The festive period is often a key time for athletes, and I recently put this important question to Twitter.
Athletes: What is a reasonable amount of mince pies one can eat over the festive period?
— S M E R N I C K I (@smernicki) December 19, 2013
Before we proceed, let’s be clear about defining the actual pie. We are talking exclusively about the Mince Pie, described on Wikipedia thus: “a small British fruit-based mincemeat sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season.”
Now that we are clear, lets move on.
The first reply came from Team Sky rider (and Black Line London playlist contributor) Luke Rowe:
@smernicki when it comes to mince pies there is no limit ….
— Luke Rowe (@LukeRowe1990) December 19, 2013
This was a good start – advice from a pro is always worth listening to and it seemed to be an endorsement of a high pie volume.
But then a reminder that pies can easily escalate from James:
@smernicki whatever it is, I fear I may already have crossed the line.
— James Higgs (@higgis) December 19, 2013
Thanks James – but I need answers. Then Tom suggested there may be a some sort of golden ratio:
@smernicki the answer correlates closely with 'how many hours riding can you do?'
— Tom Staniford (@tomstaniford) December 19, 2013
This was edging closer to what I wanted – unambiguous numbers.
Then Guy blew the doors open and flipped my thinking on it’s head – maybe it’s not how many, but how few:
@smernicki reasonable minimum is 1 or 2 per day. No maximum
— Guy Laister (@guylaister) December 19, 2013
And expanding on that theory, Troy pops up with an equation:
N + 1 where N = any no. “@smernicki: Athletes: What is a reasonable amount of mince pies one can eat over the festive period?”
— Troy Squires (@TroyMaloy) December 19, 2013
Just as it felt like things were moving forward – Captain Buzzkill chips in:
— Heather Jackson (@HevShimmy) December 19, 2013
But that was just a diversion. Back on track as Paul Burton suggests a single pie might require 10 TSS points to offset. I might have thought it would be more, but an interesting theory:
@smernicki 1 per 10 TSS points?
— Pablo Burt (@Pablo_Burt) December 19, 2013
And the most recent contribution defines not only an actual number of pies, but an acceptable window of pie opportunity. Very interesting….
@smernicki its probably a 14 day window. You should really eat one every day. If you are eating one you should eat 2. so 28 + 1 extra
— jonny f (@jonnyxf) December 19, 2013
So I feel OK about the pies now – it seems that by almost any measure, I’m well within safe territory. I may even be able to increase my pie intake slightly.
Please feel free to add to the discussion below……
UPDATE: Whilst I loved the idea of an equivalent TSS per pie (as suggested by Paul Burton), I was uncomfortable with the 10 point allocation. So, i consulted the experts at Training Peaks, with the help of a shark.
@smernicki Ah, thanks for the shark, puts it into perspective. Given the new data I crunched some numbers & it's more like 50 TSS per pie.
— TrainingPeaks (@TrainingPeaks) December 20, 2013