This morning to keep the same theme of part one of this blog, I rode to the same café after a visit to the bike shop. (Café coppa, one of our latest Dublin top fives)
The weather is mint and I’ve just had my scrambled eggs avocado.
You see, sitting in the city centre at 8 am on a Monday morning drinking a cup of Joe is the perfect place to talk about stress, because it’s everywhere!
They looked at me in my kit almost with an air of disgust.
“Stupid lack of a job cyclist, sitting there in his lycra”.
Fair enough! But I was happy out sitting there with my eggs.
“Ahhhh Jesus Martin, It’s hard to believe its fu*king Monday again already…”
Anyway in a game of stress management everyone is unique and not everyone responds to stress in the same way.
Whether pro, amateur or you ride your bike once a week, it all comes down to stress and how it’s managed.
You need to learn how much is enough and find that balance yourself.
You see, a certain amount of stress i.e. that from training is completely necessary for adaptations to occur.
But there is a limit.
Here’s what I told my friend of a friend.
He needs to reduce the stress in his lifestyle and here are some methods to do so!
1. Sleep more – (He slept 4-6 hours a night)
You should try and shoot for 8 hours; if you have a busy lifestyle with a lot of moving parts, sleep is one of the pivotal components your progression. It’s our number one natural ‘ergogenic aid’.
2. Shorter higher intensity sessions – (Trained predominantly aerobic)
Start some shorter more intense training styles and throw your body into some different forms of training. The shock will do it good! HIIT sessions will have you at a higher state of metabolism for hours post session.
3. Don’t skip breakfast and increase quantity of protein- (Eats cereal and toast)
Ok, I won’t lie. I’m partial to an occasional bowl of coco pops. But the key is ‘occasional’. My body never knows what I’m going to swallow and this keeps it on its toes.
Add that bit of protein! (It’s not always about the ‘sweet gains’)
Protein stimulates (HGH) Human growth hormone and testosterone (Naturally) which helps counteract the cortisol.
4. Separate meals- (eats two huge meals a day and snacks on crap in the evening)
This is a biggy! People talk on about lack of time etc. But I don’t listen to be honest. It takes a bit of forward planning and a lack of laziness to prep your meals frankly. Shoot for 5 smaller meals a day, with a portion of protein with each meal.
Allow yourself the treat-
Don’t mentally torture yourself about the piece of chocolate! Eat it. But have a square! Get someone to hide the rest to avoid smashing the bar. Remove temptation by ridding the press full of crap food in the kitchen.
Find your ‘de-stressor’ –
For me it’s a stretch or if I’m feeling social a yoga session – other times I ride to the café and read the paper or a book on the weekend.
You need to be kind to yourself, the more you limit the crappy stress in your life the more of the beneficial stress you can elicit through proper training.
Now for a peddle along the coast!