Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Nutrition the great debate - Brett Sutton

"I couldn’t give a toss if they are the ‘correct’ calories for you. I’m in the business of getting the job done and I guarantee if you adhere to the top 3 points you’re always going to have a bonk-free race."

Brett Sutton

I loved this article after reading it, its very refreshing. From someone who defiantly overlooks nutrition it was a very beneficial article to read!


The Weight Debate: Nutrition and Ironman

I’ve been asked at least three times since Kona about specific athletes and the impact that their weight, or lack thereof, had on their poor performances. While I won’t single out athletes publicly in regards to this issue, I do hope to address it more broadly for those who have concerns about how it impacts on their own training regimes.
Firstly, let me make clear that nutrition and race weight matters. A lot. I’ve copped my fair share of misinformed criticism on this subject, but the fact remains you don’t train 50+ Ironman winners without more than a basic understanding of race day fuel strategies. Indeed, before Kona I advised the Angry Bird that some athletes (men and women) wouldn’t present the threat they had in previous years given their impressively ripped, but in my opinion seriously underweight frames.
Race nutrition doesn’t start on race day. How you eat on a regular basis is more critical to your race day performance than what you actually consume on the day itself.
When training for Ironman a lack of fat in your normal day-to-day eating plan is a very big negative. I know it and I’ve seen it too many times not to.
Over the years this has led to some pretty unorthodox strategies to get people to eat. For example, it’s long been reported about how I used to visit Chrissie to make sure she ate her chocolates or cheese. I used to buy Andrew Johns two cheesecakes a week. Reto Hug was another one who always needed to keep the weight up. More recently there was the Angry Bird tweeting a picture holding a 10kg piece of cheese that I asked her to eat by the time she left Cozumel for Kona.
Broken down to their lowest level, calories, whether classed as the ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ type are burnable fuel. And given the level of training Ironman athletes do at the top end of the sport they need a lot of fuel.
Now some athletes understand how important this is and concede to my wishes about consuming fat. Others go along with it because even though they don’t agree, they realise ‘he is the coach and he seems to get results’. Finally, there are some who are just so desperate to have a six pack that they flat out refuse, no matter what impact it has on performance.
So yes, for certain athletes when I know the fight is not going to be worth the effort I step away from the nutrition area and let them do their own thing. Some end up doing a great job, others would be better sticking to the chocolate.
What I won’t stand for though is being criticised for not falling in with whatever is the latest nutritionist’s view on the ‘correct food-formula’ or for not being ‘amazed’ by this season’s new wham-bam energy goo that pumps up how performance enhancing it is. They come and go. Always have, always will.
The complete hypocrisy of the ‘tri-fad’ nutrition bandwagon is best illustrated with an example:
In 1991 I used to advise many athletes to train on chocolate milk. 1991! As you can imagine the ‘experts’ in the tri community took great pleasure in laughing at, mocking and ridiculing what was obviously the stupidest piece of nutritional advice imaginable. 23 years later and under the full sanction of the WTC what better product for recovery than chocolate milk? Just ask Rinnie and Crowie.
So yes, I do have to roll my eyes at a lot of the nutrition ‘gurus’ who turn up with no record of successful athletes and then dismiss me as a Neanderthal. It’s been happening for decades. Just as I roll my eyes when I have to listen to previously very successful (now less so) ex-athletes who say ‘he just doesn’t get food. He doesn’t have a food plan.’ After I continually harped on them about how ‘your diet needs more fat in it. More fats please’ only to be told ‘my nutritionist thinks your wrong and knows best what I need on race day.’
I realise it’s very comforting to think that the nutrition ‘experts’ have this worked out to a fine science. That you can leave your race diet to their capable hands without having to worry about it. It just ain’t the case. Like many specific sciences, the ‘science’ itself may work in the laboratory but is totally flawed when applied to the real world. There are just so many interconnected things that need to be considered to achieve the desired result. That the athlete is physically and pshycologically comfortable with what they’re consuming needs to be considered above all else.
Nutrition aside, what’s most important to your race is the thought process under pressure. You can have all your ‘perfect nutrition’ laid out and prepared, but because of a failure to think clearly under pressure you may decide to run past an aid station. Maybe you drop some food or make a snap decision because ‘I don’t need it’.
While you may be able to get away with errors like this in a 70.3, in the big show, a full Ironman, any chance of a good performance can be finished in that little 10 second window when you were making the ‘will I or won’t I’ decision. If you make a mistake with your nutrition it also takes not just clear thinking but courage to play defence and correct your error.
For those who one day want to go to Kona, learning how to get your mentality right in those situations is 10 times more valuable to you than what’s in your bar or gel.
So in conclusion, I’m happy to let my competitors rave on about how important the latest nutrition advances are so they can carry on sounding knowledgeable as coaches. I also pay little respect to the food doctors that don’t coach but sell their expertise on what is best for an athlete without even knowing them.
But for a simpleton like me I place my focus on 3 things:
1) Drilling people to make the correct decisions under pressure.
2) Knowing the amount of calories you need per hour.
3) Taking those calories in food stuffs and in ways that you are both physically and psychologically comfortable with.
I couldn’t give a toss if they are the ‘correct’ calories for you. I’m in the business of getting the job done and I guarantee if you adhere to the top 3 points you’re always going to have a bonk-free race.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Chocolate orange, Gluten free cake: Delicious Alchemy @4GlutenFreeFood

Chocolate orange, Gluten free cake: 


Wow, what a fantastic cake mix from Delicious Alchemy , they have produced a very simple and effective way to make a delicious gluten free cake (which fits the bill for me). What a fantastic success, and it was a very simple and easy thing to follow, you can add whatever you like to the mixture (although don't add anything with gluten in it or that sorta defeats the object of the whole gluten free cake!) I will be going back and look forward to meeting the people behind the cake at the Good Food Show in a couple of weeks time.

Instructions are on the packet as followed:

You’ll need

1 x 400g Delicious Alchemy vanilla sponge cake mix
180g of soft unsalted butter or dairy free alternative
3 large eggs
20ml water

To bake as a cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C for fan-assisted ovens. Grease and line the base of two 20cm (8 inch) round cake tins with greaseproof paper.Put the cake mix, soft butter (or dairy free alternative), eggs and water into a bowl. Beat together with an electric whisk for 15 secs. Stop, scrape down the bowl and mix for a further 10 secs. Divide the mixture between the two tins and spread into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 mins (although I did cook for a little longer, more like 30-35mins 160, I also covering it with tin foil so it didn't brown anymore, this was due to too much bounce in the center of the cake), until lightly golden brown and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out and leaving to cool completely.  Fill and decorate as you like.

The cake turned out delicious, I added chocolate orange segemnts to give it more of a Christmas twist. I then finished it off with chocolate icing in the middle of the sandwich and then also added chocolate drizzle over the top. 


Typical ValuesPer 100gPer 65g serving
- of which saturates0.2g8.4g
- of which sugars50.0g16.8g

They also boast a great range of gluten free breakfast options. These are sure to be worth a try and I will certainly be giving them a go after the success of the cake mix. 


New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Purely Oaty Fruity Muesli
New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Purely Oaty Fruity MuesliAn innovative and delicious muesli, simply indistinguishable from alternatives containing gluten. (click image for more information)

New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Rice Flake Porridge
New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Rice Flake PorridgeThis wheat, gluten and dairy free porridge is made using especially milled rice flakes to create a smooth, oat-like porridge. (click image for more information)
New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Rolled Oats
New Delicious Alchemy Gluten Free Rolled OatsDelicious Alchemy are now able to offer rolled oats that are guaranteed gluten free. (click image for more information)

Monday, 17 November 2014

Chia Charge protein bar review

Chia Charge protein bars are brand new and have just been released and they don't even have an official wrapper. They are the newest development from a fantastic company who already boast one of the tastiest gluten free natural bars on the market.

20 Box Chia Charge Flapjacks + 2 FREE Protein Bars

The Flapjack they already produce is available in two flavors and is delicious, it contains 350 calories of buttery,salty, oaty and chia packed recovery and fuel. It is perfect for an on the go energy/recovery hit.

The Protein bar is also extremely tasty and also gluten free and all natural. It has 20g of protein per bar and 40g of carbs. The taste is perfect and very easy on the stomach. It is a fantastic recovery bar and is a good balance of protein to carbs. I found the main advantage with the bar is that is it completely natural, no recurring stomach issues of any kind.
Personally I would like to see a little less carbs in the bar and less sugars, but these are carbs fro fruit and all natural so are not quite the same and after training your boy does crave these kind of nutrients so it is justified.

On a whole great developed bar and well worth a try!


Ingredients: Cashews, sultanas, cranberries (cranberries, pineapple juice ), dates, soya protein isolate, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cacao powder, goji berries, cacao nibs, vegetable glycerine, cacao butter, sea salt flakes.

per 50g barper 100g
of which sugars16g32g
of which saturates2g4g

Sunday, 9 November 2014

GF - Quinoa Breakfast bars. (been a while since I have added a new recipe)

 Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 18-22  minutes       

Quinoa Breakfast Bars


- 150g qunioa 
-100g butter
-2 eggs 

- 50g figs
- 50g appicots
-50g dates-1tsp cinnamon 
-50g chopped cashews
- 50g brazil nuts
-50g almonds 
-50g pumpkin seeds
-1tbsp vanilla extract
(you can add what you like tbh)


- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C 
- Mix butter, vanilla and two whisked eggs (it wont all combine that well but it will work promise), then add the qunioa (you will still have lumps of butter, just make sure they are smallish).
-Then add the fruit and nuts and mix well untill everything is covered and combines through (wet and dry).
- Put into tin (greased or lined with baking parchment), squash down tight with spoon till compact in baking tin. 
-Cook for about 18-22 mins until cooked through 
- Leave to cool 
-Slice and eat  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Visit to Pulsin and Beyond

I was recently offered the chance to visit the HQ of one of my sponsors (Pulsin and beond) and I jumped at the chance to see how things worked behind the scenes. It was a pleasure to visit the site where everything happens and just take a look at what Pulsin are about, what they aim to do and how they carry this out. 

I was able to take a look at everything that happens at the Pulsin HQ, from packaging to shipping, manufacturing and even the ordering process. It was a pleasure to meet a lot of the staff members and paint a picture to names of people I have been dealing with. Pulsin are a company that have grown from strength to strength in recent years and are growing month on month. Things are looking exciting and going very well for the company who will certainly be pushing for more space on shelves in many shops soon enough.....

I was also able to take some samples of the beond range that is also available. These are more of a nutritional snack available for all the family and aimed at children. These were great tasting and are available in a range of different flavors. My Favorite was certainly the organic raw choc bar, it is simply delicious!

This bar is scrumptious, its flavorsome and moreish. But I do love blueberries! 

Possibly my least favorite of the five, but still very tasty. 

One for the fruit lovers, it packs lots of different flavors into one single bite.

Loved the fruity punch it has and enjoyed the tickly flavor. 

This bar is cocolaty and you can just eat and eat them, so glad they are healthy!

Beond Organic Snack BarsOur natural and organic beond bars come in a range of tantalizing flavours, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.
Now available in bite size as well as full size, beond bars fit neatly into your handbag or lunchbox, for a guilt-free treat that's low in fat, low GI and bursting with goodness.
One beond bar gives you 1 of your 5 a day.

Great article on protein and the benefits it can have on your body by eating more than 30g after exercise.


Grilled salmon - TFX
Is there really a limit to the amount of protein your body can use in a single sitting? If you eat more than six ounces of meat, are you wasting money? Does a little “extra” protein really turn to fat?
Protein provides a significant number of health benefits, but many people fail to realize these benefits because of myths surrounding this nutrient. One of myths is the all-to-often quoted statement that “you can only use 30 grams of protein in a meal.”
What does that mean from a logical standpoint? Those who eat a gram per pound body weight each day would be forced to eat four to eight times per day, depending on body weight! That’s a lot of meals! What an inconvenience!
Fortunately, you can eat more than 30 grams. No, the extra probably won’t turn to fat, and no, it won’t be hard on your kidneys (unless you have a pre-existing kidney disease).
I came across a recent research paper from the journal Clinical Nutrition titled Is there a Maximal Anabolic Response to Protein Intake With a Meal? which addresses the 30 gram myth.[[i] It also covered the benefits of eating more protein in general.
Before delving into the summary of the research paper, I want to point out what I’m referring to when I use the term “protein” or “high-quality protein.” I tend to use them interchangeably.
The quality is determined by the amount of essential amino acids compared to the total amount of protein in a food. Animal-based foods tend to be the highest in quality, with whey and eggs topping the list.
Some plant based proteins rank high, such as soy (though it’s quite a controversial protein source) or combinations of plant proteins like rice and pea.
Most people could  benefit from increasing their intake, but that doesn’t mean all foods labeled as “high protein” are good choices. Many processed foods now have a label claim of high in protein, but they’re often low quality foods. The protein amount usually isn’t very high anyway.


At any given time, your body is building some tissues up and tearing other tissues down. Tissue breakdown is called catabolism and tissue growth is called anabolism.
Exercise could be considered a catabolic activity because, when performed at proper intensity levels, it causes some tissue damage.
The recovery process is ideally anabolic, because in the hours and days following a training session, the body secretes hormones and uses nutrients to repair and rebuild the damaged tissues. Once recovered, those tissues should be stronger than they were before.
Consuming protein is not the only factor that affects whether someone recovers or not, but when protein levels are too low, there aren’t enough amino acids to carry out the recovery process. The only solution is to rob amino acids from other tissues in the body.
When people exercise excessively or are too restrictive in their diet, they can quickly lose muscle tissue, bone density and compromise their immune systems. Chronic mental stress can cause the body to become overly catabolic as well.
To repair tissues, essential amino acids are the most important. The more stress one faces, the more his or her protein needs may go up. When the body is in an anabolic state, amino acids are pieced together to form proteins in the body, forming other tissues like muscle.
Hormones like testosterone, growth hormone and insulin play roles in the anabolic process, but without amino acids available, the secretion of these hormones is of little value.
In fact, a rise in insulin without available protein or amino acids is actually catabolic. It increases protein breakdown.
Protein consumption stimulates protein synthesis, and can also reduce protein breakdown. It increases protein synthesis by saying to the body “Hey, more amino acids are available. Let’s start building something with them.” It also reduces protein breakdown by saying “Hey, we’ve got plenty of amino acids available. No need to break down any other tissues in order to free up some amino acids.”


To reiterate, eating high-quality protein, and more specifically, consuming essential amino acids, both stimulates protein synthesis and decreases protein breakdown.
Though they sound like the same thing, these processes are controlled differently. Protein synthesis can be increased while the body is also increasing protein breakdown, or keeping it the same.
Most of the research surrounding the anabolic effects of protein consumption looked only at protein synthesis.
Research has shown that about 30 grams of high-quality protein causes the greatest increase in protein synthesis. Eating more than 30 grams was not shown to cause further increases in synthesis. Based on those findings, it was suggested that anything beyond 30 grams was unnecessary.
Taking it another step further, some people even say anything beyond 30 grams of protein just turns to fat, which is false. It’s actually quite difficult to turn extra protein into fat.
Again, there’s another side to the equation in creating an anabolic state in the body, and that is the reduction in protein breakdown.


Studying protein breakdown is actually more complicated than studying synthesis, which is probably part of the reason researchers skipped over this in the past. However, it can be researched, and the researchers in the above mentioned study did just that.
What they found turns this 30 gram rule on its head.
First, they found that when individuals consumed 80% of their daily protein in a single meal, it caused a greater overall anabolic response for the day than when the protein was split up over several meals.
Second, they found that the greater the amount of protein individuals consumed, the greater the overall anabolic response was.
This would suggest that the recommended daily intakes for protein are woefully inadequate for optimal health. It may even suggest that benefits could be achieved through protein intakes greater than a gram per pound body weight (or ideal body weight).
Research continues to show that higher-protein diets are beneficial for weight management, muscle recovery and health in general. It remains to be seen at which point there is diminishing returns in protein intake, but the limit clearly is not at 30 grams in a meal.
It may someday be shown that intakes beyond a gram per pound body weight could also be beneficial. Though some have found this to be the case anecdotally, there’s still research needed to further build the case.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Aut stumbling blocks, Ballbuster Duathlon.....NOW BALL BUSTER RACE REPORT!

Sometimes training can go well, sometimes training can go not so well.  It is consitency that is the key, balancing rest with recovery,speed with power, strength with agility. All these things and more add up to making you what you are and allowing you to perform to the best of your ability. I always have a dilemma in my training and that is allowing my body to rest, I want to get better and sometimes this drive actually hinders my progress, you have to take everything as a balance and understand that training isn't about the then and now all the time and is about the bigger picture.

After the National champs I was determined to improve my poor bike performance so I looked for advice and that advice was I need to spend more time suffering in lactate and endure the pain. I reflected on this and went hard...for two weeks training was going well and everything was ok. Although I was getting tired during the second week after Milton Keynes, as this tends to happen. After a good taper and a big race the body is still feeling good and rested (after a day of rest of course). I finally came to almost complete failure 14 days after the race, my body decided it couldn't take more pain and almost gave up. I had to take 2 days with only a little training and then was back to work, but it was bleak for those two days, body was tired and spent!

I was able to recover after these two days, spend some great time in Winchester (what a place), training and seeing my wonderful and very understanding girlfriend. People close to you are always the ones that are able to make you feel better, although nothing makes you feel better when you feel broken.lol.

My new plan is not new not just take this as down time.....why? why do people just give up and go backwards? the pros talk about down time etc, yes knock the effort out but keep training hard and enjoy it! I plan to kick on and hammer it through the winter with the thoughts of next season. More watts on the bike and faster time trails is going to be the key to improvement for me.

But first of all there is a little race called ball buster with weekend........


It is one of the toughest and most iconic duathlons that excist and I am very excited to be taking part in the event. I have upped the millage for 3 weeks since Milton Keynes and now am on another taper. I cannot wait for the event and don't have any expectations....other than what people have told me, and that is a lot pain.

 Me on the right hand side of someones instagram


Ballbuster, well where do I start, what a race. Fantastic day, venue and adventure to say the least. It was a strange dark and rather damp start to the day. I was having problems with my rear wheel and actually had a flat when I got my bike out. I had to then borrow a wheel off my training partner and stand up friend Mr Jason Taylor, without this I would not have been able to race and would have been in trouble.

We racked in the rain and get a little wet, and things started to become more apparent that we may actually be in for a rather wet day. The rain did subside for the start of the race which actually started 10mins late due to some problems in registration.

The race was started off on a rather wet and muddy field and everyone was very eager by this point to get things going. The race started and one man (later to win the race, Andy super fast Greenleaf) went off like a rocket and soon was in the  distance, there was a follow pack of around 10 and I was able to stay towards the back of this (untill I needed a quick toilet stop) I then had to try and catch back onto them, this didnt happen until we hit the first time up box till and I actually found that although im not the best hill climber I was better than some of the racers in front and I was able to finish the first 8 mile run and come into T1 in 7th place. I had a decent transition into a nice wet helmet and off we went to start the bike course.

The bike route was tight, slippy, traffic filled and technical. I actually started off at a steady race, took in a gel and went from there. The first thing I did was come to a sharp corner and loose my back wheel, this actually happened on numerous occasions (to give me a heart attack) throughout the race. The route was amazing and not a traditional TT course by any stretch of the imagination, it was also filled with lots of cars on the second lap and that coursed a lot of problems. I was able to navigate myself round and attack the three times up box hill well, I lost a couple of places as I usually do on the bike (hoping to run them back down of the final run) but all in all it went well. I still want to be able to push harder on the bike and this will most certainly be the focus this winter! It was teeming it down during the bike leg and I could hardly see at times through my helmet visor and this made things a little difficult at times, but also strangely exciting. Extremely wet I came into T2 in around 8th place so didnt loose too many place as I also gained a couple on the bike.

The final run was a little of an unknown entirety, I have never ever ran any more than 5/6k off the back of a duathlon, so to have to run 8miles was going to be something of an achievement. But I actually ran well and ran myself into 5th position (after another quick toilet stop). I pulled back my final place on box hill were I could see another competitor who had passed me on the bike was struggling with his final run, I was able to run up to him and also provide a little coach talk. I said 'there is no one behind up so just run it in' to which  he said thanks. I was hoping this would encourage him to not come with me up the hill. As I said this to him I kicked (Chris Macca always said if you go past someone, no matter how much it hurts......KICK) so I did and was able to finish strong off box hill and into the finish time.

All in all and amazing it was a fantastic day....so happy with 5th overall and was actually the first 25-29 Age grouper over the line! which as also a great achievement! Very happy day....