Melbourne has definitely turned the thermostat down and with those icey winds and low temperatures it is easy to lose momentum in the training department. Fortunately for me I have a large goal this year to keep me motivated so despite the plummeting temperatures I have managed to get myself out and about for 15 training sessions per week. With the big race less than 2 months away I have hit another spike in training and each week I am completing up to 350km on the bike, 58km of running and 15km in the pool. Add to this strength training two times a week and you have one busy schedule!
Last week saw the first race of the winter season roll in – the Brooks Sprint Duathlon series. Many people think triathletes are fair weather trainers but when it comes down to it most of us are crazy enough to train year round. In winter the three modality race is transformed into two modalities: Run – Bike – Run. I myself had never competed in a duathlon so last weekend was quite nerve wracking for me but, to be honest, the prospect of running twice really excited me!
Not knowing what to expect I asked fellow triathlete and sports dietician Margs for advice and her wise words echoed in my head during the first run leg “Don’t go out too hard on the first run or you will blow up on the ride!”. Coming from a run background I got a bit of white line fever on that start line and not wanting to be beaten in my favourite leg of the event I punched out a personal best of 17:44 for the first 5km run (that’s an average of 3:33 per km) and when stormed into transition as first placed female.
After 20km on the bike I had lost two places and was sitting in third – fair to say I wondered if I had gone out too hard on that run!! But as I entered transition again I could see the second female in front of me and I knew we had a race on our hands! I knew I had to dig deep and with coach Ollie screaming at me from the side lines “the girl in blue is your target!!!” I put myself in the hurt locker and managed an 11:17 for 3km and was comfortably in first place by the 2.5km mark.
For someone so used to endurance racing, the sprint distance certainly proved challenging but I dug deep and gained the reward of taking out overall female and first in my age group. Safe to say the sprint legs are still there!! A huge congratulations to Margs from Fuel Right Nutrition who came 2nd in the 30-35 age group – that winter training is certainly paying off!
And so the build to Canada continues and this week I am back into long hours and looking forward to the challenges ahead. Now more than ever I need to keep my eye on my nutrition or I won’t be able to recover between sessions and with winter well and truly here to stay, I need to keep on top of my health and avoid those nasty colds that are circulating Melbourne! It is easy to fall into the trap of comfort food in winter but this year I have enlisted the advice of two specialists in dietetics. Margs from Fuel Right Nutrition is a fellow triathlete who understands the demands of training on the body so I keep my eye on her Facebook page for recipe ideas and updates into the latest diet trends. Here is one of my favourites – beef burgers with sweet potato buns -so delicious it almost feels naughty!!
So until next time, don’t let winter turn you away from the great outdoors, it may be cold but it is definitely refreshing to get out and train in the crisp Melbourne weather. Plus we all know that summer bodies are made in winter – blink and you will miss it, as spring will be here before we know it!
Spicy Beef Burgers with Sweet Potato Buns
- 500g Beef mince (grass fed ideally)
- 1 Brown Onion (chopped – I blitzed mine in the food processor)
- 1-2 teaspoons minced Garlic
- 2 Eggs (free range)
- 1/4 cup Almond Meal
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- Salt (I used Himalayan Pink salt) and Pepper to taste
- 2 Sweet Potato’s (chopped in to chunks)
- Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius
- Lightly fry onion and garlic on a pan, until soft
- Transfer in to a large mixing bowl, along with the beef mince, eggs, almond meal, spices, salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients together
- Once all ingredients are well mixed, form the mixture in to the shape of burgers
- Fry burgers on a pan until brown on both sides
- Transfer on to a baking tray lined with baking paper
- Place in the oven and cook for a further ~25min or until well done
- Meanwhile, boil sweet potato in a large pot, add salt and pepper to taste
- Once the sweet potato is soft, drain the water, add some butter to taste and mash the sweet potato
- Once the burgers are cooked, serve with the ‘sweet potato buns’ (see picture)
Serve with a side salad (we had spinach and capsicum, drizzled with Hemp Oil) & Enjoy!