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Lex Albrecht: A day in the life of an athlete

I wake up around 7am on a typical day. Breakfast is the same: Oatmeal with a banana and egg cooked into it.  It makes a cake-like texture and gives me the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein, along with fibre.

I always have coffee with breakfast, and the style depends on where I am.  At home I love to make espresso; I strive to pull what is called a God Shot in coffee jargon. If I am on the road, I bring a travel moka pot that plugs into the wall (I bought it in Italy), or my frenchpress mug (an Espro, it's a Canadian invention) and I use a handheld grinder that looks like a pepper mill for fresh-ground beans everytime.

Training starts shortly after breakfast.  That's when I am most focused and energetic. I don't respond to e-mails, think of errands that I have to do, or people that I have to meet before training.  I like to keep a clear mind while I'm on my bike.  My coach sends me a plan every day. I'll write out the workout on a tiny piece of paper to stick to the stem of my bike (in other words, the part where the handlebars attach to the frame). I'll write down how much power I need to push into the pedals, for how long, and how many times.  

A training ride lasts from 2-6 hours.  My favourite places to train in Montreal are the Formula 1 race track (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve), the Mont-Royal 'Mountain' in the middle of the city, or the 'Voie Maritime' which is a 10km bike path that runs  practically down the middle of the St. Lawrence river. 

When I get home from riding I eat and get clean...sometimes at the same time (I've brought an apple in the shower before when I was so hungry I couldn't wait!).  Often times, I'll take a nap after lunch for 10-45 minutes.  It makes a huge difference for recovery.

The afternoon is when I see specialists like my physiotherapist, doctor, massage therapist, and a couple of times a year: the dentist & or course my IRIS optometrist.  Most of my afternoons are also spent doing deskwork; responding to e-mails, doing sponsor work, writing blogs, submitting expenses, updating my WhereAbouts for doping control, organizing logistics, paying bills and other real life stuff.  I am in front of the computer alot, which can be hard on the eyes, especially because of the blue light that the screen puts out.  My glasses have a Nikon SeeCoat Blue coating that filters out blue light.  This really helps reduce strain and fatigue on my eyes.  You can actually feel a big difference when you wear glasses with Nikon's SeeCoat Blue coating. 

Click here for more information on blue light!

In the winter months, I'll devote a few hours, a few days a week in the gym for strength work.  I do yoga and a workout called Essentrics to maintain flexibility and help with recovery too.

At the end of the day, I try to disconnect from the so called athlete life.  In the summer I spend an hour on my motorcycle in the city or out on the country roads.  Otherwise, I'll go for a walk or do my groceries and cleaning around the house.

I like reading before bed to calm down, it makes me stay still, and keeps me up to date on the world.  I don't always have a paper book on the go; when I travel I like to read books or the newspaper that I've download on my telephone. That way if I have a roommate who wants to sleep, we can shut out the lights and I can still read with my backlit screen.  But I make sure to put the 'Nightshift' function on which reduces blue light, and of course I wear my glasses with the See Coat blue protective filter. Liittle things like these make a big difference!  I aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and then...I do it all over again!

Thanks for reading!

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