I do not care for September. It is a non-month where we are woken to reality from temperate school and work breaks. A former headmistress once spoke at the beginning of an academic year about her memories of pleasure as she opened fresh note books and the excitement of new beginnings. This September, instead of merely looking to the future, I want to look at the past to inform my future.
This month marks a year since my grandmother died. Honestly, we had little in common until the final two years of her life when she gave up both absurd and fierce pretentions of social face and snobbishness, softening and appreciating the simple pleasures of life such as the sun on her face and the company of her family. One thing we did share was an appreciation of garment construction. Although her other grandchildren worked in more honourable and prestigious careers in education, law and charity her pride in my working for Burberry clearly Top Trumped. She bought my first Burberry garment, a kilt from an outlet, when I was thirteen and no doubt subconsciously planted a life-long bond with the brand which saw me use it as a case study for my university dissertation and begin my career there. Fortunately, she did not survive to see me leave the company, it would have broken her heart. A benefit working for Burberry was I accumulated a number of Burberry suits which I can use working in other companies. Wearing the entire uniform from a previous job, although just a black trouser suit, would feel awkward so I brought the garments a new lease of life by applying lace off-cuts found in my gran’s home during the clear-out. Uniting Gran and Burberry thus was not unintentional, it reminds me of where I come from and how I am building on each experience.
Following a triathlon season more successful than I dared hope for, I am fully intending on revisiting and developing what worked for further success next season as I prepare for the 2017 ETU Age Group Championships. I will be taking a couple of free-form training to refresh my mind and will be catching up with my coach to determine next season’s goals. An crucial aspect crucial supporting my growth over the last twelve months has been my adherence to a more triathlon specific diet. I have been trialling the best diet for me as each body’s needs and responses are different. My high training volume means I require more carbohydrates than the average person but I have been keeping its consumption around training hours and increasing the amount and variety of protein. Much debate surrounds whether endurance athletes should follow a carbohydrate or protein rich diet for maximum race performance, for me the answer comes in thirds. That is, a diet composed by thirds of carbs, protein and fruit/veg. That is why my featured recipe comes (again) from Jo Scott-Dalgleisch, an endurance sport nutritionist and fellow triathlete. Her egg fried quinoa (I replaced the chicken with nuts) is flavoursome, fast and cheap sustenance.
The magic ingredients include:
Quinoa which contains twice the protein of rice or barley and like buckwheat has an excellent amino acid profile. A strict and strenuous training program and a diet lacking enough protein and amino acids decreases performance, decreases mood, and increases incidence of infections.
Eggs are a ‘complete’ protein source, containing all eight essential amino acids (aka ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet). As discussed above, endurance athletes in heavy training require extra protein to cover a small proportion of their training’s energy costs as well as assist repair and recovery after exercise. This table calculate the amount of protein different athletes should take on board.
Broccoli contains vitamin K, reducing risks of bone fractures developing through the high impact of running.
Ginger has been shown to reduce exercise induced muscle pain by 25%.
I am very privileged to call Kew Gardens my (family) home and it has been a great base for cycling. The famous Royal Botanical Gardens Kew recently opened The Hive which is most spectacular lit at night.
Seeing Kew has helped me grown, I likewise try to support it so had to try the Botanics BB Cream from Boots. The Boots scientists ‘…work with plant experts at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Together we discover and authenticate the best active ingredients, then hand-pick extracts to get the desired benefits for each skin type.’ The cream was delightfully affordable and un-fragranced but really only suitable for dry skin so was too oily for me and spread too sparingly. Will definitely try the rest of the collection though.
Just now I composed a list of ten small things to work on this season. Alone, none of the tweaks will make a marked difference but together they may well do. Likewise, this strategy would work in incrementally developing your career. What will you ten changes tweaks be?