In my professional life I’ve been referred to as a ‘knowledge sl4g’ by a customer in the past.  Not a fantastic compliment, however, what they meant is that I am inquisitive and I don’t stop asking questions.  Why not?  I like asking questions and learning new things.  For those that are closer to me, they know this of me too.

Recently I’ve heavily got into books.  I’ve never been a bookworm, however, right now I need shares in Amazon Prime, as we’re getting deliveries of books on a daily basis.  In addition to this, I love Podcasts and Audio Books.  I travel 50 minutes to a swimming pool and work every morning.  I also have the same journey home so it’s an awesome opportunity to listen to the Podcasts and Audio Books.  My day job also involves travelling to London once or twice a week and the train journeys (2hrs each way) also provide me with a similar opportunity, but that coupled with the tube, gives me plenty of time to read books too.

I tend to have 3-4 books on the go at any one time and keep one with me in the car, one in my work bag, one in the lounge and one in the bedroom.  That way I’ve always a book with me wherever I am.

One thing I am not, is a procrastinator (however, I do live with an Inspiring Procrastinator but that’s another blog entirely).  I get stuff done.  I can take action and just do.  Which is amazing, but the down side being it’s often without any thought.  Often without thinking of the consequences.  Literally in the moment.  This is one of the reasons I needed a coach.  I needed the SATNAV, the guidance system to get me successfully from A – 2 – B.  It’s been successful so far, but now…

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!

Some may say I’m faddy but I don’t quite agree with that, but recently my readings and the Podcasts I’ve been listening to have led me down the Plant Based road.  After watching the amazing documentary that is Cowspiracy, listening to several podcasts and reading a lot more, I decided to ditch the meat and rely heavily on plants. Great in theory… Great in practice, but not great timing.

So approximately 6 weeks ago I simply cut dairy and meat out of my diet and carried on eating as I was.  Yes I increased the level of lentils and pulses, beans etc. but I didn’t increase the level of plants/greens I was consuming.

For the past 6 weeks there’s been little impact to my day to day life.  I feel fitter than I’ve ever been, I feel faster than I’ve ever been and my training has been awesome.  So why’s it all so bad?

Last Saturday I received a message from my coach asking me if I’d like to change my Sunday ride to an FTP (Functional Threshold Pace) test.  I jumped at the change and was expecting to be in the 260-270 Watts.

On the morning of the test I felt great and was really looking forward to it.  I started the 20min warm up and as I felt good I pushed it.  In hindsight, I pushed a little too much.  I then started the 20min test and very quickly knew I was not going to pushing the Watts I was expecting.  It was then I was looking in the mirror (not a vanity thing) I noticed that my arms were much smaller than they’d been for a long time.  I’d definitely lost lean muscle mass.  It took a lot of self-talk to get through the full test.  I was pushing hard mentally but my legs were on their own.  There was nothing there.

I was not happy.  I can honestly say that’s been my lowest point since starting on the triathlon journey.  I’ve even started CrossFit to increase my power.  I wasn’t great company immediately after and for that reason I wanted to speak to Simon.  Shortly after I’d finished my test Simon messaged asking how it went.  I asked if I could call and he made himself available.  When I told him the result he was as surprised as I was.  He said there must be an anomaly and then we continued to talk through the past 6 weeks.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!

So here they are…

Talk to your coach about everything! (if you’re lucky enough to have on that gives a sh1t)

Simon and I have a weekly call scheduled weekly.  In addition to this I see Simon              at least 3 times a week at the swimming pool and we often have breakfast or a coffee.  Not once have I thought of talking this through or even mentioning this to Simon.  This is not intentional it just didn’t happen.  This is the reason I have a coach!! To talk through choices and decisions like this.  It may still have resulted in the same outcome but Simon would have been aware of this and could have monitored this in my training.  I suspect making this decision at the beginning of the season wasn’t a great decision so perhaps it would have been looked at post my A race in September.

Record your metrics and use the Post Activity comments

I’ve not been updating with comments or recording metrics such as stress level, health, motivation or sleep.  If I had we could have looked back together and assess whether there have been other factors that have also added to this poor performance.  Up until now, it’s always been an inconvenience… because I’ve never needed to look back.  Now I do, I see the importance of it.

Do your research

Before you make hasty decisions, talk to people, research the pants off things.  In future if I do look at this approach and change my lifestyle to plant based, I will speak to people that have made the change and have adopted this as their way of life, and that train.  I will find out what and how much and how often they eat.

All that said, I will still continue to read and adopt approaches that I think may benefit me.  I will still listen to those people I respect via audio books, podcasts, Social Media and in person.  I will just learn from my mistakes and keep those around me informed.

My coach has been invaluable to me and I’m now in the process of choosing a mentor to complement this and further my development.

Thanks for reading!