Yummy Cheap Homemade Protein Bars!

As someone who has spent the last couple of months finishing every gym session by walking over to the vending machine and putting in €3.50 for a protein bar, I was very excited to come across a few recipes for homemade, tasty, and most importantly, cheap protein bars. Most of them follow the same few key steps outlined below but there is always room for you to make it your own and throw in a few extra pieces here or there! Follow the instructions below and you can’t go too far wrong.

I spent a total of roughly €10 putting these together and with roughly 14 bars made there are some serious savings to be made! The only big purchase is a tub of protein (or similar) powder and if you’re a hard training triathlete or runner you should really have some form of recovery powder hanging around the house regardless!


  • 250ml Coconut Cream (Coconut milk can also be used and is easier to find)
  • 300g Peanut Butter (Ideally low-sugar variety or even use almond butter!)
  • 400g Uncooked Oatflakes
  • 5 scoops/150g Whey Protein or other (I used Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flaxseed
  • 1 Tablespoon Crushed Almonds
  • Handful Dried Fruit (I forgot to use these in the end!)

There is nothing tough to this recipe apart from getting your hands nice and messy and mixing it all together!! I bought cream of coconut rather than coconut cream (I didn’t know there was a difference!) which meant adding water to a hard lump of coconut and whisking until it was all a nice smooth white creamy liquid. Save yourself the hassle though and buy it pre-creamy!

cream of coconut - 10k ray protein bar recipe

Firstly, add the Coconut Cream into a large bowl

powder - 10k ray protein bar recipe

Next in is the protein powder of your choice and mix it all together using a wooden spoon

peanut butter - 10k ray protein bar recipe

Then add the Peanut Butter and continue to mix.  It will slowly start to turn from a milky liquid into a more solid structure. Mixing all this into a thick gloop is quite therapeutic!

mixing it up! 10k ray protein bars

Next step is to throw in the Oatflakes, Flaxseed and Crushed Almonds and get those hands dirty! Mush it all together and get a good spread of the ingredients throughout.

protein bars - 10k ray

Place the entire mixture into a flat tray and smooth it out evenly to your own desired thickness of bar and place it into the fridge to chill overnight. Take it out and you should be able to slice it into 10+ very decent sized bars.

The final, and most important, step is to go out for a gym session, a long hard cycle, run or swim (or maybe all of them!), get back to the house and tuck in!

70g Serving size / 300 Calories per bar / 25g Protein

Perfect for after a hard session or meal replacement if out and about! Please like below and share it around if you think this might be of any use. Happy eating! 🙂

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
– Pain and Rain – Race Report from 1st Cross Country race of season
– Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
– Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
– World Triathlon Championships Race Report

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Triathlon Bike Setup…Please Help Me!

It was only last weekend when I was first able to get up on the bike and give the old wheels a proper spin in over 2 months, after giving myself a little bit of an overly long bike break since the start of Winter. Not surprisingly when I tried to slowly bend my not very supple back back into the TimeTrial position on the bike it felt like I had added roughly 83 years onto myself over the Christmas holidays!

I know it will take a few weeks of easing back into it but for some reason I couldn’t help but feel that the bike position was every so slightly off. I made the short video below and am looking for any advice or comments on my position! If it’s good, if it’s bad, if it’s somewhere in between comment away and let me know know what ye think! I’m setting up the bike to take on my first Ironman 70.3 in Budapest in August but between now and then it will be the shorter faster Sprint and Olympic distance season.

Please drop your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this post (if viewing this in the main menu just click on the title of the article and the comments will be at the bottom of the page) or alternatively drop me a line direct on
EMAIL – raymondlonergan2002@yahoo.co.uk
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/10k_Ray

Any tips much appreciated 🙂

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
– Pain and Rain – Race Report from 1st Cross Country race of season
– Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
– Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
– World Triathlon Championships Race Report

Follow me on
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Instagram – http://instagram.com/10k_ray

Roll with it! Some Simple Tips On How To Improve Your Training, Racing & Recovery

10k Ray - Physio blog

(Pic above – Eoin Everard showing us how to hurt ourselves with Foam Rollers!)

On Thursday last (24th October) myself and the other runners from Fit4Life Kilkenny were treated to a talk and demonstration by local top runner and newly set-up physiotherapist Eoin Everard, (www.solutionsphysio.com) who took us through the basics on pre-covery, recovery and how best to use foam rollers. Eoin is a National Champion at 1.5km and a sub-4 minute mile runner so should hopefully know a thing or two about getting the body in the best shape possible!

Right now is the time to take heed of training/recovery advice as we head into the Winter months, which for most runners means the Base Phase or building towards a Spring Marathon and long miles pounding the road. The body will be put under a lot of strain and being proactive rather than reactive can save yourself a world of hurt!!

Although I have read up on nutrition, recovery and smart training before there was still a lot to learn and I realised how far off the mark I am myself, especially with things that appear completely basic. I have listed the points below that really stood out to me personally from the talk, which I hope to take into my regime immediately, and below that I have listed some great articles that can help athletes plan out a perfect training/recovery regime. Of course everyone is different in terms of ability, weight, amount of training you can do, distances you race, but if any of these can be of use to you, dear reader, then all the better!

  • The 1% rule – When trying to become better, faster, stronger it’s easier to make 1% gains in 5 different areas rather than make a 5% gain in 1 area!
  • Very basic, but make sure to get in 1.5-2litres of water per day
  • Maintain a clear urine colour pre- and post-training to ensure you are adequately hydrated
  • Increase the amount of Fruit & Veg for lunch & dinner. Get those sugars and carbs from natural healthy food types
  • If possible (in a dream life!) get in a nap during the day, minimum of 30mins to produce growth hormone and maximum 45mins so doesn’t upset normal sleep cycle
  • Keep your nutrition regular and consistent day to day. Think ahead to your training later that day as you plan meal content and timings
  • Get in some form a pre-workout energy snack, like a banana or nutrigrain bar so you are close to 100% starting the workout
  • Get those legs up post-workout! Even just 15mins of relaxing and keeping your calves elevated after a run will speed up the recovery process
  • Be very careful with your post-workout/race nutrition and ensure to get in some form of protein/carb mix and replenish water reserves as soon as possible after the workout
  • Spend 10mins after each workout with an adequate cool down and stretching/foam rolling (calves, hamstrings, quads, abductors, back) to restore muscular length and balance
  • Make an Athletic Diary to log activities, nutrition, mood, stresses and training in the days before and of a race and take learnings for what does and doesn’t work into your next race. Check out the free online RunnersWorld training diary
  • Try to eliminate artificial lights (tv, phone, laptop, etc) from your eyes in the build-up towards bedtime so you don’t affect serotonin levels negatively and aim for 8 hours of restful sleep each night
  • Be aware of and try reduce different voluntary and involuntary stresses acting on you throughout the day (family, social, work, environmental, new training regimes, heavy volume training, sleeping pattern, sickness). Check out the great article on ‘The Science Behind Stress’ I have shared below!
  • Below is the Recovery Pyramid (Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio)
Recovery Pyramid - Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio

Courtesy of SolutionsPhysio

I have listed some online articles below that I have found helpful to keep those injuries at bay and get the body running on full steam!

10k Ray - Foam Roller funny jpeg - physio blog post

Get Rolling!!!

Foam Rolling
How to Foam Roll Like a Pro – infographic – (Greatist.com)

What is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It and Why Does It Hurt? – (BreakingMuscle.com)

Pre-Training/Race Nutrition
What to East Before a Run – (RunnerConnect.net)

A Runner’s Diet – Getting the Right Nutrition Before a Race – (Asics.com)

Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition for Runners – (MensFitness.com)

Post-Training/Race Nutrition
Re-Fueling the Runner: Post Workout Nutrition – (RunningTimes.com)

Post-Workout Fuel You Need – (Active.com)

Post-Training/Race Recovery
After the Race – (Active.com)

Post-Run Recovery Tips – (RunnersWorld.com)

How to Recover from a Tough Racing Season – (RunningTimes.com)

Overtraining: Why it Happens, How to Spot It & How to Dig Yourself Out
– (RunningCompetitor.com)

All About Overtraining – (TrainingPeaks.com)

The Science Behind Stress – Why Runners Can Become Injured – (Ultra168.com)

I would like to stress that this post is in no way written for profit or for business purposes with Solutions Physio. I am merely kindly passing on the key points I picked up from the talk to share with my readers and hopefully help a few other people train and race at their best and, touch wood, keep injury free!

Some more 10k Ray posts you may enjoy –
Pain and Rain – Race Report from 1st Cross Country race of season
Let’s Go Country! Online Articles on Cross Country Running
Triathlon Ireland National Series 2013 Wrap Up
World Triathlon Championships Race Report

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Lets Go Country! Top Online Articles on Cross Country Running

It’s October, it’s Winter, it’s the end of the tri season…time to take on Cross Country running (or X/C, as the cool kids refer to it). This is a must for all aspiring road runners and triathletes looking to head into 2014 a stronger, faster, tougher, and basically, better runner. The hillier courses over relatively short distances (anywhere between 3-10km) mean you will get in some of your greatest ever core and leg-strength workouts while keeping the joints in check due to lower mileage and being on soft grassy terrains. Check out the range of online articles at the bottom of this blog post to help you become a serious X/C racer and take a nice well deserved break from those firm track and even firmer road surfaces!

For those completely new to cross country running it may be a daunting prospect, offering a complete unknown in terms of racing, training, fitness and gear. I remember the week before heading to my first race thinking it was going to be mayhem, running through muck up to your hips, leaping over fences, ditches and puddles and putting myself through a completely unnecessary form of hell to finish last against actual cross country runners…you know, the kind of guys who live in the mountains and run up vertical slopes for a laugh. But I was completely wrong…

Cross Country Running - Muck - 10k Ray Blog

…Well I was right about the muck, leaping ditches and puddles and putting myself through hell but I was wrong about how much fun and excitement these races give, along with the immediate gains in fitness and running ability and not to mention the psychological gains from knowing you can take on and conquer bad weather and tough, changing terrain. It can also offer new runners, and particularly younger runners, a great taste of organised and competitive racing.

Training partners have said to me how my running has came on leaps and bounds since this time last year and all I could say was it was down to the 2012/13 cross country season, where I also managed to win the Kilkenny County Intermediate Championship and was on the winning team for the County Senior Championship with Kilkenny City Harriers. For the months ahead X/C is all I will recommend to anyone willing to listen to me! My own X/C season kicks off this Sunday with the Leinster Novice Championship in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, then rolling all the way through until next March taking in some A level races (National Intermediate, National Novice, Kilkenny County Senior) and a host of smaller B & C level races.

Cross country helps you improve, whatever your goals


I have searched through the world wide web to dig up some of my favourite articles on X/C running, covering topics for newbies starting off to those more experienced looking for some interesting training regimes and race strategies. Start digging into the links below, get in with your local running club, invest in a decent pair of X/C runners and enjoy your Winter runs through our mucky fields. Mo Farah started off as a cross country runnner…need I say anymore 😀


How to Run Cross Country (WikiHow)

Basic Cross Country Training (Everything Track and Field)

The Art of Running Faster (X/C section) (Human Kinetics)

Cross Country Specific Training Tips (RunnersWorld)

Cross Country Running – Specific Training Demands (Kinetic Revolution)

Hal Higdon Cross Country Training Program (Hal Higdon) 

Strategies for Cross Country Racing (run.isport)

Cross Country Race Strategy (Tips4Running)
Cross Country Running Tips (Tips4Running)

(Fixture List for National X/C races & List of all Running Clubs)

Here’s another one of my previous blog posts which may be of interest
The Off-Season – What’s a Triathlete to do?

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The Off-Season – What’s a Triathlete to do?

cross country 10k ray winter season plan

This is the time of the year where triathletes suddenly find themselves at the end of a long season and no more big races to look forward to. Not only that, they struggle to know what to do with themselves at all. Post race season blues is definitely a condition that can sap your lust for life and desire to get out to exercise! There are many thoughts on what is best to do —> Give yourself a complete break and keep the feet up for the Winter before coming back fresher than ever; Take a shorter break for 2-4 weeks as a little recharge; Keep going as normal; Keep going a normal but drop total training time down to around 20-30% of total when you were at your peak; Drop all normal training but take up another sport like indoor football, surfing, kayaking etc to keep your self active and fit.

My personal approach is to keep on going with the 3 triathlon disciplines, focus on your weakness and enjoy your strength! It is vital to drop the majority of hard intensive training across the 3 sports and give the body some level of respite. Go long and easy instead to start building your base fitness for 2014.

If you are a weak cyclists invest in some new gear and get out for regular long easy miles to get your legs strong. If you are a weak swimmer invest in a good coach and work on your technique. If you are a weak runner try join up with a running club or with runners of similar ability and run as often as possible. Winter also provides the perfect opportunity to take up something new to complement your tri training add some spice to your life! A good focus would be strength and conditioning training such as cross-fit or core classes.

Another way to keep the interest levels high is spoil yourself with some new purchases. Maybe it’s time to finally invest in that turbo trainer for the bike or time to even upgrade the winter road bike or maybe get those brand new expensive runners you really want seeing as you ran your others into the ground over the last 3-4 months!

winter biking 10k Ray blog post training

Keeping competitive is a great trait to have for both your mental and physical being. It keeps things fun and gets you out and about with like minded individuals. It is also a pretty good feeling to do well in races so I recommend taking 1 of the 3 triathlon sports you excel most at and try find a few Winter events to target. The off-season does not mean you pack away your competitive spirit 🙂

These next few months are very important in setting up the 2014 season so treat them as serious you would during the Summer racing period!

Running is my thing so my focus for the next few months will revolve around County and National Cross Country races as well as a couple of longer distance road running events. These will give me focus, keep me competitive (something which I would be lost without!) as well as helping to get in a decent running base and build strength to take into the Duathlon season in early 2014.

run message 10k ray blog post winter season triathlon training

The aim will be to get in running training at least twice a week while racing at the weekend or 3 decent training sessions if not racing. Focus will be on endurance training (80min+ runs) and mid-to-long distance interval sessions (Tempo runs and 1-5km threshold repeats) along with keeping up with the Fit4Life Winter track season. Got to make sure I keep that fast kick in my legs for the last 400metres of a races!!! 🙂

The Winter strategy for the bike is to hibernate the TimeTrial bike, invest in a half decent road bike and try get in 1-2 decent steady endurance spins per week, increasing the mileage each week until I am getting in regular 2.5 hour+ rides. The swim training will focus on getting an underwater video analysis and getting my hands on a decent 3 month training plan (Nov-Jan) to build endurance with regular 3km+ swims and get the technique sorted for the 2014 races. Jaysus, I have literally just finished the 2013 season and I’m already thinking what races I want to do next year…I need a break!!!

-In order of date, not importance. Liable to change-

  1. Leinster Novice Cross Country / Oct 27th
  2. Leinster Intermediate Cross Country / Nov 10th
  3. Kilkenny County 10mile road race / Nov 17th
  4. Waterford Half Marathon / Dec 1st
  5. National Novice Cross Country / Dec 15th

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12 Weeks to London…Week 12!!! (9th – 15th September)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 12 = 9th – 15th September

AM. Swim – 800m/20min with 50m repeats
PM. Brick – 14km/25min Gym Bike Fartlek followed by 800m/3min Run Sprint

PM. Run – 8km/40min with 2x 4min Race Pace Interval

AM. Swim – 800m/20min Tempo
PM. Brick – 20km/40min Bike Fartlek followed by 1km/5min Steady Run


A.M. RACE World Triathlon Championship
750m/14min Swim – 22km/37min Bike – 5km/16min Run

Boozing 🙂

Boozing 🙂

Total Swim – 2.3km / 1hr
Total Bike – 50km / 1hr 20min
Total Run – 14km / 1hr

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12 Weeks to London…Week 11 (2nd – 8th September)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 11 = 2nd – 8th September

PM. Swim – 1.5km/35min 100m repeats
PM. Run – 8km/35min Fartlek Track Session

PM. Brick – 33km/60min Bike Interval (Fartlek + 10k TT) followed by 2km/10min Easy Run

PM. Swim – 1.2km/30min Aerobic River Swim

PM. Brick – 20k/30min Recovery Bike followed by 8k/40min Running Track Session followed by 10k/30min Recovery Bike

AM. Physio (Owwwww)

AM. Bike – 30km/60min Interval Bike (4x 4min Race Effort)

AM. Swim – 1km/20min Sea Swim

Everything is packed and on the road to London!!!! Come on Ireland 🙂

Total Swim – 3.5km / 1hr 30min
Total Bike – 93km / 3hr
Total Run – 22km / 1hr 45min

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12 Weeks to London…Week 10 (26th August-1st September)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 10 = 26th August – 1st September

PM. Run – 12.5km/60min Steady State

PM. Brick – 30km/60min Bike Steady State followed by 2km/10min Easy Run

AM. Swim – 1.7km/45min Sets
PM. Run – 12km/60min Interval with 5x 1km at race pace

AM. Swim – 1.2km/30min Sets (50metre Max effort repeats)
PM. Bike – 30km/60min Interval with 7x 2min Max Race Effort

AM. Run – 4km/20min Easy run with 4x 100m Strides

A.M. RACE Mourne Olympic Triathlon
1.5km/25min Swim – 40km/72min Bike – 10km/38 Run

AM. Bike – 35km/70min Steady

Total Swim – 4.5km / 2hr
Total Bike – 135km / 4hr 30min
Total Run – 40km / 3hr 10min

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12 Weeks to London…Week 9 (19th August-25th August)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 9 = 19th August – 25th August

PM. Swim – 2km/50min Intervals
PM. Run – 12km/55min Steady State with 2x 15min Tempo Intervals

PM. Brick – 37km/70min Bike Interval (4x 5min + 1x 8min Race Pace effort) followed by 2km/10min Easy Run

AM. Run – 7km/55min Interval (xxxx)
PM. Swim – 1.1km/20min Easy River Swim

PM. Bike – 30k/60min Rolling Tempo

PM. Run – 10k/45min Interval – 5x 800m at 5k Race Pace


A.M. RACE Dublin City Olympic Triathlon
1.5km/30min Swim – 40km/70min Bike – 10km/38min Run

Total Swim – 4.6km / 1hr 40min
Total Bike – 80km / 2hr 20min
Total Run – 41km / 3hr

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12 Weeks to London…Week 8 (12th August-18th August)

10k Ray Triathlon Blog

WEEK 8 = 12th August – 18th August

PM. Run – 10km/45min Tempo Run  for middle 25min

AM. Swim – 1.6km/45min 10x 100metre repeats at race pace
PM. Brick – 40km/80min Bike Interval (10x 2min Max Effort on Big Gear) followed by 4.5k/20min Aerobic Run

AM. Physio – 45min (owwwwww!!!!)
PM. Bike – 30km/65min Easy Recovery Spin

AM. Swim – 1.9k/45min Sets (25m Sprints & Pull/Paddle work)
PM. Bike – 40k/80min Interval (6x 5min Leg Drills + 2x 5min TT)

AM. Run – 11km/50min Interval (5x 1km at 5k Race Pace + 20sec Hill Climb)



Total Swim – 3.5km / 1hr 40min
Total Bike – 100km / 3hr 25min
Total Run – 25km / 1hr 50min

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