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.
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.