On a whim, I decided to enter the Mayor's Twilight Ride last minute. It was pretty cool to hang out with 5,000 other bike nuts and I think I even saw the blogger from Cbus Cycle Chic taking photos pre-race.
Basically, I'm planning on doing the 25 mile Bike the Cbus in August after I log a few long rides. Long distance cycling and running are two different beasts that require different needs in regards to nutrition.
Here are a few important tips for making your long ride or run more effective:
- Always train with your carbohydrate replacers (this is crucial if you are running since any changes in the concentration of the product can suck more water into your gut...and potentially give you 'the runs').
- You don't need to start repleting until 1.5 to 2 hours into an event if you are on a bike, if you're running a half or full marathon (gosh, or an ultra-marathon), I like to replete early as in one shot block at mile 4-5, then mile 8-9, and I felt that mile 11 was crucial during my half-marathon because it went from being a fun party to "let's get this over with." By training with your shot blocks, gels, goos, etc. on you long run, you're letting your body know when 'food' will be coming.
- Don't binge on all your shot blocks or Goo, this will send you to the nearest race porta-potty.
- Repleting your energy stores spares the glycogen in your liver (carbohydrate stores), you will hurt less the next day.
- This spares your muscles because they can be broken down for fuel.
- For cycling, the intensity and speed you are aiming for can depend on when/how you replete:
- You're not going to have the stomach issues runners can suffer from.
- When doing 2-6 hour long rides (particularly the century) having something every 45-60 minutes to hour and a half should give you enough sustained energy.
- For the 25 mile ride last night, it was only 77 degrees, low humidity, you might have wanted a banana or G2 and enough water (we also had to dodge Justin Bieber).
- However, if you were sprinting a lot you might want to hit up some form of liquid carbs, I don't want to calculate a particular number because it's based on weight, activity, gender, level of athleticism, celestial positioning of Venus (OK, I'm joking on that one...)
|I did the wimpy 10 mile ride after realizing I had no water. I still burned 450 Calories!|
Going back to the ride...it was a great experience that I was tying into my obsession with the book, In The City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist. Author, Pete Jordan, lost me in the first chapter when he left Pittsburgh (how does one hate my fair city?!) after realizing that he was the only one on the road during the winter. I could've told you that Western Pennsylvanian winters are best enjoyed from a heated car but alas, I kept on with the book and have been quite pleased with it. It is a nice concept to be less depending on a car and on your own bike but after a few near misses on the mean streets of Columbus (for those out of towners, Columbusites make slow left or right turns when they have the protected left or a green light but enjoy clipping you as they speed through red lights. We know this as the Pittsburgh left.)