales tipped in at 16st 4lbs, which is a 2lb drop over the two weeks but an increase in weight over the week.

There are a number of possible reasons for this:
  1. I was not consuming enough of the right food and therefore my body went into shock and retained everything that went in;
  2. Water retention.  This sounds really horrible but I don't remember going for a wee very often.
As the diet ended with a big blow out my body seemed to react by shedding weight again.  I jumped out the shower this morning and saw a difference in the person in the mirror instantly.  Jumping on the scales showed my weight to be 15st 9lbs which is a big differance compared to yesterdays morning result.  I am at a loss to explain and maybe a new set of scales might required.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Detox over - Retox began

My training on the turbo trainer has come to an abrupt end.  Thursday night while sitting the garage, I looked down and noticed the swinging action at the bottom bracket and this made me think of the weight that was sitting on the bike while being suspended by two holders and decided I didn't like what I was seeing. 

I put on the clubs forum that I was looking for an exercise bike and a fantastic member, Phil, answered the call with a spinning bike he had available.  I picked up the bike, thanks to my neighbour and another North Cheshire Clarion member Steve (a man with a van), and set it up in our conservatory.  I now plan to use the bike most nights for at least an hour doing a mix of interval and base mileage.

My plan on going on the road ride on Saturday began and ended very quickly when I looked out the window and saw the rain coming down the street sideways.  Struggling with fitness anyway, I thought that climbing back into bed was probably the best strategy.

The detox has now ended (especially after Saturday nights visit to friends where lots of good food and fine Jack Daniels were excessively consumed).  What have I learned about the detox:

  • Vegetables are not the enemy and can be consumed without meat;
  • Fruit and yoghurt for breakfast is actually very nice; and
  • Porridge made with water instead of milk is vile and should never be consumed.
In terms of weight loss, until tomorrow mornings "cub weigh in" I'm not sure.  My clothes don't feel as tight but the image in the mirror does not look that different.   I can honestly say that through the detox I didn't cheat once especially as a good friend once told me "the only person you're lying to is the man in the  mirror". 

Moving forward we have a week of normal eating ahead but keeping some aspects of the detox.  Soup for lunch, fruit for breakfast and small portions in the evening.  Mix this diet with lots of exercise and I am hoping to see good results next week.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Can't spell Sufferfest without Suffer

To help kick start my training I have set up my road bike on a turbo trainer in my spider infested garage.  Tonight, full of energy and oozing in belief that I am fitter than I think I returned from work and jumped straight onto the trainer.  Through social meetings with North Cheshire Clarion I have discovered a very good training programme called Sufferfest.  Sufferfest produce a number of videos to help with indoor training whether on turbo trainers or exercise bikes.  I have two of their programmes "Downward Spiral" and "Fight Club", which are basically videos of various forms of cycling set to interval training type exercise. 

Tonight it was the turn of Fight Club which according to the website is "designed to build power over longer distances while building leg speed".  In total I was on the bike for about an hour and have never sweated as much as I did then.  Using my heart rate monitor my heart rate peaked at about 172bpm and reduced to 140 during the recovery laps which I assume is a good thing?

In terms of diet, Breakfast was not that bad and I actually enjoyed the fruit and yoghurt, I chucked a few oats on top though.  Lunch consisted on home-made vegetable soup and oatcakes with some fruit.  Dinner (lovingly prepared by my wife while I "suffered" in the garage was baked Salmon, half a baked potato, cabbage and carrots (both steamed).  Snacks are again fruit (two apples & two oranges).  Due to the high intensity cardio work out, I am now pretty peckish and about to dive into the fridge for a little yoghurt and fruit and I might even treat myself to some honey. 

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Is this thing on?

Hi my names Geoff and I am a 29 year old male.  I am a keen mountain biker and a new road cyclist  This Blog is about my weight loss goals and my training.  I hope to be able to pass on some knowledge about weight loss and cycle riding.  I helped to set up the North Cheshire Clarion cycling in 2009 and so far we have 90+ fantastic members. 

My bikes

I currently have two bikes.  A 2002 Marin Wolfridge Full Suspension and a 2010 Boardman Comp Road Bike.

 My Marin

After Christmas 2010 I jumped onto a set of scales and was highly surprised at the results below - 16st 6lbs was staring back at me.  Coming from a family with a high risk of heart disease this was the wake up call I needed to drop some weight and get myself fit and healthy again.  After a Christmas of being powered by Quality Street the diet has officially begun.

In terms of riding, a group of North Cheshire Clarion riders attempted to get to Coed Llandegla on Sunday but unfortunately the access road was covered in sheet ice.  We abandoned this idea and set of for a gentler ride around Delemere Forest.  Although we only covered 6 miles, the climbs were enough to hurt the legs and get the heart pumping.  After suffering with flu for most of December I now realise how bad the effect of the virus is on your chest and recommended that people who suffer from illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma to get the flu jab (well if you can get one).

My ride stats from the 1st MTB  ride of the year are:

Total Distance - 5.65 miles
Total Climb - 902 feet
Calories burnt -255
Average Speed - 11.93mph


This was always going to be a challange.  Im not going to lie i have a sweet tooth  I love chocolate and Haribo and cutting these out of my diet was always going to be tough.  I enlisted a few members of the North Cheshire Clarion and have started the "Biggest Loser" competition with the aim being the winner will be the one who has lost the most weight by the end of February.  I am trying my hardest to get down to at least 14 stone.  My wife and I have both being dieting for a week and a bit now, and my weight has taken a turn for the better and I have gone from 16st 6lbs to 15st 13lbs in a week. 

This week is "Detox" week.  This has meant cutting meat, tea & coffee and diary products from our diet for 5 days.  I'm not going to lie I have a major caffeine addiction and Monday was very difficult to get through with out that coffee buzz in the morning but as I sit here typing at 9:45pm Tuesday the craving has gone and I feel more tired than normal. 

What have i learnt this week - I really need to up my riding, so am going out with road guys on Saturday morning for a club ride.  I have also learnt that I can operate without my daily hit of caffeine.

Tomorrows another day though and another challenge in the diet - getting through a breakfast of just fruit and natural yoghurt.  I'd much rather be having a bacon and egg buttie with a large coffee ... oh well