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  • Writer's pictureAmelie Mongol Derby Racer

Body and diet

For a couple of months, I have been debating whether or not I was taking the training towards the Mongol Derby too seriously – or, rather, too academically. Yet, I wasn’t really adjusting the kind of exercises (nor my diet) to what performance training would mean.

After discussing it with my husband, last month I finally committed myself to training like a pro.

What does it mean?

I decided to get a personal trainer and a nutritionist. To make sure this will be useful on all levels, I found them already as a pair.

There’s no point in having a personal trainer without adjusting your diet even so slightly; likewise, a nutritionist alone won’t be enough.

That’s why I found Sufian and James. Sufian is a personal trainer and part of the boutique gym Aileron. A kind and enthusiastic man, he demonstrated his knowledge and expertise on our first meeting, where he spent an hour asking me questions about my habits, my body, and my challenges. James is a former personal trainer and nutritionist who founded his own company of sports nutrition. He understands the requirements of heavy training, as well as the enjoyment of good food, and doesn’t like the word ‘restriction’ too much, which is perfect for me.

They work well together and have been jointly training different types of athletes, including car racers. This fact gave me confidence that, no matter how unique my challenge is, they will be able to tackle it.

While we will go into details about their training program and philosophy in future posts, I wanted to share a bit of how the process is going so far.

On the personal training side, as Sufian considers us to be in the ‘low season’, his focus is on ‘re-educating’ my body. He wants to ensure that my ‘default’ posture won’t be an issue by correcting/strengthening the areas of weaknesses. That way, I can maintain a better position overall, both in and out the saddle, and won’t get tired too quickly.

On the dietary side, James has been closely studying what I eat and drink. We also started our program with measurements and he will be keeping track of this every month. He monitors my intakes via food pictures, which means that I basically send him a picture of everything that goes in my stomach. The funniest part is when I go out with friends: first drink of bubbly or wine followed by a second - sometimes I’m afraid he’ll think I’ve mistakenly sent him a picture twice or thrice!

In a future post, I will detail how the program is going and what the learnings are on each side. It does make a difference to have a support system around you, pushing you as well as caring for your progress. On top of friends and family, sports performance professionals make for a great addition.

What does your support system look like?


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