Monthly Archives: February 2015

Diet change: Low carb high fat update

It’s been 2 months since I’ve started a new lifestyle of eating a low carb high fat diet. I haven’t stuck to it 100%, but I’ve still noticed a few changes in how my body’s responding.

The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t getting as hungry between meals. Usually I’d just make it to the next meal before starving. Eating a higher fat diet appears to have me feeling fuller for longer, I’m snacking less while eating the same amount during meals.

A contradictory observation is that my weight has increased marginally, by about 3-4%. This could just be due to the lack of training I’ve been doing, but it’s still interesting to note. If I can’t get myself back down to race weight within a few months then I’ll attribute the gain to this change in diet.

Speaking of training, I’m finding that on this sort of diet, my short, high intensity efforts have suffered whilst I find my longer, steadier rides have improved. Again, I’m also not sure how much of this can be attributed to my change in diet, but it makes sense as carbohydrates are a more instantaneous source of power, whereas the release of energy from fats is slower.

Finally, the hardest aspect of this diet would be staying away from the carbs. I really like my fruits, breads, cereals and potato. All of these foods are high in carbs and should normally be avoided on this sort of diet. However I’ve found myself sneaking in some fruit during the day, and rice/potato for dinner, totalling around 3-4 serves of carbs. I should probably avoid these serves, but for someone like me, there are more gains to be made in training. I’m not quite serious enough to stop eating foods I enjoy to try for the marginal gains that could be had from this diet. If you’re not a big fan of these foods it’ll probably be easier for you, but since they were my staple beforehand I’m struggling to cut them out of my diet completely.

So there you have it, on this diet I’m feeling fuller, for longer but have noticed some weight gain and a drop in maximum wattage, but can sustain just below threshold wattages for longer. The weight gain and the wattage drop could be due to my lack of training, only time will tell.

If you have any questions or comments let me know below, thanks for reading :)

Race Report: PACC TwiLITE Summer CX series

After posting about a few road races, USG racing and I thought the cyclocross racing should be getting some coverage. A few days ago, Stacey Riedel raced in round 3 of the PACC TwiLITE CX series. Cross racing is big in Adelaide, and I imagine it’s just as big in Europe, though holding cross in summer leads to very different conditions. Here’s Stacey’s report.

Round 3 of the PACC TwiLITE Summer CX series was held at Park 23, better known as Zombie Park. It was hot and dusty and would be challenging as the first race back after a 2 month break in Cyclocross.

Disorganised and rushing, I arrive at the race 10 minutes before I’m meant to be starting. I collect my numbers and pin them on, then head to the start line. I haven’t ridden the course yet so am not sure what I’ve got in store (I don’t recommend you do this). Mum meets me at the start line and hands me my water bottle for some last minute hydration. It’s hot. 39 degrees in fact.

The A grade women’s field consists of 8 women all ready to race. We receive 30 seconds to go and wait for the count down. GO! No countdown, but we are off. I’m on the outside and try to get a quick start so I can get to the front but I’m pushed to the side and have to back off. The first corner is tight and I take it on the inside and gain a few positions. I’m in about 3rd position and happy with where I’m sitting. The girls are all together and relatively unaggressive at this point in time. Anna Puckridge is leading the field and I’m in 5th position. I get out the saddle and move up. I want to be in front to be able to see the corners and what’s ahead.

We go over undulating grass and take a sharp left onto some looser gravel and dirt towards a sharp steep hill which we need to go up, U-turn, down, U-turn and back up. I’ve done this before, I know I can ride it. I change into my smallest gear and push back in my saddle to get up the hill, I get to the top, turn, and attempt to ride down. I can hear spectators telling the other girls ‘Run! Run! Run!’. What? Run? The course is a bit different to when I’ve previously done it and where the turn around points are situated means I can’t ride it. A bit of chaos as all the girls are dismounting their bikes – some not quite as graceful as others. I jump off my bike as quick as I can and start running. A few girls have passed me and I need to get up with the leaders.

I get out the saddle and sprint after them, and take the next right hand corner quickly to gain some time. I reach Jenny McPherson, arguably the best rider we have in this series, and sit behind her in second wheel. I just stick to her wheel and try not to lose any ground. She’s strong, and powers away from me on the grass section and paved section. I prefer the technical dirt parts.

I chase and try to keep the gap the same, taking corners as fast as possible without crashing and getting out the saddle as I exit them. I know now to run the steep part. I lose a bit of time, missing my pedal when trying to clip in. We’ve done 2 laps and I was sitting in second for both of them.

I glance back and see Gemma Kernich not far behind me and rapidly gaining. Jenny is getting further ahead and Gemma has now caught me and I can feel her sitting behind me. I move to the side hoping she will come past me and she does. I get on her wheel and sit there until we reach the grassy section. Like Jenny, Gemma is far stronger than me on these parts and pulls ahead. 3 laps down and I continue riding as hard as I can, trying to corner well and not lose any time. It’s so hot. I’m sweating and my throat is full of dust. This makes breathing even harder than it already would be.

The gap stays about the same and I try to bring it back but I’m already riding as hard as I can. We receive the bell lap for 1 to go and just as before I try to hang on to my position. I can hear the commentary and Jenny has finished in 1st place. Not long after Gemma finishes and I sprint to the line to get the best time I can, coming in 3rd. I finish and my lungs and chest are burning from breathing in dust for 20 minutes.

I asked her after the race what she made of it;

It was another great course, thanks to PACC, and the girls made it a tough race. Looking forward to the final two rounds of the CXTwiLITE Summer Series!

Thanks for reading, can you imagine racing in these hot and dusty conditions?



Weightweenies forum down again!

Hi all,

Just letting you know that it appears as though the weightweenies forum may not be functioning. We’re doing our best to get it up and running again. The source of the problem is currently unknown.

If you need access to any information on the forum, search the topic on google and view the “cached” version on google. You cannot post, or log in, however you can view the content that was present when google took a snapshot. You should be able to view the posts made before the 3rd of February. Click the “down” arrow to expose more options, a diagram is provided below:

Click the little triangle at the end of the link to view the cached page

Click the little triangle at the end of the link to view the cached page

Your patience is appreciated!

In the meantime you could read through my blog (if you haven’t already) ;)

Race Blog: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

A few days ago (31st of January) the inaugural elite women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was contested. The 116km race was hard fought, with strong winds testing the legs of the elite women. A quality field of 67 started the race, with Rachel Neylan attacking a reduced peloton in the final 8km to take a solo win. After the race, I caught up with Stacey Riedel, a member of team USG to have a chat about the race.

Stacey Riedel (left) with her team mates post race. photo credit: USG Racing Team

Stacey Riedel (right) with her team mates post race. photo credit: USG Racing Team

She tells me a story of hanging on for dear life. This is how the race unfolded for her:

With a top quality field, aggressive teams, high winds, and a tough course, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was bound to be a tough one – and that it was! We rolled out in what was to be a ‘neutral’ section, but involved some jostling for positions to avoid dodgy corners and traffic islands. I made sure I was near the front so I could stay out of trouble and be in a good position for any inevitable attacks.

After about 10kms I moved to the very front of the bunch, and just like that, there was an attack launched from the ORICA girls. The gutter action begun, other riders started chopping wheels for the best positions to stay out of the strong winds. I rode as hard as I could to stay in a good position. The girls were still driving it on the front and everyone was on edge and scrambling for positions. The field was strung out in one big line. My legs and lungs were burning. I was riding as hard as I could just to hold the wheel. 16kms into the race, bang! I heard the awful sound of brakes screeching, bikes piling up and bodies hitting the ground. There was a massive crash just behind me. A lot of girls went down. I hope none of my team mates were involved.

The crash stirred things up and riders were scattered everywhere. A few girls in front of me started dropping the wheel. I need to move up, but the wind is too strong, I can’t bridge the gap. I keep riding, in my drops, big gear, almost chewing my headstem just to try and keep contact with the bunch. I catch 2 other girls and we start working together. As the first few cars of the convoy pass I sprint to get behind them but they accelerate too quickly and I’m by myself again. I can still see the bunch ahead, but I can’t bridge the gap.

My team car finally comes past and slows down just enough for me to get on the back. One of my teammates is there as well. A moment of relief. I’m on the rivet, chasing hard to get back to the bunch. We are straying too far behind and a commissaire tells our DS he needs to move up to the convoy. He accelerates, I get out the saddle in an effort to stay with the car. The other girls who were behind the car are long gone.

I press on. I’m in a big gear and have a good rhythm, even though I’m suffering. Suddenly, the car eases off. We’ve caught up to the convoy! I jump to the next car, and the next, and the next. After all that hard chasing, I finally reach the bunch again. It’s the 2nd bunch, the strong winds and high pace split the field, but I’m back in the race. Our group works well together, everyone is rolling through taking turns. We are diagonal across the road, forming one big echelon. I try to stay out of the wind as much as possible, but keep taking turns to help try and catch the front group. No one likes someone who sits on. The wind is so strong, I’m being blown sideways and having to tense my body and grip my handlebars to stay upright. We are riding along the coast now and the wind is blowing off the shore. ‘Just keep rolling through, stay protected, do your bit’ I’m telling myself. We keep riding. Everyone is struggling.

We turn right and the BMC mens team are standing on the corner cheering us on. A little bit of extra motivation. There is a bit of confusion after the corner. Some girls are saying to roll to the left, some are saying to the right. It takes a while, but we get back into rhythm and are chasing again. We’re still 5 minutes down. It goes on  for a while, echelon, rolling turns, strong winds, suffering.

The start of the QOM. I am really hurting, my breathing is getting bad. I need to calm down. I’m at the back of the group, trying to hold the wheel. It gets steeper, and I get dropped.   I keep my own pace, trying to get into a rhythm and control my breathing. It flattens out. I change into a bigger gear and push harder in the flat section and get myself onto the back of the bunch again. Then it kicks up. 500m to go, and I’m climbing as well as I can, but I get dropped again. I get to the top and my team car comes up beside me and we exchange bidons – empty for full. I work my way back onto the bunch, they have slowed at the top, sorting themselves out with water.

Now the course starts to get lumpy. A small decent, I wish it went longer. We go up again. Each rise, I force myself to hang on. I’m hurting bad, we’re 75km in. Normally a race would be finished about now. Up and down up and down. I miss out a few turns. I can’t afford to keep doing work on the front or I’ll be dropped for good.

There’s another big climb. I’m hanging on the back but half way up I can’t hang on anymore. I drop back a long way. Convoy cars pass me, and I see my team car. Our manager and DS encourage me. ‘Keep going Stace. Get back on’ I sit in behind the car and work my way to the top of the hill. I get back to the bunch, but theres another hill. I’m dropped again. Cars pass. I jump onto the cars and try and use the convoy. I take some deep breaths and go for it again. I jump from car to car and chase my way back to the bunch. I can’t keep doing this. I have to stay with the bunch.

I can’t. I’m pushing myself so much. There are some steep hills now and I’m done. I’m exhausted. I battle just to get over them. Cars keep passing me and eventually I’m at the back of the convoy. My team car stays with me as I’m the first one in my team.  Now it’s just getting through. Not far to go now. Their encouragement really helps me. I’m going a lot faster than I would be without their support. I’m glad; the faster I go, the quicker I finish the race!  The last 4kms and I just hold a tempo to get to the finish line. The atmosphere is incredible. Such big crowds and so much support from them, something you don’t normally get in women’s racing. I cross the line, and that becomes the longest race I have ever done – 116kms of suffering.

Stacey ended up finishing 15 minutes behind the winner. After hearing her ordeal I asked her what she thought about this style of racing, to which she replied

I love it

So there we have it. Hope you enjoyed the read. I’m looking to cover more and more of the local women’s racing, in a similar fashion. If you have any critiques or general comments let me know below.