Starting the Thrive in 30 days Vega nutritional educational series

Today I have noticed my recovery from my bike training for the Etape du Tour is substandard. I take artificial products like SIS protein powders and eat loads of carbohydrates. I feel tired and lethargic and recover very slowly.

Bredan Brazier is a Vegan Ironman athlete who has designed a range of products and educational videos and books to help the everyday person learn more about eating wholefoods to maximise their health. Some of the benefits include:

  • Decrease body fat
  • Diminish visible signs of aging
  • Boost energy without caffeine or sugar
  • Cultivate mental clarity
  • Enhance mood
  • Eliminate junk-food cravings
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Build a stronger immune system
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce biological age
I like all these benefits and if it can help my recovery in training and sleep I want to know what to do.
You too can start the Thirty day challenge on
The key is to complete the action plan with each lesson. The videos with each lesson is exactly the same as the text in each lesson so watching the video can be faster if you learn this way.
The first lesson action plan is described below:

Take Action:

  • Examine your current diet. Write a list of all the things you eat that you think might be taking away from your energy or aren’t supporting your health and fitness goals.
  • Plan for success as you take action over your 30 day journey to thrive. The changes you make throughout this program will be most effective when you can make them your new habits. The following five habits are the tools that will make it easier to get the most from this program—they’ll help you succeed if you develop and follow them consistently:
  1. Eat throughout the dayeating several small meals helps maintain energy levels, eases digestive strain and spreads nutrients to sustain you all day
  2. Drink a nutritious smoothie each dayyou’ll get whole food nutrition that’s easy on your digestive system and provides lasting energy
  3. Eat a big green salad every daythese are a staple when eating to thrive (you’ll learn why over the next 30 days)
  4. Eat a raw energy bar every daythey’re an easy way to pack nutrition into a convenient, easy to carry form
  5. Eat a substantial, balanced afternoon snackyou’ll get the nutrition you need so you won’t be famished when it comes to your evening meal
Next Lesson Preview:
Stress has a BIG impact on your health! You’ll get an in-depth look at different kinds of stress and empower you to reduce stress’s ill effects with simple dietary choices.


Back to training, hill climbing from London and jet lag

I got back from New Zealand and Australia after a 3 weeks holiday and knew it was time for me to get back into training. I knew I was jet lagged and did not want to tire myself after a very relaxing holiday.

Last weekend I started with a 5 hour ride to Box Hill. It was a beautiful day and perfect weather for cycling with no wind. I went with another cyclist doing the Etape at the same time. He trains in France and has a hill 7km high near  his house. His hill climbing is stronger than mine and I let  him lead the way up the hills.  We rode two hills and I followed his back tire. I focussed on the tire and avoided looking at the hill itself. This helped me focus on the feelings in my legs without the disempowering sight of the hill I still had to climb.

I noticed with jet lag I felt slightly “out of my body” and tired. My legs felt the strain up the hills and towards the end of the ride I knew I had ridden 5 hours. The last hill in Richmond Park was a killer. I tried following the back tire of my cycle companion up the hill again but fell behind. My legs blew out, I felt they cramped when I exerted force through them and I lacked power. I dropped right behind and it was good reminder I some serious hill training to do.

This first ride was a good test of where I was with my riding after 3 weeks of no training. I wanted to rest well and prepare for the ride this weekend.

This weekend we did exactly the same ride. I noticed I was stronger as soon as I got not he bike. I could feel I more power and was less tired. The “out of body feeling” was significantly less. I set my watch to beep every 20minutes and made sure I ate or drank something at these times. The idea is to maintain a steady energy supply to my muscles and brain.

The tests I used to tell if I was riding stronger this weekend was the feeling I had in my legs and Cardiovascular system when hill climbing. I let my colleague lead the way up the hills as he had better hill climbing strength and then I stayed on his back tire again.

I was considerably stronger up the hills and could stay with him comfortably. When I say comfortably I was at 85-95% of my maximum heart rate but still felt strong at the top with more in reserve if I needed it. My colleague is 10 years than I am but has the advantage of training on the hills in France and he has done  a cycle camp in Portugal. I noticed I had better flat road speed and strength through my Ironman training and he had the hill climbing speed and strength. Today was the first time I noticed I was catching him on the hills and with more training I hope to pull him up the hills.

There are not many hills to climb around London so I am riding to Surrey Hills. I have one course I have memorised but next weekend another cyclist will take us an alternative course to find new hills. In my particular course I have two main hills. I have decided to ride up and down these hills twice in one ride.

There are three main hills in the Etape Du Tour. They are 7.7 -8km long. No hill in England lasts that long so I can only compensate with repeat hill climbs. My colleague tells me box hill is much closer to type of hill we will encounter in France. It is a winding hill with some flatter sections to rest and then repetitive climbs. Maybe climbing box hill 5-10 times will be good. Sounds crazy but I have to do what I have to do.

I will get intouch with my coach again to start a training plan. I feel strong and rested and ready to train hard again. I am wondering if he will continue with gym sessions? Time to eat.

Beginning of L’etape du tour Training

Today I started my training for the L’etape du tour. My coach had me in the gym doing high volume training for my legs and upper body. It is 10 weeks since I finshed the Ironman and it feels like I am starting from scratch again. I enjoy the focus of having a new goal. I am looking at what I have on in the next three months. I am shifting house and getting married so getting this base training will be a challenge. I know I want to enjoy this race so getting this training in now will save me a lot of pain on race day.
Training in winter will be tough. I plan to ride in the mornings during the week and on weekends. I want to join a cycle club to get used to riding in a pack and learning about cycling. I need a new pair of cycle glasses and want to buy the Radar Path Oakleys.
I have to rest well for this race. I want to train hard and allow my body to recover and grow srong. My nutrition will change to match the increase demand for carbohydrates.

Looking forward to this challenge. Here we go…. July 17, 2011 …stage 9 of the Tour du France.

Week before Middle Distance Race: Alkalising my body, visualisation and carbohydrate loading

I did a 1.5 hour easy ride today in high cadence and high gears. It felt relaxing and the hill climbs were comfortable. I have definitely adapted well over the last few months of training and the speed work and hill climbs have made a difference  to my bike riding.

I know my change in nutrition supplementation has definitely made my legs and body feel stronger on the rides and I can breathe easier. I had a medical examination by a doctor and he explained our bodies have a surplus of alkaline minerals which act as a buffer to counter the acid formed when we exercise, eat acidic foods, breathe pollution, get stressed etc. The buffer aims to keep our bodies at an optimal PH of 7.365.

I had a blood test and my blood Ph was 6.5 which is acidic. I found walking upstairs made me breathless and I was told this is my heart rate increasing due to the acidic environment.

Over the last two weeks I have been adding Mega Greens to my water and adding an ion booster (magnesium and chlorides). I have been eating more green foods and reducing the heavy carbohydrates. I now eat wholegrains for my carbohydrate intake.

I remeasured my Ph this morning and it was between 7.25 and 7.5 which is optimal according to the test strip colour chart. I am noticing the difference in how my legs are feeling during racing and after racing. I get much less tightness in  my right hamstring and, unless I am pushing hard, the left calf feels good.

This week I am starting to carbohydrate load. My coach has given me instructions to eat slightly more carbohydrates than normal. In three days time he will tell me what to do before the race.

My medical examination also showed I had an increase in Creatine Kinase (CK) which is an enzyme which breaks down muscle. This is normal in muscular training and I have was told to take an antioxidant. I started Monavie again and this has a powerful naturally occurring antioxidant called the acai berry. If you want to find out more about this product go to my website or email me at

This week I am starting visualisation. I am creating the pictures, sounds and feelings I will have for the rest of the week, travelling to the event, registration, race day and post race. I have to get my brain out of thinking reality and into dreaming and imaging how I want everything to go. I have used it before and it was very effective for competition.

This week I plan to sleep well and prepare early for travel. I drop my bike off to my friends house in three days as he is driving down to cornwall.

I practiced changing my bike tire yesterday and the gas cylinder with fitting device did not  inflate the tire. I blew two canisters trying to work it out so I went into Putney cycles and they got it working by pushing the tire valve hard into the fitting device. I bought 4 new canisters but will only take two with me on race day.

There is a lot to organise before a race so leave plenty of time incase emergencies occur. I have left it one week so far and having all my jobs written down on paper helps get it clear in my head.

Three days of training before I travel to Cornwall. Still excitingly nervous.

Back to training after jet lag, Speedo goggles, Natural mineral replacement, alkaline diet

This weeks has focussed on getting back to training after flying 26 hours back from New Zealand. The Jet lag has woken me up early in the morning. Exercise is supposed to help readjust to new time zones after traveling.

My coach gave me an easy week to give me time to readjust back to work and life in the UK. Instead of long training sessions he has put in speed sessions and periods of elevated heart rates.

I was asked to maintain an elevated heart rate of 80% when on a 2 hour bike ride. I found I  kept it higher to about 90%. At the moment I am learning how to regulate my speed whilst maintaining a steady low level heart rate. This skill is important to prevent “bonking” or blowing my legs out on the bike and making my run harder and painful.

My legs are adapting to the running. They hurt in my knees, quadriceps and calf muscles after the runs. Overall they are coping with long rides before running.

I am taking a mineral supplement from New Zealand called CMD concentrated mineral drops. It is sold as the most powerful, natural, health giving trace minerals in the world. My cramps have all most gone in the swimming and my calf muscles have reduced tension throughout. I have not drunken as much water since being in New Zealand and will look to return to 4 liters a day.

I have a new pair of speedo triathlon mirror goggles as I did not think the mask kept water out of my face. I put them on and they are far better with fitting my face and being water tight. They are comfortable and feel better on my face. They do not have the same visual field of a mask but I prefer them. You can buy them on the speedo website under triathlon.

Next week I am starting an alkaline diet from Energise for life website. I have purchased Greens the powder and ionising PH drops to alkalize my water. I have PH test strips to test    the PH level  once the products have been put in the water. I am also looking at recipes on the website and use them to boost alkalizing foods in my nutrition. I want to know if alkalizing will help improve my energy levels, sleep and performance. I think I eat too many carbohydrates but I also am aware I need them for energy when I train. I have read about a high fat diet however with 3 months to go I do not want to try anything as drastic as this diet suggests.

A big difference in the ease of my running, cycling and swimming has been the body work I had done in New Zealand. John, a practitioner who combined kinesiology with man other methods of treatment he has learnt over the years, worked twice on my body. He opened my rib cage up so I could breathe easier and he also opened up my Large lntestine and Kidney meridians. I hope to continue this with acupuncture and have my girlfriend release my rib cage. I also have my massage therapist continue releasing my abdominal muscles and back.

Next week is back to normal and the training is now focussed on my first race in Cornwall on the 22 May 2010 and also continue to increase my mileage for the full ironman. I am still motivated and feel energetic as training has been gradually increasing thanks to careful planning of my coach Fran.

Three days of training for the week

This week my coach had to fit training into three days as I have been away on a business course. He put a long run immediately after my long ride and my legs were fatigued. This was good transition training.

I was concerned the niggling pains in my legs would get worse however they made it through the run. My legs are adapting as my coach explained last week. I noticed I am so slow with running but I am happy I can make the time set for me at the moment.

The swim was a struggle in the first 8 lengths and I changed my technique to ease the pain in my elbows, which occurred in the last swim. Again I am concerned I am so slow and my arms are getting this pain so I have booked a session with my coach to assess me next weekend.  I am now swimming in the 33m pool for long swims.

I did a 3.30hr bike with a 15 minute run on Wednesday. I had to spend 1.45 hrs on the turbo trainer as it was too dark to ride at night.  The turbo trainer is the most uncomfortable training for the bike. It creates a lot of saddle pain and I am glad the clocks change this weekend so I can ride outdoors.

I rested the last 4 days and caught up on sleep. Had a friend who eats a high fat diet and minimal carbohydrates. I am tempted to try this but I know eating red meat can be detrimental to the stomach and high fats are not good.  This week I aim to eat smaller more regular meals with no carbohydrates at night.

Back to full training next week.

Week 28: feeling exhausted in the mornings

I have done 5 days of training and I have my 2.5 hour bike tomorrow. I have altered my diary and fitting in the training this week went well. It is different when I have planned my week and I do not take on any more social events during the week.

Week 28 has seen a significant increase in training with swim sessions being tagged on the back of a weight training session and interval bike training session. My calf muscles and left knee did not like the increase squats and lunges this week. The massages I have on a monday are keeping me supple in the legs but I must avoid squatting too low to save my knee-joint.

The bike intervals were horrible. I managed to keep my heart rate at 75% of my max and ride for 2 x 20 minute intervals. My legs were hurting after 5 minutes of each interval and it was a mind game to keep myself going for 20 minutes. I have another bike session tomorrow and looking forward to no intervals.

Been waking up in the morning with my body shattered. I know my body is working harder and it is responding to the training. I know I must monitor my motivation levels, how tired my body feels in the morning, how it responds to training and if my appetite is normal. If these change I know I am overtraining and will tell Fran (coach).

I want to buy winter gloves this week, get my bike box booked on my flights back to NZ and to Zürich and book the Ascot Hotel in Zürich.

The bike box is costing £54 to book for Switzerland. If it exceeds 23 kg I must pay a further £30 each way.

Braces tightened yesterday so teeth painful again. Looks like back to soft foods this week. I have noticed my body is wanting lots of Carbs but I think I am overeating the carbs as my body is storing too much fat and I do not feel great at night. I will switch to more protein and vegetables at night. Get the steamer out and make it easy on myself to cook.