Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From Couch to Competitor: Pre-Ride Fueling

Like I mentioned in my previous post, each stage at Titans took roughly 6 hours to complete in previous years, and Anthony had to complete back to back 5 hour training rides in order to be ready for the event. Whenever you ride this much your body becomes a furnace. You burn somewhere between 3000-4000 calories during these epic rides. This does not even account for the calories you burn off the bike with your ramped up metabolism running at the speed of hummingbird wings.

If you do not fuel your body properly, you will not be able to complete the insanity. I suggest eating low glycemic carbohydrates (like oats, muesli, wheat bread, or sweet potatoes) along with some fat and some protein (eggs or nut butters work well here). The low glycemic carbs burn slowly, and the fat and protein help them metabolize even slower. This means you should have energy throughout the ride, provided you fuel adequately throughout. The stages at Titans started relatively early at 8 a.m., so we needed to eat something quick or wake up at 4 a.m. to make something extravagant. We were lazy and wanted to "sleep in" until 5 a.m., so we decided to take the fast route. That didn't mean McDonalds drive-through though! For breakfast on the mornings of Titans we would eat 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill Muesli soaked in Califia Farms unsweetened coconut almond milk overnight. In the morning we would add some cinnamon and slice up a banana to mix into the muesli. You could add other fruit here like apples or berries. I sometimes add in a pinch of coffee to my muesli for a nice flavor. You could also add maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey, but I do not add any sweeteners other than the extra fruit myself. Anthony would eat a couple eggs, and I would eat some almond butter on a few slices of toast. We would also drink a cup of coffee for the caffeine.

This breakfast helped us to feel great throughout Titans. The portions may seem a little large, but when you are burning 4,000 calories a day you don't want to skimp. In my next post I will discuss how Stage 1 was even more challenging than I had initially planned. Check it out to see if Anthony rose to the challenge!

Monday, October 24, 2016

From Couch to Competitor: Structuring the Plan

In my previous post I mentioned that the Road Titans 300 Challenge consists of 3 days of riding 100 miles per day with 7,000 to 10,000 feet of elevation gain per day. With this in mind, I needed to design a training plan that would help Anthony not only get through the entire challenge but to conquer it with relative ease. With long endurance challenges like Road Titans it is not necessary to train the full distance of the event. You need to train enough so you can complete the event, but if you train too much you tend to arrive at the event tired and slow. Anthony carried some great fitness from his previous goals in the year, so I simply needed to top off his endurance for Titans. In years past the rides at Titans have taken about 6 hours to complete per day. Anthony works Monday through Friday, so I was able to give him short and intense workouts throughout the week and longer workouts on the weekends. Over the two months leading into the ride I had Anthony build up to completing two 5 hour rides in a row on the weekends. I also needed to make sure he could tolerate all the climbing, especially that monster Sassafrass. In order to meet these demands had Anthony build to riding two hours at tempo zone and eighty minutes at sweet spot at a low cadence. Over the final workouts leading into the event I had him perform some VO2 max sessions to top off his fitness.

Over the next couple posts I will talk about the nutritional aspects that helped Anthony complete his training, the fueling strategies we used throughout the event, and about the event itself. The event was faster this year than during any of the other years, perhaps it was from the strong winds of Hurricane Matthew or from the monster that flew in from the Pacific Northwest called Anthony.