Just like his team manager Roger Hammond, Madison- Genesis rider Ian Bibby worked his way up the ranks, initially riding cyclo-cross and mountain bike.
Now more focused on the road, Bibby still dabbles in cross, coming second at last year's National Cyclo-Cross Championships. Transferring technical abilities to the road, Bibby regularly rips it up on the domestic scene as well as Euro races.
With his experience, Bibby has a sound grasp of what's needed to fuel him through a race day and ensures he has all the right nutrients on board.
Breakfast: Bowl of porridge, made with half water, half semi-skimmed milk, with some apricots, mixed nuts, a little honey and cinnamon thrown in, plus three strong coffees.
Lots of riders begin their day with low-GI foods such as porridge that provides a slow-release of energy, keeping them fully fuelled throughout the day. Throwing nuts into the mix isn't just great for adding that extra crunch, but they also contain many vital fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, honey has soothing and medicinal qualities, which is great for Bibby's immune system, and cinnamon helps insulin sensitivity, allowing blood glucose levels to remain steady throughout the day.
Supplements: A few multivitamins and some beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine benefits performance by increasing the concentration of carnosine in muscles, which decreases fatigue and increases total muscular work done, which is great for athletes like Bibby. Taking multivitamins helps boost Bibby's immune system, and helps boost his already healthy diet.
Pre-race regime: "Three hours before the cross race is due to start, I have some pasta with tuna and olive oil for a bit of taste and moisture; then 20 minutes before the actual start of the race I have an SiS+ GO Caffeine gel."
Pasta is a staple of many endurance athletes as it provides complex carbohydrates, which release energy slowly. Alongside this, the tuna provides omega-3 and protein, which is needed for muscle repair. Eating this well in advance of the race start ensures it's fully digested and not likely to come back up when the hard efforts of a cross race begin.
Taking a caffeine gel supplement 20 minutes prior to the race helps raise blood glucose levels to fuel Bibby for his impending race. The caffeine present in the gel gives an extra kick of energy.
Post race: "Straight after a race I have an SiS REGO Rapid Recovery before heading home."
Getting protein back into the body after an intense race is very important to ensure full muscle recovery and adaptation.
Bibby drinks a protein shake as soon as possible after the race because the period straight after exercise is when muscles are most able to replace all their used-up nutrition. It's a no-brainer, really.
Ian Bibby's food on race day
Lunch: "A small meal, something like poached eggs on toast, and every so often I go a bit crazy and throw some smoked salmon in there. Then I have another coffee."
Bibby is obviously a big fan of his coffee, with this being the fourth mug of the day! Recent research indicates that three to four cups of coffee a day have protective antioxidant benefits as well as psychological upsides, but Bibby needs to be careful not to go much over this as the positive benefits can be lost.
His lunch is high in protein as it helps muscles recover and rebuild after high intensity exercise. With salmon being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins it's a great food for anyone to eat, with many health benefits including lowering cholesterol, aiding memory and lowering blood sugar levels.
Dinner: "Tea (not ‘dinner' - I'm northern!) is chicken stir fry, so just chicken breast, loads of vegetables and some noodles with hoisin sauce. If I'm hungry before bed I'll snack on hummus and carrots so that I'm not having too much sugar before sleeping. Oh, and a cup of chocolate flavour SiS REGO Night to round the day off."
Again, Bibby sticks to a high-protein and carbohydrate ‘tea', with lots of veg to ensure he gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs to keep him healthy. This is the perfect meal for any athlete as the proteins in the chicken are a great way of rebuilding muscles and the carbohydrates in the noodles will help replenish his depleted energy stores.
Alongside this, the veg will help Bibby keep his immune system in check with much-needed nutrients. As a snack before bed, Bibby munches on some carrots and hummus. He points out that this is low in sugar, as too much of the sweet stuff just before bedtime is liable to be converted straight to fat.
Hummus is also a great source of protein as well as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Topping up protein stores just before bedtime is hugely important for athletes as much muscle rebuilding occurs overnight.
This article was first published in the November 28 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition (opens in new tab), UK digital edition (opens in new tab). And if you like us, rate us!
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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
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