Food, Fuel and Fluids
I need to eat the proper foods for energy. I need the proper fuel onboard. I need to drink the proper fluids in the right succession.
So here’s how I train for a century now that I have a few under my belt… If you can call it “training”:
16 miles a day: Wednesday through Friday.
35.5 miles on Saturday
16 miles in Sunday
Monday: Day off
35 miles on Tuesday – Club ride
…And that’s if we have no rain. If we get rain during the week I’ve just taken the day off. Other than that I went on one prep ride on July 4th, 76 miles. That’s it.
I know the 10% per month folks are probably fit to be tied right about now, but the truth is I’m in an awesome groove, so let ’em froth – I never bought into the notion that you should only increase 10% at a time (not for cycling anyway). Depending on fitness and size (I have an abundance of fitness and no extra weight), I truly believe that if you can ride 50, you can make it 100. In fact, this is exactly how I got into long rides in the first place. I went from 35 to 62.5, then to 90 and 100, then 125… Not exactly 10% at a crack.
Three weeks ago I had to dig deep through a rough patch in the Tour des Lacs. I was struggling going up hills at about the 80 mile mark and I wanted to take it easy the rest of the way back… Deep down though, I knew I could motor through it because I’d been through worse. Sure enough I kept chugging along and 15 minutes later and I felt a lot better – I finished strong. Just the other day at around the 90 mile mark my quads knotted up after a decent pull into the wind. When I dropped back to take my place at the back of the pace line I missed my wheel by a foot and started losing ground, fast. I stood up and gave it a few good cranks anyway, got back into the draft and sat back down. A few miles later I was okay again Last year, the second my quads knotted I’d have been off the back. I would have written about it, saying that I just didn’t have the legs, that I should have trained harder, that I should have taken better rest days (or more of them) or drank more Gatorade (technically I should have had a bit more because I did exactly that after both knotting issues and felt better, but that tidbit I picked up through trial and error). The point is, I would have been wrong.
With that said, I always have a little bit of a problem with “listening to my body”, that quaint little sound bite. If I didn’t know any better, my body told me to take it easy for the last 20 miles of the Tour des Lacs and the last 10 of the Assenmacher 100. I do know better though, what my body was telling was, “Drink more ya dope, I need some Gatorade in here”! What I’m getting is this: If I have a goal, be it lose weight, ride “x” mph or become fast enough to hang with a specific group of cyclists, I can’t simply “listen to my body” – I have to learn all of the translations first, because at some point, if I really want to get fit, ride “x” mph or ride faster, I’ve gotta learn to tell my body to shut the hell up and work a little harder.
I’m just sayin’. Of course, if I’m working just a little harder than Jensie, then maybe, just maybe, I can have a listen.