Hi it's Natalie here, the one who usually posts recipes and ideas for using chia charge products. I am going to tell you a little about how my year has been training and racing in Triathlon.
Some of my high moments have been...
- Gaining starts in two European cup races, I was at the bottom of the field in both of these races but it was such a fun experience and and opportunity which has helped me see my weaknesses that I need to work on (that's a LOT of things), plus the excitement of the races is really motivating me to reach my full potential. I would love to race a future European cup race and be up there in the mix, that's a work in progress and I have no idea where I will get to.... But one thing I do know is I will work as hard as I can to be my personal best.
- Catching up with friends and meeting lots of amazing people, I do love the triathlon community.
- The change I have made which has been to leave my coach who I have been with since I started Triathlon in 2012 and move to a team based in West London. I am in the process of moving there properly but currently I am training with a new coach and doing pretty much the same sessions from home, then come October/November time I hope to be training with the group. This move came following my performances this season, i felt I needed a team environment to help push me further and after a trial week I found their sessions pushed me so much harder and there was more speed and intensity than I am used to, I ached the whole week after the first day but loved it! I also needed more of my chia charge flapjacks to help fuel me.
- Racing in the National Triathlon relays up in Nottingham with the club I have joined, it was so much fun. A weekend of 2 races (3 if you make the final on Sunday afternoon) done with your team of 4 and to make it even more fun we camped as a team too-thankfully the rain held off! Oh and I needed some flapjack to fuel me on Saturday that was tough- each team member swam 500m as a tag relay then the 4th member tagged the first who then went out onto the 15km bike course and after we had each done the bike we had a 5km run. I'm not sure what hurts more a Triathlon with a rest or doing it all in one go, well perhaps it's kind of equal but equally fun too.
- The future I am so excited about what's to come and so happy with my decision.
The low moments have been...
- Realising I hadn't really improved much over the winter and not racing how I had hoped this season.
- The times where I struggled with training, feeling a bit lonely and down (this is a thing of the past, having such a great group of people to train with and push me hard).
- Deciding to drop out of a couple of races, I was tired, struggling, disappointed with how things were going and needed to think about what I needed to do training wise and to help me be the best I can be. Although this could be a high point as it has brought me to where I am now, happier than ever!
I guess it wouldn't be normal if you didn't have low moments but the tough times make you a stronger person and help you to find the good times. Life is never easy but I believe you should live it to the max and follow your dreams, life is too short not to. I am being challenged now more than ever having so much to learn and think about during my sessions but I love a challenge and I love pushing myself to be better, plus I am a bit of a perfectionist so like to get things right and if I don't I will try my best to do so.
I love having my chia charge products to hand and always have by bedside table drawer stocked up with flapjacks, protein bars and seed mixes, our kitchen cupboards are also well stocked with the nut butters which are delicious. My favourite being the coconut and cashew one. How does this fuel me and my training? Well I always carry the cranberry and cacao protein bars in my swim bag as I love to much them after a swim, they are perfect for this, contains 10g of protein and taste so good.
The seeds on their own I tend to add to smoothies adding extra nutrients. As you may have seen previously my favourite snack during the day when I am feeling hungry is rice cakes topped with chia nut butter and chicken- don't knock it until you've tried it as it's amazing. The flapjacks are also great for sticking in your bag and taking anywhere, when I raced in Bulgaria I even made porridge with mine by adding hot water and it was very tasty. I don't use them so much when out on the bike but on really long rides when I do I chop them into smaller pieces and place in a sandwich bag to grab easily out of my back pocket. I also find them great if I have a later race to top up my energy from breakfast. Finally the trail mixes I find are perfect for snacking when out and about generally but I also like the honey mix on porridge and the savoury mix in salads.
If you have any unusual ways of using your Chia Charge you should share them on the Facebook page, it's always great to see people using Chia Charge to fuel their training, racing, hiking, hunger pangs.
Looking forward to Autumn and Winter training, hope you enjoyed reading this.