Round Norfolk Epic 2021
On June 13th 2021 I had the pleasure of supporting 3 AMAZING ladies with their performance nutrition, as they embarked on completing their first 200mile ride as part of the 200 mile Round Norfolk Epic event.
Caroline, Lisa and Sharon had an incredible journey leading up to this event, spending their winter and spring months training hard to ensure they were in the best condition possible to complete this event, and complete it well!
This amazing achievement was a multidisciplinary team effort, receiving cycle coaching from James Walsgrove, Founder and CEO of RideHarder; Personal Training and Massage therapy from personal trainer 'Tall Paul' and Performance Nutrition from myself.
I am immensely proud of these three ladies and what they have achieved! Congratulations!!
(P.S. same again next year ladies!? ;-))
Here's what the ladies had to say:
Caroline - ''Having Jason on board for our big event was beyond my wildest dreams – surely this was something that only the pros would do! It was a perfect solution and definitely the springboard to our success. Having Jason positioned with our individual feed packs at pre-agreed meeting points, enabled us to focus on the job in hand and enabled him to monitor our well-being throughout. He provided invaluable advice on mid-ride feed adjustments where the hot weather and unforeseen issues affected performance, as well as reassurance and encouragement when the challenge became real. The pre-event coaching and support was second to none and I would do it again in a heartbeat.''
Lisa - ''Riding 200 miles is no small undertaking for your averagely fit, middle-aged, weekend warrior. Success is not just the 200 miles you ride on the day; it is also the 3000 miles you rode in training and the all the things you learnt from the people you pulled in around you to support you. In over 18 months: Jason, James & Paul transformed my riding skills from managing a weekly 12-mile ride to the garden centre coffee shop to a solid endurance athlete training 6 days per week; supporting me with my strength and conditioning, correcting my posture, improving my flexibility and building up my hip and lower back strength.
Jason’s coaching has helped me think differently about food. Instead of rewarding my activity with mid-ride coffee and cake at café stops, he has encouraged me to fuel my performance by “fuelling for the work required”. Now I take a food-first approach and fuel like a professional athlete. Jason’s weekly nutrition notes on the build to the 200 Epic kept me on track, so I’m properly fuelled for my long rides on a Sunday and recovered enough to go again on Monday. I have made some long-term changes in my diet and as bonus found my weight has stabilized after many years of yo-yo dieting.
Jason’s event day support was critical to our success. On event day Jason delivered incredible professional Soigneur services (physical, psychological, emotional support for us cyclists). He provided us with six dedicated pop-up rest stations, handed out endless ready mixed and chilled carbohydrate drinks, jelly babies and rice cakes. He kept us focused on the job-at-hand, helped us dig deep when the going got tough and kept us on our tight schedule. Importantly he reminded me to eat when I could no longer think for myself. Many an endurance athlete has failed because they forgot to eat! Without Jason’s support no doubt the Epic would have mentally worn me down and I would have crawled across the finish line close or worse failed to make the event time cut-off. Instead, we finished strongly as a team in 13 ½ hours at an average of 15.2 mph. We celebrated with the team – Jason, Paul, James; and our families were all there to greet us. Jason made sure we recovered our effort with chocolate milk, his homemade pizza, and his chocolate brownies. We have to keep focused on our nutrition and training because the Lap of Anglia 4 x 100 event is only a few weeks away!''
"I am a dedicated individual who followed an extensive winter training plan in preparation for my first 70.3 triathlon. During this plan, I realised that I knew nothing about how to effectively fuel my sport and found myself reading and watching conflicting information and getting confused. 12 weeks out from my event I realised something had to change. I reached out to my friends who have competed in events and multiple friends recommended Jason. From our first conversation, Jason set a great precedent; there was no pressure, he was clearly knowledgeable, friendly and professional. He took the time to get to know me personally and explored my long term goals. I got a good feeling from our initial consultation so we got straight to work with the 7 day dietary analysis. After the 7 days, in our follow-up results consult, not only did Jason take the time to explain where areas of improvement could be made, he also took the time to explain how these improvements could affect my body, health and, importantly, performance.
We quickly got to work in our performance coaching months. During this time, Jason provided me with weekly tailored and personalised performance nutrition notes and always took the time to explain his recommendations/suggestions - this was HUGE for me because this is the skills and knowledge I was able to take away after our 3 months working together. Throughout the 12 weeks we had daily conversations via WhatsApp and I really felt that I really got to know Jason better.
Moving forward, I have planned in more performance goals for 2023 and I have already briefed Jason on these to ensure we're working together towards these goals. I would use Jason again and again and I could not recommend him enough."
3 month Performance Nutrition Project with the
Young Norfolk Sports Academy (YNSA)
The athletes compete in a variety of different sporting disciplines. The aim of the project was to measure dietary intake (across different days) to set targets that would promote and develop the nutritional knowledge and practices of the elite young athletes.
Over the 3 months, multiple 1-2-1 consultations were conducted for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Other methods were used along side consultations.
The athletes' parents were included in all correspondence to help embed targets set and to promote the efficacy of the project. This was the first time this project has been offered to elite young athletes at the YNSA.
It was a real pleasure to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic young athletes at the YNSA and see them really engage with the project. Here’s what some the athletes had to say...
Pole Vault Athlete
'I have learnt a lot about my nutrition from Jason. This project has taught me to take a large step away from eating to not be hungry, to eating foods that are nutritious, and that fuel me for training and competition much better than my previous diet did. Having my mum involved in the project and seeing the regular communication via the whatsapp group really helped me stay on track. I feel like I definitely understand how important my nutrition is, as it has really helped me with my energy levels. I’d rate the experience a 9/10. I really appreciated all of the health and energy benefits. Thank you very much for helping me these last 3 months Jason!''
Cross Country Endurance Runner
''Drinking more water has made me feel healthier, stronger and more energetic when I run. Eating more sources of vitamin D have also made me feel healthier. My mum cooks the majority of my food, who also held me accountable for my goals, and also made sure to incorporate lots of vegetables/ sources of vitamin D into my meals – this made it more achievable to meet the targets Jason set. I am more interested in my food choices, particularly the pre and post workout snacks and meals, as I want to be able to get the most out of my training by eating well before and after.
My favourite suggestion was the increase in water intake, because it was my weakest point and has had the biggest impact on how I feel while training and during everyday life. The project helped kickstart me into actually doing something about this. I would rate the project 10/10 as it has been very useful in allowing me to track my progress, making sure I was being held accountable for my goals. Thank you for your help Jason!''
Triple Jump Athlete
''I definitely feel more awake and more alert since following Jason recommendations. I especially found that increasing my water intake has significantly increased my concentration levels and decreased feelings of tiredness. I now appreciate how much effort it takes to change old habits to new ones. Being held accountable by Jason has helped a lot with keeping me focussed. I am now more interested in the link between food intake and its impact on health & performance. I can now use my knowledge for training and more importantly competitions to ensure I am competing at my optimum capacity. I now want to make sure that I continue my three goals that were set by Jason, so that the habits are definitely set into my lifestyle. With the efforts I have made the last 3 months, I will make sure I do not go back to old habits. Im scoring the project an 8.5/10. Sometimes it was challenging but overall it has been a very valuable and engaging experience. Thank you so much Jason for this experience.''
''I would say I’m more energised physically and mentally due to the healthier eating. Especially with the higher intake of water, I have felt more awake and refreshed for training or competing. I’ve also found myself getting stronger due to a higher fruit and veg intake and better post workout snacks. I’ve been working with the targets Jason set for a while now and it is quickly becoming part of my everyday life and is a routine to me, so it definitely won’t be difficult carrying it on as I now know the benefits it brings.
Having Jason encourage me and check in on me helped a lot as I saw it as more focused goal. I’m definitely more interested in nutrition now because I hadn’t realised before how much of an impact it can have on how I feel and how it impacted my performance. Now I know what impact it can have I find myself wanting to look more into it and how I can fully improve my lifestyle and performance just by eating healthier.
I have really liked the protein yoghurts Jason recommended as my post workout snack. They’re actually very filling - I’m not low in energy or extremely hungry if I am between sessions, so these are a great option. I also love yoghurt, so I’ll definitely be continuing this - thanks Jason! I am scoring the project a 9.5/10. I have found it extremely beneficial and informative.
Thank you again for all your help and support the last 3 months Jason!''
300m Hurdles Runner
''Taking part in the project has helped me to reduce snacking on less nutritious foods and instead eat something more nutritious, for example fruit or vegetables. I also am more hydrated as I am drinking more water, which is helping me to feel healthier in general. I had my mum helping and encouraging me to complete the targets that Jason set me. I also sent photo evidence to Jason every Sunday to show him what I was doing throughout the week to improve my dietary intake. This helped hold me to account with my targets. I am now more interested in eating food that will promote my athletic performance and will help me train to the best of my ability. I have particularly liked eating more vegetables as it mentally and physically made me feel healthier and it was also nice to try a variety of different vegetables. I am scoring the project an 8/10 - thank you very much Jason for the help you have given me over the last couple of months!!''
Vernan Anderson - Obsessed Triathlete
''I have recently found the need to explore support around my diet and training. I consider myself a very healthy eater and a dedicated (obsessive) triathlete, but something wasn’t quite working with regards to nutrition. Following some searching, I contacted Jason and we quickly had a consultation where he gathered as much info. on me as he could, and began to outline the options available but with zero pressure. I immediately committed to the 7 day analysis, with some pre conceived expectations of the results! How wrong I was! Jason’s attention to detail in presenting the results of the dietary analysis was great! Although, in his words, I had it 90% correct, the small changes to the 10% could reap some real gains. Post analysis, I had not signed up to further coaching with Jason, however, I have since decided that this will form part of my plan to take me into future plans, next season. Using the advice that Jason gave me in the follow up consultation, I have since made some changes and have already seen the benefits! This has been the key to me making the decision to commit to further work with Jason in the future. I have found Jason to be highly professional, massively knowledgeable, and have the ability to extract information that I may not have thought significant. He also communicated exceptionally well. I would highly recommend anyone to work with Jason and at least take the 7 day analysis, you will be surprised; however you perceive your habits!"
JAMES WALSGROVE - CYCLIST AND CEO & FOUNDER OF RIDEHARDER
"Having struggled with my weight for many years I have decided that this is the year to really do something about it. Despite feeling I am quite knowledgeable about nutrition I have failed in the past to hit my goal weight so decided to seek professional help.
There are many options out there however I was impressed with Jason's academic knowledge combined with his practical, easy to understand explanations. His nutrition advice is simple, easy to follow and able to be combined with a busy lifestyle. Having someone also to be accountable is massive to me. Through my own coaching I believe this is a major factor in achieving your goals and something that I have not had within nutrition in the past.
It is not all about counting calories and weighing food which is great for me as I need it to be sustainable. Plus he uses other metrics rather than body weight to monitor progress which is useful for any athlete who wants to build muscle at the same time as losing fat.
Being so impressed with his approach to sport nutrition I have also decided to work with Jason within my group training plan. Nutrition and healthy weight management is a key factor in on the bike performance so will be great to share more of his knowledge and help many other cyclists.''
''In the last 7 years I’ve gone through the menopause. I gained weight, developed anxiety, became self-conscious about my appearance, my confidence deteriorated, poor eating habits developed and energy levels plummeted.
I reached out to Jason to turn things around and little did I know that much things would change for me.
Jason shifted my mindset and we began working on new behaviours toward my nutrition and training. Since working with Jason I have seen significant improvements with my well-being. I walk taller and smile more often. I went from struggling to deadlift 20kg with poor technique to lifting 60kg, confidently and feeling strong.
I’ve seen a 4kg drop in body fat. I am now wearing smaller sized clothing, looking leaner and generally feeling great! I am now eating more than I ever did and eat regularly.
For me, I am just getting started and I’m incredibly excited to see what else I can achieve whilst working with Jason over the next 12-week block.''
LAURA NICHOLLS - FOOTBALL PLAYER
''I started receiving sports massages from Jason back in July 2019 after playing a football game and injuring my leg. Since going to Jason he has helped me recover well and get back to playing very soon after starting treatment. Jason gives great advice on helping to maintain your physicality and also provides suitable, appropriate and safe stretches to go away continue practising at home. Jason is very helpful with answering any questions you have and helping you with any worries or concerns. I have a lot of respect for Jason and would highly recommend him to anyone who requires a sports massage therapist. He has helped me a lot and I will continue to get sports massages for the foreseeable future. Thank you for all your help Jason!''
MARTIN PLOWMAN -- PROFESSIONAL VEHICLE JOCKEY; LE MANS WINNER, WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPION
(PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG WHEELDON PHOTOGRAPHY)
''Undertaking a nutritional analysis with Jason opened up my eyes to some of the mistakes that I was making. His in-depth analysis and feedback was very user friendly and easy to understand and gave me the tools to make big changes in my day to day food intake to be a better athlete''
KEN BARCHAMBOOL - ULTRA RUNNER AND IRONMAN TRIATHLETE
''I worked with Jason for 12 weeks and the difference by the end of it was amazing. He taught me how to carb load properly before a race, he taught be about eating at the right times, the amount of carbohydrates to eat, what to eat less of, how much water to drink in a day...the list goes on. He’s got such amazing knowledge and his work ethos is amazing. He checked in with me on an almost daily basis and was always there to answer questions, even when he had a new born to look after!
The best bit about it for me was that Jason didn’t try and tie me in to some over priced plan that you have to stick with for a year to see the benefits. You will learn what you need to know in a 12 week period and Jason will support you through it. The skills you learn in the 12 weeks continue to work afterwards and they’ve helped me achieve new personal bests in running, swimming and cycling in the last few weeks.
I plan on going back to Jason soon and doing another 12 week block with him because I’ve got another big race coming up in September that I want to make sure my performance nutrition is dialled in for. Would I recommend Jason, absolutely! I already have done to many people and I’m sure I will to many more!''
NORWICH STEINER SCHOOL
''Jason is a real ‘professional’. On two occasions at Norwich Steiner School in the past couple of years, we have employed him over a period of weeks to teach a learning outcome called “Functional anatomy” to classes of between 10 and 22 pupils age 17/18 year. The learning outcome is part of the Level 3 qualification we offer at this school as an alternative to A levels. Jason is always well prepared, punctual and incredibly efficient. He is kind, positive and cheerful and the pupils like him. Jason has empathy and has been effective in providing sufficient challenge for the able learners, whilst also being able to support pupils with learning difficulties. In addition, Jason communicates well with other teachers, so we feel well informed as to which pupils may be struggling. We hope that Jason will be willing to return to the school in the future and cannot recommend him highly enough. Thank you Jason!"
IONA LAKE - GB COMMONWEALTH GAMES STEEPLECHASE ATHLETE
''I began working with Jason this year after I felt that a lack of nutritional knowledge and lack of organisation with food preparation was hindering my progression in my sport. I met Jason for an initial chat and his relaxed, friendly ways made me feel at ease talking about my current situations and how we can implement small changes. He first analysed my current food diary and gave me detailed feedback which we discussed to ensure I understood everything written. Then from that, he prepared a detailed food plan that suited my training times and racing schedules alongside likes and dislikes. He made sure the meals and snacks were something I would be likely to stick to, using fresh ingredients and whole foods. I would highly recommend Jason if you are looking for guidance on your nutritional needs to suit your lifestyle!"
LEAH KATE NEWCOMBE - FOOTBALL PLAYER
''I am a keen footballer and have been struggling with a groin injury for some time. Since seeking the help of Jason my injury has improved significantly, with my hip flexor range of movement increasing 10% in just two sessions! Jason is always happy to give advice outside of our booked treatment sessions and he shows great interest in my progress. It is obvious that Jason is very passionate about what he does and I have every confidence that with Jason I will be able to eradicate the injury altogether. His expertise are second to none and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is need of soft tissue treatment. Thank you Jason!''
PERFORMANCE NUTRITION WEIGHT LOSS ATHLETE
‘’Working alongside Jason for 3 months has been a journey, an educational journey, learning about nutrition and exercise. Prior to meeting Jason I thought a healthy diet was having lots of salads and running on the treadmill was good for achieving what I wanted, a lower weight and a slimmer frame.
Jason has taught me the key elements for achieving my goals, starting with the basics to support my health and then building on these, down to the smallest details. Jason has been so supportive throughout the whole journey, always available on WhatsApp, Facebook, and face to face. He has taught me a new way of life in terms of nutrition and exercise, allowing me to even have chocolate on days that I felt I needed it 😂!
Jason is a great teacher and asked me questions regularly so he could see if I was learning what I had been taught throughout the journey, which made me think and be able to evaluate what I was doing independently.
Overall I have been very pleased with what Jason has taught me and this has given me the goal to work towards a fitter, happier and healthier lifestyle!’’
''I first met Jason at a networking event put on by Barclays Premier and Jarrolds in Norwich to celebrate sport in Norfolk. After seeing his very informative presentation I was straight away impressed with a knowledge and understanding of nutrition. When we spoke Jason listened to everything I had to say regarding my initial questions and suggested that we meet for an initial, no obligation, chat to discuss how we might work together.
Prior to that initial chat, I hadn’t realised how in-depth the consultation process was but Jason made great efforts to ensure that we would keep the focus on me and my fitness goals. Looking back on it, I realise now how important it was for Jason to ask all the questions he did regarding my lifestyle, training, work and family commitments, we even went back as far as when I was a child all the way through to the present day. He was every thorough.
After the initial consultation I had no hesitation in signing up to a full package with Jason. The value was clear to see before we got started. After reviewing the bespoke services he offered and we came to a mutual decision about what would really benefit me most. Jason has made the process was very easy and straight forward.
After working with Jason for the last 3 months, we’ve communicated regularly to discuss barriers and achievements; accountability with working towards my targets and how well my nutrition was going. Jason was great at explaining things to me, which made so much more sense once we started applying it directly into my lifestyle. I also feel that working with a professional in this area has helped me work towards my goals. At the time we met I felt I had plateaued in my lifting goals. Since meeting Jason I have added 17.5kg more weight to my squats and 12.5kg to my deadlift. My favourite and best tip was the coffee and honey on toast 60min before my training. Brilliant.
I’ve seen significant progress in my eating regime and performance aspects since working with Jason. I have achieved multiple PBs in my Olympic lifting which has also impacted my overall lifestyle, giving me a more positive outlook on things. I cannot recommend Jason enough and I have no doubt he can help others in the same way he has helped me.''
HANNAH LINDQVIST-DEAN - TRIATHLETE
''I started running 3 years ago and taking part in triathlons around 2 years ago and was due to take on my first full Ironman distance in June, however covid had other ideas. Nutrition has always been a subject I have ignored and for my first half iron distance I worked out that I consumed 19 caffeine based gels and was understandably buzzing when I finished and for quite some time after. It soon dawned on me after completing another half distance and again relying on gels and sweets was not the way forward as I had to stop multiple times to upchuck. I also realised that even my preparation was not great and my nutrition was pretty poor.I’d heard of other people using Jason and seeing their results just made me realise that I needed his help. And so my journey began. I chatted with Jason and explained where I was I what I needed.
We met up for an initial consultation and Jason made me feel completely at ease, we chatted lots about what I wanted to achieve and how he could support me if I chose to sign up with him. It was an easy decision to sign up but there was no pressure to sign up if I didn’t want to. At the initial consultation Jason outlined how he would support me and construct and individualised plan as every athlete is different which was awesome. So I signed up and then began the in depth dietary analysis and he told me to be brutally honest and so I was. Let’s just say I think there was one homemade meal for the week which had a comment in brackets (one mouthful-disgusting-in the bin) and the rest was made up of ping meals (microwave meals) and takeaways-usually 3 times a week. Writing it all down made me realise just how bad my diet was and that this was going to be a really tough journey.
Jason analysed my food diary and we met again to discuss it and he didn’t even bat an eyelid at how unhealthy my food choices were, he just said he was going support me moving forward to make healthy choices and support me to become more knowledgeable about nutrition and its impact upon my training and general lifestyle. It shocks me now to think the first task was literally just to eat the required amount of fruit and vegetables each day. I have gone from eating literally no fruit and vegetables to absolutely loving it and having the most colourful tasty plates of food ever!
Jason was easily able to identify where I needed support and worked with me to improve my diet, I would get regular messages to check in on me and see if I had met my targets for each day and constructive feedback. Even I I hadn’t met targets that he set me we would then reflect together and evaluate and find out why and what to do going forward. Then covid hit so my Ironman journey was postponed so I felt completely lost and no idea why I was fuelling for training that I simply didn’t want to do. I felt that I was starting to learn how to fuel for training and now I simply didn’t want to train or do much of anything.
Jason was a rock and believe it or not he doesn’t just talk about food 😂 so we changed plans and decided it’s time for me to get lean, I mean losing a few kg is always an advantage for the bike 👌🏻I felt refreshed and focused and more targets were set and I was determined to smash them and with Jason’s guidance I did! I not only lost kg but I lost cm and I felt so energised. I got a real boost when Jason started sending me over the graphs of my progress. When we changed pathways Jason set me a protein goal target and we had a shared document where he would regularly upload ideas of how to meet my protein goals and some very tasty vegan protein rich treats, we quickly identified me and treats is a bad combination as I have no self restraint and would eat the entire portion (of 12) in one go 🙄 however we always reflected on these indulgences and learnt from my mistakes. Jason never made me feel bad when made bad food choices, he would just steer me back on course.
As a vegan I thought hitting my protein goals would be hard but Jason taught me how to manage it and achieve it easily. The first day I tried to hit my protein goal I literally just ate chick peas for breakfast lunch and dinner 😂 Jason soon rectified this and soon enough I was eating the tastiest food ever.So starting to lose some kg and cm and meeting my protein goals and even meal prepping in advance! I was getting organised and felt simply awesome and Jason was always so enthusiastic about any success big or small. I felt like a was filling up a sticker chart with gold stars 🌟.
Jason then suggested aiming for a PB for a distance, pffft was my reaction. Absolutely no chance with covid, working full time as a nurse and living as a single mum. Simply not going to happen! But I did! I smashed my 10k PB during an efforts session and also my half iron distance on the run and the bike!!! I was so chuffed. All in all I lost an average of 0.5kg a week for 8 weeks and I set some PBs. I feel that Jason has provided me with such valuable knowledge to move forward and this is only the start of my journey. I have already told fellow athletes/peers that I will be using Jason next year to support me for my first Ironman as I can genuinely say he is awesome and gets results. I’ve gone from Mrs Ting Takeaway to Mrs Colourful Cook 👍🏻 - Cheers Jason!!
CAROLINE MOORE - CYCLIST
I enrolled in June, age 55 and partly questioned what I could genuinely hope to achieve. However as COVID meant no summer holiday this year, I decided to invest in my personal wellbeing, and I wasn’t disappointed. My primary objective was weight management, having battled to achieve a work/life balance over the past year, combined with a more focussed approach towards sports nutrition to support my training and participation at events.
Through a carefully managed approach, I surpassed my personal target weight ahead of schedule but alongside that, Jason’s guidance enabled me to adopt intelligent fuelling protocols and post workout recovery to cope with the high intensity sessions I needed to take on board to achieve my goals. The end result was an overall weight loss of 4.7 kg and 6cm off my waistline, as well as a significant improvement in my overall performance; increasing AVG power by +32W and max power by +51W.
Jason provided the coaching, support and insights, I put the theory into practice and through trial and error, together we identified the right combination to achieve my performance goals. Two weeks after my initial 100 miler, I participated in my first ever night ride (also over 100 miles), which in itself presented further challenges, not least, how to manage sleep deprivation and fatigue during the ride. Another successful outcome was achieved which also brought about further learning opportunities.
My performance at the Norwich 100 was the icing on the cake – the weeks of learning came together on one day, which also involved me having to make an informed decision about how to approach my intake during the ride following a last minute change and completing my first ever endurance event in one stage with no food stop. Jason has empowered me to make the right decisions and this event was no exception.
I can’t believe what I have achieved over the last three months and the programme far exceeded my expectations. If this has got you thinking, regardless of your age, ability or aspirations, then get in touch with Jason. I very nearly didn’t, but I am so very glad that I did.