OPINION

Does a diet affect your power to weight ratio?

James Warrener's picture
Cycling presents a whole host of challenges. Doing it whilst managing a weight loss programme adds to the stress.

Well its finally happened.

After years of telling myself it couldn’t be done and that I would never get back to what I have always felt was my most effective racing weight, I have hit the diet trail and trimmed some of my weight off.

I had been kidding myself that I was a Climber inside a Rouleurs body. Just shy of 6ft tall and unable to get under 13 stones.

It was still enough to get me through my racing season but I wondered 'what if' I could get back down to the 12st 2lbs I was back in the early 90’s when doing 23 minute 10s and sub hour 25s.

I won’t go into detail on the intricacies of the diet I have been on but I have managed to shift just short of a stone during the process. That has been on 5/2 split of days with weekends being normal food and the weekdays a really strict intake. 

I feel really positive about the experience as it has been really tough and there is a real sense of achievement in sticking with it and not giving up.

There is an assumption that as a cyclist you can eat what you want, and for some people, myself included, it simply isn’t true. But if someone had told me I would hit 40 years old and then go back to weighing the same I did at 18, I would have laughed at you.

The challenges however are still to start.

I rode 60km last weekend and was waiting to take my new lightweight body into the hills. But I was weak. Weak from the dieting and tired of mind from the regime . So I need to get over that and manage how calorie intake and training and racing can work.

This weekend’s hill climb will be a real indicator of whether a direct weight loss equals a power loss. I have my concerns but hope the short, sharp event will mask them. I then have the winter to try and hone the muscles and get that all important power to weight ratio right.

The second challenge is to keep the weight off. In readiness for the diet I had given up bread in the week and eaten soup for lunch. I need to be able to reintroduce treat food and the sort of things cyclists need without compromising this hard work...

It’s not going to be easy... the dieting was supposed to be the hard part !

James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years.