This post is a little different instead of a story of adventure I asked Michelle Reed creator of Basecamp Nutrition, bad ass mountain bike racer, and of course super team mate for the Bike Trans Alp to share some nutritional wisdom and recipe selection to getting those pedals turning through the winter.
But first.. an introduction from team Basecamp.
Hi everyone, my name is Michelle.
I am a South African currently living and working in Germany. I am a qualified BSc (Hons) Nutritional Scientist and currently completing a Nutritional Therapist diploma. I have a great passion for living a healthy lifestyle and helping others create the same for themselves and their families.
My aim is to further my studies to become a sports nutritionist and to always keep up with the latest and greatest in the world of nutrition, to educate those who require my services.
Remember health is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Hey guys, my name is Tom.
I am currently living and studying in Bayreuth, Germany. I am doing my masters in Sports Economics with a focus on competitive sports.
As a competitive cyclist, currently riding for a German mountain bike team, Kreidler, I have gained a lot of experience regarding what to eat and what to avoid.
With all the knowledge Michelle has and my experience as an athlete, we hope to present you with a lot of great recipes that will support your healthy lifestyle.
Never lose the fun when cooking and eating! The recipes presented here should only give you an idea. You can (and should) adapt them to your very individual taste.
Healthy recipes for winter training
In my (Michelle’s) opinion an athletes performance revolves around 3 aspects; head strength, physical fitness and nutrition. Nutrition is one of the easiest ways to help improve performance and keep your body well conditioned.
Training through winter is never an easy process and it is the time of the year when many are preparing for their upcoming season. Come rain or snow training comes first to ensure you are earning that 1% over your competitors. The long hours in the saddle are accumulating to set up a strong base for the new season.
With intense training and a change in conditions, your body is put to the test in more ways than one, which makes taking care of it highly essential. This means supporting its processes in order to ensure that you are recovering quickly and not catching any colds along the way.
As a natural process with the increase in training, comes an increase in cortisol and inflammation. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is not only secreted at the sign of a stressor but also during intense and prolonged exercise. This natural increase has a tendency to lower immunity, which is why during this time many athletes battle with illness.
In order to help support your body by strengthening immunity, aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients and regulating inflammation, it is important to eat foods that hold the properties to do so.
Here are the links to our healthy recipes to keep you going through winter.
Breakfast – Warming raspberry oats
Lunch – Broccoli salad
Dinner – Pumpkin soup
Winter is officially upon us! The days have become shorter engulfing evening rides in darkness and frozen noses as we roll out onto yet another frozen single track or road. Personally, I love winter rides there is nothing better than the feeling of warmth that comes from within on a good outdoor training session when its close to freezing and your face is cold yet the rest of your body is toasty!
I have come up with my top tips for enjoying your winter riding whether you just doing your usual stomp to the cafe for some cake with your friends or out training ready for the new season like I am, I hope these tips will allow you to embrace winter on your bike!
Getting the layer balance right is crucial in the winter, to allow your sweat to be wicked away from your body leaving you feeling warm you need to invest in a good base layer, but this doesnt have to cost the earth, look out for deals in Aldi for great Crane base layers. If pennies are jingling in your pockets Under Armour also make a great base layer but it will cost you three times as much to do the same job!
Invest in a Buff or neck warmer of some kind, this multi use bit of kit is great for keeping the draft from sneaking into your jacket and can be pulled up around your mouth and nose if you have to stop for any pesky punctures. Also one for the girls, and maybe some guys it doubles as a great way to keep your ears warm and keep your hair out of your eyes bonus!
Warm feet + warm hands = comfortable, enjoyable riding. This is an area I wouldn’t skimp on buying el’cheapo products, a good pair of gloves and socks will save you from numbing as your body draws the blood away from your fingers and toes to keep you vital organs warm you need to protect these from getting too cold or it will become miserable very quickly. I would suggest Seal Skinz gloves and socks they are water proof, durable and very warm. Its very important to keep your hands warm as they are a main point of contact with your bike, cold fingers don’t work brakes as well as they some times need to when you hit that frosty corner too hard!
Do it with friends! From a racing perspective I do a lot of my training on my own as its difficult to do heart rate sessions with others. However, in the winter getting out with friends whether its on or off road for a bash is key to keeping up the motivation. There is also nothing better than a cold winters evening crashing through the forest getting terribly lost with a group of mates in an area you thought you new like the bCk of your hand, until the lights went out! If your friends are all imps, whimps or banjo players, then try find a local club or British Cycling coaching session to join.
Lights that allow you to see. It has to be said there are a lot of choices when it comes to buying bike lights but a lot of the low/middle of the range lights are no good for off road or riding where there are no street lights because they are designed for you to be seen not to see! This may sound odd, but once you spend a reasonable sum of money £40/£50 on a decent front light it will change your night riding for ever! I brought a Cree 1300lm light off eBay for £40 it is rechargeable and the battery lasts ages well worth the money.
Stay hydrated, in the winter it is just as important to drink as it is in the summer you may not feel like you need to drink but on cold rides it is key to keep your fluid intake up, if your going out on especially cold days and can take a flask of something hot to drink half way round this is ideal if not I tend to add a bit of squash or electrolyte supplement such as High 5 to my drinks as for some bizzar reason this seems to feel warmer than just drinking water.
Bike maintenance is as important if not more important in the winter. Grit and dirt teamed with bad weather dont exactly make you feel like getting home from a good ride and standing out side to hose your bike down! So to make this process as pain free as possible, get a good dirt removing solution like Muc-Off, old towels, t-towels and even leggings make great chain and bike rags so save them cut them up and reuse them once there filthy chuck them away. Keep a separate one for cleaning your disk brakes and invest in some Muc Off disk brake cleaner this is great stuff and works wonders. Give your chain a decent coat of wet lube but remember to remove as much of the excess as possible with a rag, I try and re wipe my chain before setting out on the next ride as well this stops dirt sticking too it.
Post ride nutrition, getting out for a blast after work is a great stress reliever but once your home, have lovingly washed and dried your bike, cooking a gourmet nutritionally rich dinner is probably not high on the priority list, this is the time when if your like me you will go for bad foods because they tend to be quick and easy. Stop. Prepare salads, pastas and protein and become a tuppa ware king or queen by having these in containers in the fridge. Another great option if your home too late to eat a whole meal is a recovery shake, I really like Science in Sport REGO as it is a combination of carbohydrates and protein so aids recovery as well as muscle growth and replenishes my glycogen stores. I also find it easy to drink and not bloating which is a bonus,
These are my top eight tips for staying motivated and having fun on your bikes over the winter I hope you have enjoyed my article and please comment if you have another top tip I may have missed.