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Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

Jens, What Do You Say To Your Legs?

That is hilarious.

Happy 500 & 600 To Me

Today I wrote my 500th post since starting my blog on December 16th (I think) of last year.

I also, yesterday, just passed 600 burgers burned off of my once bulbous ass (or gut, or chin…you get the idea).

That works out to about 326,300 calories, give or take…  Or, 650 calories per post.

5,565 miles, in 14d:22h:44m.  Average speed (running, walking/hiking, cycling, swimming and mountain biking combined):  15.51 mph.

Cycling Diet, Amongst Other Things – Questions Answered

My blog-friend at Cult-Fit posted this question in response to my “Getting My Legs Back – Slowly” post, just beneath this one…  They’re all good questions and the answers make a great post:

“Do you have an indoor trainer/roller?  How has your diet/fluid intake been before and after your rides?  Have you noticed a big shift in cadence after your longer rides?  Apologies for all the questions!

I do have an indoor trainer that I use from sometime in November or December (as soon as the weather gets too nasty) until the end of February.  I wrote a post about it long ago when I was still riding my Cannondale SR400.  I set it up in my office and spin for at least a half an hour a day at lunch through the off season.  I’ll put a movie on the big screen and pedal away.  It’s a fantastic way to stay ahead of the early spring chicken legs.

Yes, this is an awesome setup… Don’t worry the boss doesn’t mind.

My diet the night before a ride is pretty simple – 25% (give or take) more than I’d normally eat.  I’m an eat till I’m full kind of guy – I can tell when I’m getting to the point where I’m full and I stop just before that.  For breakfast, I eat a bowl of granola cruncher cereal with raisins, a couple of bananas and I’m out the door.  On the way there I’ll eat a Clif bar if I’m still hungry – followed by Jelly Belly’s just before the start (if I don’t have a Gatorade Prime).

For fluid intake before the ride, I make sure to drink a couple of 20 oz bottles of water (or 32 oz of Gatorade) after dinner, night before.  Morning of, I drink two cups of coffee (a must) and another 20 oz of water.  I sip a 32 Oz Gatorade on the way there and put the rest in my other bottle.  15 minutes before the start I drink a Gatorade Prime.

During the ride, I don’t pay attention to how much I drink, I just make sure I don’t get thirsty.

After, I’ll drink 32-64 oz of Gatorade and another bottle of water…  Usually that’ll do me but if I’m still thirsty, I’ll drink a small bottle of Coke (best thing they ever came out with – even if it was in response to that Commie mayor in New York.  Keep your hands off my salt and soda, bitches!)

As for my cadence after a long ride, it increases in the days following.  This is by design – or more to the point, I increase it on purpose while slowing my speed down.  During a ride I’m shooting for between 85 and 90.  On the slower “recovery” rides I’m aiming at 110-120 (yes, 120 but only for a couple of miles at a time).  It’s simple enough to do, I just pick an easier gear to pedal so I wind up putting much less strain on the legs to move the bike forward but the high cadence really loosens them up.  I got the idea from a racing blogger shortly after I started blogging.  Now, if I went by how my legs felt, I’d pedal a harder gear slower – and my legs would tighten up, not loosen, after the ride.

Getting My Legs Back – Slowly

This summer held a lot of firsts for me as far as fitness goes.  More cycling that a fella can shake a stick at, longer rides than I’d ever thought I’d bother with and generally more fun that a guy could hope to have with clothes on.  With all of those firsts, comes a learning curve.  Rather than a systemic approach, I’ve tried to ook at things through more of a “fun” filter than as as some kind of race preparedness drill.  One problem that I’ve bumped my head on several times is that I have fun riding fast, but often.  I’ve had to deal with a constant struggle between taking time off or trying to dial it back with recovery rides, but the reduced speed “recovery” part usually goes out the window shortly after I start turning the pedals.  I hate taking nice days off.  On the other hand, taking a day off now and again helps my legs to heal up a bit which makes me faster.  It often ends up being a constant struggle waiting for a rain day so I can get a little rest.  A few weeks ago after my first century, I was beat down after that one so much that even though I may not have wanted to, I took the next day off and then commenced with the recovery rides.  I also did a better job of tapering before the event than this time around, but that was by design as well…

What I’m trying to figure out, is what is the best way for me to come back after a really long ride.  What I am hoping for is some kind best plan to attack the long rides…  It works best if I do this before the ride, and then follow it up with that…

So far, the taper before the event was very necessary, to an extent.  While I didn’t have to bother with days off, cutting my mileage back and going easy did help.  I rode 30 miles the day before the Assenmacher 100, the last 18 at better than 19 mph, and I could feel it, ever so slightly, on the big day.  For the Tour des Lacs, I took it much easier beforehand and followed that with my best 1 hour, 30 mile and 50 mile times of the year.  The characteristics for the Assenmacher 100 were different but I coulld tell I was just a little off.

Also, the day off after the Tour des Lacs may have helped, but only marginally in recovering from the ride quicker physically – I felt better.  I did not, however, perform better.  Looking back at the three rides following the day off, all 16 mile rides with minimal wind, the times were between 51 and 52 minutes.  With no time off, and after three 16 mile rides, the times were 55, 52 and 50 minutes respectively, all with a decent wind (5-10 mph).  Yesterday’s 16 is the important one…  I absolutely had to work harder than usual to hit and maintain my speed, but I did the first 11 miles at better than 20 mph – most of those were at 21-24 mph.  After the 11 miles, I was feeling tired, but not necessarily in a bad way, so I took it a little easier for the last five miles.

In short, at least for right now, days off aren’t quite as important as I thought they’d be, however there is definitely a point, after about ten to twelve days in a row at best, where I just have to take some time off.  Looking at this objectively, while I am able to get out and ride a lot if I were to follow everything I’ve read on the subject, my speed and performance would increase faster with a couple of days off each week – but where’s the fun in that?

It is nice to have this problem.

UPDATE  Elisariva offered this in the comments:  “…Most important thing to do you did – listen to your body. I am learning more and more that there is no one way to do it – rest, taper, recover – your body will tell you. In stead of a rest day scheduled, I listen to my body. It yells when it is time to rest.

She’s got a fantastic point.