Devon Indoor Champs – ‘failed’ already. #indoorrowing

Failed is a bit harsh. But it looks like I’ll be racing in my first ever heavyweight competition tomorrow, as I’m going to fail a lightweight weigh in.

That said, I weighed myself this morning, and it came out at 75.8kg. So I’m sure I can easily lose that .8 by not eating much today, not eating anything in the morning, and then sweating out what’s left with a 5K row.

But on the 23rd July, when I decided I was healthy and injury free enough to put my body through not only some intense training (more in a sec) but also go into the eating structure needed to be able to drop back to LWT from the current 81Kg I was at – I promised myself I wouldn’t do it destructively.

And by destructively, I mean unhappily. Not that I’d be too miserable if I did all this for tomorrow’s race, but I know the toll it would take on my body – and know even more the lasting effects of that toll.

The frustration is, that there’s a good chance that by NEXT weekend, I’ll be at 75Kg (as long as I don’t go too mad after the race on Saturday night with beer and burgers!) so in the end, I just left it a week too late for the starting gun on getting back into shape and form again.

It’s not that I’m not giving respect to the Devon Indoor Champs – the thought did cross my mind that I wasn’t taking it seriously by not crashing down to weight – but as I’m only 6 or 7 weeks into my recovery, it’s not the time to over-do things and go back to where I was (see previous posts!)

The next race after this one (as long as you don’t include CTC / FMMC / IRL) is the Scottish Indoor Champs in November. Which, apart from a blip when I go on holiday in October, should be ok when it comes to weight. And that’s the one I want to focus on after performing unsatisfactorily last year.

At this point, I realise you may be interested enough in my journey to wonder what I’ve been doing the past 7 weeks. Two things:

  1. Watching how much food I’m eating
  2. A bespoke training plan from Sam Blythe focussing on just the 1K.

Both of these parts have worked together perfectly. Watching what I’m eating has not only been the most important part of losing weight – but has also been vital when it comes to giving me the energy to train.

Even though I’m on a Calorie Deficit diet in order to lose weight, by needing to make smart choices about what I eat in order to keep to my calorie goal, it means I’m not over-burdening my body with bad stuff. And by bad stuff, I mostly mean sugar.

And by sugar, I mostly mean cake / chocolate / biscuits / ice cream / alcohol – you know, all the fun stuff! But it’s been easy – weekends being the toughest, as it’s hard to be too structured when eating with the family.

Usually, my days go like this:

  1. Breakfast – two coffees (with milk and 1 sugar) 60g rolled oats, 100ml whole milk with a teaspoon of sugar
  2. Lunch – chicken breast, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber – Nando’s peri peri marinade
  3. Dinner – varies – but usually some kinda of chicken / salmon / pasta / rice
  4. Snacks – protein shake with powdered peanut butter and a banana in it – and a home made protein bar (which is around 200 Kcal)

All of that usually adds up to around 2200 Kcal a day. How many should I have been eating? Well, although I said I was only eating healthily and training for rowing, I’ve also been following a weights plan (light) that I got when I paid for some training with David Kingsbury – the guy who trained Hugh Jackman to look like Wolverine. (So a good reference!) part of this was a calorie calculator to address exactly what I needed when it came to how much food to eat:

From that, I worked out that in order to lose 1lb a week, I needed to eat 1900Kcal a day. And that included around 200Kcal of exercise too. So if I ate any more than 1900Kcal, I’d have to work it off. But, the training plan I was doing with Sam meant I was regularly hitting around 700Kcal a day on the activity trackers. Allowing for how wildly inaccurate they are, that meant I was ok eating 2200kcal a day. And to be fair, I HAVE lost 11lbs in 7 weeks.

And as I said above, the weird thing was that rather than feeling tired and sluggish from not taking in the amount of calories I was burning, because the food I was eating was mostly healthy – not over processed – not over burdened with sugar – it meant I always had the energy for the rowing sessions. I may have been knackered by the end of the day, but I was never too tired for rowing.

And the training has been working too. When I started, my 1K time was 3:15 – and although I’ll not be sure until tomorrow after the race (14:00 UK time) – I’d hope that I’ve got it down to at least 3:10. It doesn’t sound like much, but in the world of 1K – 5 seconds is a huge leap for me!

So we’ll see how tomorrow goes, regardless of my result I’ll make sure to celebrate tomorrow night – and then get back into the happy swing of things and keep aiming for the @ScottishRowing championships at the end of November.

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