It has been almost 4 weeks since I've relied exclusively on gels and/or gummies to fuel my long distance training sessions. Now, I'll be completely honest, this has been helped by the fact that I've been forced indoors on account of living in the frigid North. Nonetheless, I'm proud of myself. So far it has been a successful transition. I don't think I'll be quite there before my next race and will definitely have to use some gels, I feel confident that I'm on my way to transitioning away completely in the future. The results have been great. I feel better. I've yet to "bonk" on a single ride. My stomach has been settled and in a few brick sessions I've noticed none of the fear "sloshing" that has accompanied me in the past when relying solely on gels gummies and sugary drinks.
A quick review of what I have tried:
- Rice cakes - good option. Not very mobile. I may have made the servings too big
- Energy balls - a great recipe. Better option as a snack rather than fueling for a long ride or run
- Orange Almond Macaroons- again, delicious recipe, but found them a bit difficult to eat on the go. Good snack, decent for indoor training.
My primary source of inspiration has been, or course, the internet and seeing what others have tried but I also picked up the amazing The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes which I strongly recommend for anyone and everyone. It is full of amazing recipes and information as to why making the switch is worth it.
This week, I'm again relying on the The Feed Zone Cookbook
Rice Balls - Ham and Pineapple
This week I'm trying the rice balls. As mentioned in my Rice Cakes review, I found the cakes to be a little large and hard to eat. So this week, I'm trying the balls, which include a little 15 minute baking time to add some structure I think .... At the very least, that is the major difference I've noticed already.
Again, simple simple recipe and takes no time at all. Cook some sticky rice. Chop some pineapple and some cooked ham. Throw them all together into a bowl and roll them into balls. Easy.
Once you're done, not only do these rice balls taste incredible, are easy to consume on the bike and pack easily; they also make your house or apartment smell like ham and pineapple pizza - without all the greasy and guilt that comes with that phone call.
Of all the recipes I've tried thus far, these are by far my favorite.
I used them on my recent 5 hour stationary training session. It was the first time I've ever rode that distance and not once felt like I was losing energy. I had sustained energy and power throughout the entire session and no digestion issues whatsoever. I felt good during and after the workout. Cannot ask for much more than that. Not to mention they tasted delicious. Like actual food. Which I'm more than certain helps ones mental game as well.
Pick up the The Feed Zone Cookbookand try this recipe. You will not be disappointed.
Until the next installment!