‘Cross diary 24: I charge upApril 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Posted in cycling | 2 Comments
Tags: advice, beginner, biking, cross, cycling, cyclocross, diary, enhancing, performance
I just found out I’m a doper. That’s right, me. Doped to the EYEBALLS. WIRED on the latest candidate for PED status. Nope, not GWR4920 (though getting a lift on that would certainly move me up a few Strava leaderboards). I’m out of my MIND on thyroxine. This, of course, explains why I BURST onto the CX scene last season from NOWHERE and, er, well. Yeah.
Thyroxine definitely improves my performance, mostly because I have an underactive thyroid and tend to fall asleep at 4pm without it. So I’ve got a note, and everything.
However, now I’ve Crossed The Line, I feel fully qualified to start dishing out advice on performance-enhancing substances. Here is my list of tried-and-tested supplements to give you that competitive edge.
- Ibuprofen. Best taken after CX training sessions, as it dulls the pain of the bruises from practising those pesky remounts.
- Vitamins. These are EXTREMELY important for effective recovery. An apple should do it.
- Coffee. Sadly, I can’t personally vouch for the effects of caffeine ingestion on performance, as I gave up drinking proper coffee last year. (Me: God, these HEADACHES. I can hardly SEE. Boyf: Maybe it’s the coffee? Me: Don’t be daft. It can’t be the coffee. (It was.)) However, the psychological boost of downing a couple of (fake) espressos before charging over to the start line is not to be underestimated. Especially if you do it while wearing your Rapha top, squinting slightly against the sunlight.
- Music. A bit of jolly salsa in the car on the way to a race can put you in the mood (or, alternatively, enable you to kid yourself that you’re going to be fine, and you really can’t possibly need another wee). More importantly, persuading the kids to sing LET’S BAKE A CAKE! at the tops of their voices all the way home will stop you falling asleep at the wheel after all the Trying Hard you’ve been doing.
- Beconase. If you’re lucky, you’ll have got rid of that lingering cold just in time for hayfever season to start. Ventolin might be frowned on, but a crafty snort of Beconase lets you tackle the grassiest summer ‘cross courses without fear.
- Sedatives. Alcohol is not recommended on race day itself, but if you’re haunted by memories of last year’s Brighouse course, a bottle of Rioja and a couple of whisky chasers will help you get to sleep the night before you tackle it this year.
- Protein supplements. Well, you can’t have a nice bottle of Rioja without a bit of cheese, can you?
- BreatheRight strips. These are ESSENTIAL for optimal performance. Attach one to your partner’s nose, and get a decent pre-race night’s sleep for once.