Jason Le Page is a Downhill Mountain Biker who lives on Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands for those of you who may be geographically challenged). I’ve been coaching Jason for the best part of two years now and being a very sporting kind of chap, he has very boldly agreed to ‘Go-Live’ with his progress on a monthly basis as a matter of interest to all of you. Every month you’ll be able to log-on to the TORQ site to see how Jason’s getting on (ed – actually, it’s been well over a month since the last report, but read on, because Jason stands to loose quite a clump of cash if he doesn’t keep in touch regularly this time. Come on Mr Lepage, your groupies want you to hold on to your wad)…
Mr Hart (you can tell it’s serious, I’m using the mister routine!),
Well it’s been such an aeon since my last instalment that we may as well start from the beginning again! Such has been the fall from grace that I have now had to buy bigger trousers and a more robust bike! I can only go out at night or else risk a solar eclipse. I’m contemplating changing my name to ‘The Fridge Freezer’ and have ordered a pair of 48 spoked 4 cross wheels for my girder built bike!!
Since my halcyon days of easy weight loss, avid cycling and dedicated fitness regime I’ve taken up a few new hobbies. Instead of trawling up hills and sweating buckets on a heavy x-country bike I’ve converted to more sedentary activities like fishing and drinking in beer gardens. Well, it is summer and I won’t be able to do it in a couple of months time! At some point over the past few months I’ve managed to acquire the affliction known as permalard! It’s like the eternal ice at the poles, no matter how hot the climate gets it won’t melt, so no matter how much I try to exercise it never seems to move! (apart from an occasional gravity assisted wobble)
A steady stream of weddings, parties and bbq’s over the summer and an occasional gentle cycle have done nothing for my motivation to exercise. The one bright spot has been the SAMS Southern Championships at Wendover a couple of weeks ago where despite suffering like a pig on a spit (sweat included), I managed to ride my socks off and roll in 25th out of 106! (Downhill not XC!!) My deficit to the winner being several seconds lower than in previous years! An unfortunate incident with a tree the same weekend, involving me hitting it head first, has unfortunately left me with several weeks worth of physio visits and a crumpled carbonfibre helmet to replace!
Where to go from here? Well, during a drunken conversation with a fellow cyclist a week or so ago, we came up with the ingenious idea of a slimming challenge/bet! Together with the manager of a local bike shop we’re all to try and lose a stone and a half by 28th December, or face public humiliation and pay out £30 to each other contender and another £30 to a local charity!!! There has been a public weigh in and yours truly depressed the scales to a hefty 14st 13lbs (a pie short of 95 kilos!). With a monthly weigh in and only 21 weeks to lose 21lbs (9.5kilos) – can you help?
Matt Hart of TORQ replies:
Of course I can help. Firstly, you’ll need to sell your fishing rod and put the money towards a fine new helmet so that you can ride your bike in safety again. You’ll be pleased to know that a huge percentage of your total energy comes from fat while you’re fishing – unfortunately this is a huge percentage of not very many calories, so it won’t help you to fit into smaller trousers. On this basis, sleeping’s a good fat-burner too and so is watching the telly!
Prolonged gentle exercise is the best way to burn lots of fat, but there’s a bit of a paradox here. Nice isn’t it when your fitness instructor suggests that you spend lots of time doing gentle exercise, especially when ‘time’ is something that most of us just don’t have any of. But I bet you spend loads of time fishing and putting maggots in your mouth to keep em warm (what do they taste like anyway?). I don’t think that swallowing the odd bit of fly lavae is too much of a calorie issue, but you could be spending that time twiddling the pedals and loosing lard. I realise that I risk a phone call from JR Hartley or similar, complaining about my fierce anti-fishing stance, but if I don’t say it you’ll just get bigger and bigger.
It’s summer and the nights are drawing in. You’ve got to get out straight after work or you’ll be riding in the dark before long. Make the most of these light evenings and end up in the beer garden for a pint of shandy and a friendly chat – nothing wrong with that, but you’ve got to burn a whole lot more calories than you’re putting in! If time is short, ride hard. This may not burn an optimal amount of fat calories, but you will burn more total calories, making best use of your time.
Finally, why don’t you start that lunchtime swimming again, you got really good results from that last time? The secret to successful weight loss requires a commitment to eating healthily and controlling calorie intake and making exercise fun and easy. Swimming in your lunch break is invigorating and sets you up for the afternoon. It’s also dead time. If you swim every lunchtime, I’ll even let you keep on with the fishing. How’s that for a deal?