The official physio diagnosis is in. Thankfully my back injury isn’t quite as bad as it was in September, but I’m looking at 4 – 6 weeks of intensive physio exercises before I’m back to full strength. Racing starts in less than 3 weeks so er, no pressure then!
My physio summed up my body by basically saying I’m the type of the person who uses it or looses it….lucky me! I’ve committed to doing my physio exercises 5 – 6 days a week, slotted in around a full time job and training. It’s not fun, its time consuming, there’s a lot of teeth gritting as my muscles scream at me in protest, and tiring, – but as Greg Henderson said: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you are tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.” That’s my moto for the next 3 weeks as I’m determined to be standing on the start line of my first race stronger than I am now.
This means less time in general so I’m relying heavily on eating well and sleeping well to make sure I can train and recover properly. I’m very grateful to Team 22 for providing me with access to a nutritionist to help me get to race weight without sacrificing my health, immune system or training. What was interesting is that she suggested I wasn’t replacing enough sodium in my diet, which brings me onto how I’m getting on with Osmo Nutrition.
I’m continuing to test the products, and in order to note any changes, I’m slowing trying the products rather than simply adding everything in one go.
I started off with 2 bottles of Active Hydration for the first 2 days of our training camp in Lanzarote. The heat and super strong wind weren’t my usual riding condition, nor was 4-5 hours each day. I noticed a difference when drinking Osmo in terms of how I felt on the bike – when I’m not hydrated properly I notice my breathing is laboured, I feel a bit like I’m panting like a dog! It comes in Mango flavour, which is very subtle and natural tasting – that’s because real fruit is used.
After I’d finished the 1st bottle, this dehydrated feeling disappeared and I felt good. By the end of the second bottle, I was feeling brilliant. The real food in my pocket worked well – bananas, corn cakes with peanut butter and dates. After the 2 bottles were gone, I switched to just water and plain electrolytes for the remainder of the ride. I finished day 2 with sore legs.
Day 3 dawned. A gorgeous 26 degrees (a far cry from the near 0 temperatures at home!), but still ridiculously windy. I sipped on Osmo Pre-Load during breakfast, excepting it to be salty and disgusting but I was really surprised at how nice it tastes – very tropical.
After 2 days in the saddle battling with the strong head wind, I was expecting tired legs and some resistance from my body. I’d also eaten oats a few days before, and was having my usual reaction of hives and stomach issues which doesn’t loan itself to good performance on the bike.
I was really surprised to feel amazing from the second I started riding. I followed this up with Active Hydrate in every bottle I drank (around 4 750ml bottles for a 5 hour ride). I finished the ride really strongly, feeling good up a 20% climb near the end – and even wanting to ride further! Most impressively though, I was 100% hydrated.
After a day of full on restit was time to get back on the bike and try out Pre-Load again. Normally I hate the day after rest days – my legs feel bad, like they are full of fluid and I never normally perform my best until they have been turned over. Like day 3, from the second I swung my legs over the bike I felt great. Again, all my bottles contained Active Hydrate and once again, I finished my ride 100% hydrated after a hot 5 hours in the saddle.
Its not a scientific lab test, but a personal reflection of what I’ve found and compared to other training camps where I’ve relied on water and electrolytes, bars, gels and cake stops. My overall fatigue and leg tiredness when using Osmo products was next to none, and it was much easier to remain hydrated.
Back in reality, my training has ramped up but it’s all still mostly turbo or rollers based until the nights are lighter. Instead of my usual electrolytes and water mix, I’ve been using Active Hydrate, nailing my interval session as part of a 4 hour ride and finishing hydrated despite having sweated tons due to being over dressed. When I did this with just electrolytes and water, I finished dehydrated.
I’ve tried the Acute Recovery too, but not often enough to judge it. However, the taste is simply amazing – honey and spice! Mixed with almond milk its creamy and spicy goodness. What I like even better about it is that Osmo say caffeine helps aid recovery – so its a good excuse (not that i need one, being a complete coffee fan and geek!) to add a shot of espresso to my recovery drink! Next weeks training is looking pretty evil and I’m going to try all 3 products as I would if I was racing – but the very exciting addition is that my power meter has arrived so I’m going to be training to power from now on. Woop !