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The biggest hurdles so far...

First things first. Song of the week - George Ezra - Hold my Girl

I've actually been listening to his new album non-stop for a fortnight now! Such a good artist and I would highly recommend you go and find out just how amazing he is for yourself!

Firstly, sorry. I know it's been a while since the last blog post... I've struggled with things to write about in all honesty but over the last couple of days I've struggled with two things in particular which I'll share with you today. Before I do that, I want to talk about what I've done over the last couple of weeks while I've been absent from the keyboard.

Two weeks ago I went to the Le Loop training weekend in Cheltenham and had a great time. Unfortunately I didn't take many photos, but I know a few others did so hopefully they'll be on the Le Loop website soon :-) I did get a couple of good ones from the Sunday though:

As with everything surrounding Le Loop, it was very well organised with great little food stops and pub lunches at just the right spots. What was even better was getting to meet 4 guys and girls from two charities that WWMT support who will be coming out to France in the summer to ride a stage with us (in the MOUNTAINS, not hills as Skye liked to tell everyone!). I think they're all going to be fine once they get out there and it gives everyone else a boost riding alongside people that the charities we sponsor have helped, as well as the actual helpers themselves.

On Thursday I went away with my girlfriend to Bath. Such a beautiful city (it is a city, right!?) even if it was pouring down with rain and we had to duck in and out of pubs. Silver lining and all that... I'll definitely be revisiting once it's sunny though, and I would recommend you all do too! Looks like there may be some brilliant riding around there to top it all off, although the roads were absolutely terrible in places.

Finally, to end the update, this Easter weekend has been a busy one training wise! 3 solid, consecutive days on Saturday, Sunday and Monday has led to a recovery day today (more on recovery later). I was actually supposed to rest on Monday with a gentle spin on Zwift but when I logged in I saw Stage 1 of the Tour of Watopia was in its second day so of course, I had to join in.

In total, over the three days, I did two indoor sessions and one outdoor ride totalling 180km and exactly six hours so although the mileage wasn't huge, six hours averaging 30km/h is pretty heavy going. In total, through March and the first two days of April I rode 760km and spent nearly 40 hours in the saddle. The rest tonight is well earned!

So now onto the headline topics. My two biggest hurdles so far won't come as a surprise to those of you that know me...

1) Recovering properly

2) Eating correctly

They're both intrinsically linked so it's perhaps not a surprise that I'm struggling with them both at the same time. My main problem is that I just get cravings for calories, especially after rides! It's so much easier to come back home from a ride, or to finish a brutal indoor session, and simply order a pizza than it is to take the time to cook something healthy.

Now I know the first answer to this is to pre-prepare meals and that is something that I will try to do from now on (just need to buy some damn tupperware!) so I'll update you all on that later on in the year. I feel that because I'm not eating the right nutrition I'm also experiencing a little bit of muscle fatigue at the moment. Sunday evening was very painful, for example, and it hurt to walk down stairs. Luckily I'm absolutely fine now but it does show me that I need to let my muscles rebuild after I work them hard and eating and drinking the right nutrients is key in that process.

Does anyone have any recovery tips or meal prep tricks?!

One last thing before I sign off for the night, but arguably the most important is that you'll see at the top of the page I've added a line of text with a link that says: Help to raise money while shopping online: Tom le Loop - Go Raise

This is another way of fundraising that I'm using this year and you can all help, without spending a penny more than you were intending to...

There's a website called GoRaise and they work with thousands of retailers online who will pledge a small donation to charity causes whenever a follower buys something online. Please do click on that link (or this one HERE) and register just using your name and email address. Then download their Donation Reminder and whenever you go to buy something online it will pop up asking if you want to create a donation to my page like so:

All you do then is shop as normal! My fundraising page should then receive donations from that website, normally as a percentage of your purchase.

Please do consider doing this as it's such an easy way to raise money while you literally do nothing! Oh, and for any cyclists... Wiggle is one of the websites that is supported so it's an excuse to go and buy some new kit... you know, for a good cause and all that!

Thank you for reading as always. I really do appreciate all of you who come and talk to me about it and say that you've read it :-) I'm sure in the heavy hitting months to come you'll be the ones who keep me going. Thank you.