With our Chocoholics 5k race just around the corner and with a new sponsor, the following tale by Reece Moles couldn't be more timely. An unusual tale of carb loading if ever these was one.
“The words diet and nutrition regularly crop up in the lives of athletes at any level and is widely accepted to affect performance.
The following tale puts a different slant on things. It dates back a good few years to the days where those involved, myself included, were all considered ‘young athletes’.
It was a Wednesday night at the heart of the dreaded “winter training”. This particular night was so cold that the track was not an option. In fact ice skates would have been more suitable than spikes! So the contingency plan was put in place - hill reps up the nearest significant incline (Treowen Hill). Now for pure track sprinters such as myself and my comrades Matt Toms and Jordan Cook, running up any incline was never likely to inspire us, let alone one which could affectionately be termed a ‘damn big hill’ (that was in my pre-cross country days. Now I realise that Treowen Hill could be considered flat).
Despite protestations and pleas for a warmer back up plan, we three sprinters prepared for the short trek to Treowen base camp. It was at this point Matt had the idea that if we weren’t using the track then there was no need to pay for it and who in their right mind would pay money to be made to run up Treowen in the cold!? No, those subs could be more wisely invested and so it proved to be.
The trek to base camp rather conveniently took us past Garth Owen Chippie. The promise of warmth and sustenance on a night such as this and with some unexpected money in our pockets was not an opportunity that we were going to pass up. We had enough in the collective pot for two regular portions of chips. Perfect, we mused, quick carb-load pre-hill reps, and energy replenishment would no doubt be needed after, win-win situation.
As we arrived at base camp we were met with a variety of reactions ranging from looks of amusement, repulsion and jealousy (athletes) and surprise (coaching staff). Martin Copus stated that he did not wish to see these chips making a repeat appearance. Now making an athlete sick from training is almost a badge of honour - just ask Mr Peters for list of his many ‘victims’ - and with hill reps being notoriously tough the three of us had become firm favourites to be added to that list, assuming you could find anyone to give you odds.
10 x 30 second hill sprints were to be negotiated. Reps 1 to 5 passed with no sign of a second sighting of chips for Martin. Our confidence grew, as did the effort we put into every subsequent rep culminating in maximum effort for the last two. Walking back down the walk back down the hill we were as contented and smug as we could be in the immediate aftermath of such a hard session. The coaches looked on, reluctantly impressed and with a degree of disappointment, an opportunity missed to add our names the ‘list’. Celebratory chips were in order!
The moral of the story is that mixing chips and training can work, but do so at your own risk! What’s more, Garth Owen Chippie is now an official race sponsor for the club. I’d like to think that this tale was the establishing of contact. Wishful thinking!"
- Reece Moles
Read further Runners Tales :-
"Three Amigos on Tour"
"The Adoring Public"
"I've got to be honest, I'm not a dog person"
"A funny thing happened on the way to the Finish"