When did ambition die and reality set in? A long time ago I had to realise that my days of going even vaguely fast on a bike had gone. So when I look at my Garmin and see what my average speed for a ride was, and then subsequently on Strava, it is myself that I am “racing” against.

Only rarely now do I look to see how I compare with others. In part, because on 1 occasion when I had a personal best on a particular segment of road, I noticed that a certain young lady had done the same segment in around half my time. Don’t you just hate being so soundly thrashed? It wasn’t that it was a woman that beat me, I don’t have a problem with that, but going twice my personal best time. Though I did feel slightly better about it when she won a medal in Rio this year.

Part of that level of achievement is talent. Another part is commitment, putting in the long hard hours, and staying motivated and focussed. Diet is another factor.

So it interested me to see a press release arrive from what I thought was a fairly unlikely source. Unlikely because they were publishing some fascinating statistics about “superhumans of sport” and they were a betting company called Big Free Bet.

Froome 7k calory diet

Froome 7k calory diet

From them, I learned that Chris Froome consumes around 7000 calories a day and typically trains for 30 hours a week. Wow! Now I enjoy cycling, and if I’m touring then 30 hours on a bike in a week is no problem. But 30 hours a week each and every week? I don’t know that I have ever had that level of commitment and the necessary motivation to keep it going.

While we are on these figures, they listed the same information for Usain Bolt (33 hours a week and 5,500 calories); Michael Phelps (36 hours a week, swimming 50 miles, and an enormous 12,000 calories a day!); Ellie Simmonds (22 hours a week and 2,200 calories); and Christiano Ronaldo (a more modest 20 hours a week and 2,900 calories), and Simone Biles (32 hours a week and 2,500 calories).


©Richard Atkins  Originally published in https://spycycle.uk