Less Than 6 Months to Tokyo

Less Than 6 Months to Tokyo

This post is a little more personal than normal but I wanted to share. Each time I take a short break from training to rest and recover, I’m finding it harder and harder to switch back in to my usual healthy eating regime, when it is time to get back to it. My break ended a few weeks ago now but I’m still craving things I should be avoiding. I never used to find this difficult, but I’m becoming more aware of how much I enjoy to eat good food and accompany a nice meal with a glass of wine.

Five years ago I would laugh at someone if they had suggested me to be a wine drinker. I hated the stuff. However, ever since going to South Africa on our honeymoon and getting the chance to sample lots of different wines, I discovered that I do actually really enjoy certain types, it just needs to be the right one. The other week I went out for lunch at one of my favourite Manchester restaurants, Six by Nico, and found myself feeling very jealous of the table next to me who were having the matching wines with the meal. Neil and I did this on our last break from training and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I really wanted to join in again. I did however employ my will power and stayed strong. After all, it is now less than 6 months until Tokyo. That means it is less than 180 days until I will have competed and then I can have the freedom to eat and drink what I want for a much longer time.

Wine tasting on my honeymoon in South Africa.

Its a really small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. I have all my life to enjoy good food and wine, but I will never get the opportunity to relive these next six months of training. I need to make sure the time from now until the Paralympics enable me to perform at my best on race day. This doesn’t mean I will be denying myself anything unhealthy for the next six months. I will just be ensuring I make healthy and sensible choices the majority of the time. 

I have spoken on several occasions now about the importance of mental health as well as physical health for performance. My head needs to be in a happy place in order for me to be physically capable of going fast. In order for this to happen, there are days when I will need to cut myself some slack and eat comfort food, but there are also days now when I will need to employ will power and ask myself, do I really want this now or can it wait until post-Tokyo? 

Post-Rio became a bit of a mantra 4 years ago and I guarantee post-Tokyo will become the same. Looking forward to things that I will enjoy definitely helps me get through the toughest training sessions. Its why I like to plan in nice things for after major races. We had Paris after worlds this year, a short break up to Scotland after road worlds last year and of course our wedding and honeymoon post-Rio in 2016. Post-Tokyo we have already booked a holiday to Canada and America, including a cruise down the east coast from Vancouver to San Francisco, which I can guarantee will involve lots of good food and wine. Until then I know I can curb my enjoyment because my cycling performance means so much and I will enjoy the holiday more if I am happy with my personal performance in Tokyo. I want to ensure that I have no regrets when I have finished racing, so it really is time to knuckle down.

Yes I will still have the odd slice of cake, yes I will still treat myself to some chocolate and yes I will still go out for the occasional meal. However it won’t be as regular, alcohol will not be involved, there will be less cheese,  and I will balance it out by making healthy selections whenever possible. Food is so much more than fuel to me, it makes me happy. Fortunately eating healthy food also makes me happy, so I know that I can do this. It is less than six months to go now and I am excited. Lets see what we are capable of.

Thank you for reading and speak soon.


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