Thursday, November 10, 2016

From Couch to Competitor: Fueling During the Ride

A titanic amount of rice cakes

In previous posts I mentioned that we burned 3000-4000 calories during each ride at Road Titans. You need to fuel and hydrate properly when you are burning calories like a dump-truck guzzles gas. Staying on top of fueling and hydration will help you feel better throughout a ride, and it will help you recover faster for your next ride.

Rice cakes were our fuel of choice for Road Titans, and we scarfed down six of those puppies per day. We also went to town on some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the rest stops. The rice cakes are a slow burning carb and are easy on the stomach, so they are the perfect fuel for endurance sports. I suggest to begin eating them half an hour to an hour and a half into rides and to eat one every 30-45 minutes throughout a ride. For shorter (3 hours or less) rides you can start eating later (around the 1.5 hour mark), but on long rides like the ones we did at Titans I suggest starting at the half hour to 1 hour mark. The same thing holds true for frequency. On shorter rides you can probably get away with eating every 45 minutes, but on the longer rides you want to eat more frequently.

I also suggest consuming plenty of water and hydration mix on all training rides. You can't go wrong consuming one bottle per hour. That strategy should keep you hydrated in most conditions. SWORD is my go to hydration beverage. It is easy on my stomach, and I have never cramped while using it. During the rides at Titans we would go through 5-6 bottles per day with 3-4 bottles being hydration mix.

If you are planning on doing some epic riding follow these fueling and hydration guidelines. You will feel great throughout your ride, and you will also be able to hammer the next day. Next up check out how we fared on that savage beast called Sassafras.

Lentil Curry Rice Cake

Here is a new rice cake recipe:
For details on how to make them go back to my post on rice cakes.
Lentil Curry Rice Cakes
1 cup of sushi rice
1/2 cup lentils (soaked for 4-6 hours and rinsed)
2.5 cups of water to cook the rice and lentils
3 tablespoons yellow onion diced and sautéed
1 jalapeno pepper diced and sautéed
8 grape tomatoes diced and sauteed
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha

Monday, November 07, 2016

From Couch to Competitor: Anthony's Experience Stage 1

Here is what Anthony had to say about Stage One of Road Titans:

The day had finally arrived and the pre-ride\race rituals were in full effect. I was still a little jet lagged, but the aroma of fresh coffee and the sight of a pre-ride meal quickly summoned the excitement and nervousness one feels before a big event. We had ridden out to Caesar's Head a few days before and I was somewhat familiar with the climb. It looked attainable, and I felt prepared.  "Carb up" Winston said "The cooler is packed, and the bikes are ready to go. We'll leave in an hour."

We arrived at the start about an hour before we were scheduled to roll out, and as the sun rose, it became apparent that we would be starting in light mist and wind, a reminder of the major hurricane looming to the east.  During the usual nervous start line talk some folks teased that I had brought the rain in from Seattle, "just call me the rainmaker" I replied. A few folks recognized Winston and commented on his strong performance at the 6 Gap criterium a week or so earlier. As I listened I felt reassured that although the climbs were timed this was not a race. Even though it was raining, I had trained in this stuff all spring. I am prepared all will go as planned. The final call for the 'A" group start came, and the small group of 15 riders was underway.

As Winston mentioned in his previous post the initial pace was strong, and given the size of the group there weren't many options for evading the wind. The mist had become light rain and it all now felt like I was back in Seattle with one key difference, our motivated group leader was setting a blistering pace on the front. It wasn't casual, and it felt like a race. I couldn't help but think that perhaps he wasn't aware that we had 2 more days of this left, but then again this was the 'A' group. From time to time Winston would roll to the back of the group. I was still hanging on even after a short pull on the front "Stay off the front, draft, eat, and drink" he would say, "things will settle down."

The pre-ride plan we had discussed earlier involved riding a comfortable endurance pace up to Caesar's Head followed by a strong upper tempo effort on the climb. A quick glance at my bike computer and my power meter validated what I felt. We were going out hard on punchy rolling roads! Time to scratch the plan and buckle down for a 2.5-3 hour strong effort all the way home after the top of the climb. 

The strong pace didn't settle down, and as we approached the climb the wind and rain became heavy.  Winston's constant reminders to eat and drink had helped me get to the climb and taught me a fundamental lesson in bike racing, the game is really all about who can cleverly conserve the most, as opposed to who rides the hardest. I had done the best I could at this given the circumstances and now it was time to abandon ride metrics, become one with my surroundings and embrace the challenge. It was time to climb! I had been in this type of situation before during a training ride up Hurricane Ridge Road in Port Angeles, WA, but that was a training ride in a familiar place. On this climb things were a little different. After a strong 40 mile ride, nature was presenting an opportunity to test my limits, and I obliged.

"Good job" Winston said as I rolled into the parking lot, "It was a little faster than last year. Make sure you eat what we brought, so you are ready for tomorrow." All the food I had stashed in my jersey was gone, and it was time to refuel, sleep, and do it all over again the next day. Winston had mentioned some details about the featured climb on the next stage. Little did I know it would make today look easy. More on this to follow...

"Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it." Eckhart Tolle

Winston set a great example of how to remain in the moment and use the unexpected as an opportunity to grow. This theme would continually play itself out over the following days.