What do the pros eat?

Ed Clancy only joined Rapha-Condor in 2011 and despite not racing with the British outfit for the majority of 2012 – due to Olympic commitments – the 28 year old still remains a key figure in the team, putting in solid, consistent performances. Clancy has been an integral part of the team’s success at this year’s Tour Series.

Unlike some riders, Clancy has a mixed training schedule where he has to split his week up evenly between the road and the track. This sometimes requires Clancy to jump on the track straight after a morning road ride.

While this has its advantages – he’s able to ensure he is getting good, quality miles under each belt each week – it can mess around with his structure and recovery as well as his diet.

As Clancy shows us here, he doesn’t always have the time and luxury to prepare food. For him, it’s all about 
quick access to carbohydrates and 
protein. Either that or he’s just lazy!

Bowl of porridge with semi-skimmed milk, with an apple and an orange, fresh juice and some water
Clancy gets his day off to a pretty ordinary start and his diet isn’t too dissimilar to that of an average cyclist. Porridge has a low glycaemic index, providing a slow release of energy throughout the day. Fresh fruit will also provide him with a mixture of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as water and fresh juice to aid hydration.

Beta alanine, a multi-vitamin, cod liver oils 
and a SiS Go+ Nitrate gel

CW says –
While beta alanine and nitrate have performance benefits, Clancy should try and get his omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins from his actual diet. Not only is it cheaper, it’s healthier and far tastier.

On the road
SiS gels and drink
“On the ride, for this type of training, I need to get around 50-60g of carbohydrates into my body every hour,” says Clancy. “I usually get that from gels. I prefer gels to solid foods as I find it hard to chomp away on things. I’m quite happy to get it through my drink and gels.”

CW says –
While Ed is training on the road, the last thing he wants to do is slow down to eat. To him, this is wasting valuable training time. Gels offer that quick fix and ensure he gets what he wants into his body as soon as possible.

In transit
A cup of coffee, fresh apple juice
“I drink coffee sometimes but unlike the majority of cyclists I’m not really a coffee fan,” says Clancy. “I won’t have one in the morning before a ride – I’ll have one socially but that’s about it for me. I prefer fresh orange or apple juice. It’s not worth the effort boiling the kettle.”

CW says –
It’s unheard of in this day and age for a cyclist not to like coffee, but Clancy seems to prefer his juice. Despite caffeine having ergogenic effects on endurance performance, it doesn’t seem enough of a reason for Clancy to drink it. Perhaps he’s just never had a good cup?

Tuna and pasta salad or microwaved rice, sauce out of a packet
It doesn’t sound like the most appealing of meals, and not something that would get the taste buds watering, however, it has all of what the body requires – carbs and protein – for a post road ride and a pre track session. As Clancy says, “I cook because I have to. Time is of the essence.”

There’s no denying that Clancy is a busy man when it comes to his training, but it’s quite refreshing knowing that a rider of such quality as Clancy, sometimes eats like the rest of us.

SiS Go Bar, water and 
energy drink
“Mid-afternoon, when I’m on the track, I’d have an energy bar to snack on, and a drink to sip away at,” says Clancy. “On a day like this, a split training day, I just snack away on energy stuff. It’s messy when you start bringing food to a track – more hassle than it’s worth.”

CW says –
If we didn’t know any better, it seems eating for Clancy is a chore. And it may well be at times. When training so hard and so often, it’s imperative that you keep refuelling yourself. Anything that is so often repeated becomes monotonous. 
A bit like fuelling your car. And no one likes doing that.

SiS Rego drink
After an intense track session, it’s very important that you get protein into your system as soon as possible to aid muscle recovery and adaptation. The hour immediately after exercise is the most important, as this is where the muscles are more responsive to protein, carbs, minerals and nutrients. This is where a protein drink comes in very handy.

Chicken and rice
While it’s important to get protein into your system straight after exercise, just like Clancy does with his protein drink, it should never act as a replacement for real food. Once you get home, you should try to get a proper meal into your system.

Chicken and rice is a perfect combination, as it provides carbohydrates to replenish empty fuel tanks and protein from the chicken to aid protein synthesis.

This article was first published in the June 20 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!