Sunday, 12 May 2013

Blood, Sweat and Gears

Another day of riding in the wind.  It's become a feature of the last three of four rides I've done, a steady 10mph wind coming from one direction or another with some big gusts thrown in for good measure.  It does make long rides hard work and you need to stay on top of your effort levels and also fuel appropriately as your heart is working harder than normal.

Whilst riding today I met a competitor in the forthcoming Bolton Ironman competition who was riding the route.  We got chatting and three things struck me that we had in common: -

1. We had both been bike fitted.
2. We both wore foot inserts.
3. We both used heart rate monitors.

Doing an ironman requires you to be right on top of your pacing and nutrition, monitoring your heart rate and ensuring you take on board the 60g of carbohydrate the body can process each hour to keep your tanks topped up for such an extreme event.  It also requires you to have good technique, for running and cycling, so it was interesting that he'd got fitted up on his bike and had inserts in his cycling and running shoes.

I've worn inserts for a few years and got a pair custom made a few months ago. It's surprising when you go and see someone and they look at your standing pose and immediately note that there are corrections that can be made.  I'd recommend you to think about a set as I found my foot comfort improved a lot after using them. 

Food and Drink

There have been a few more questions of late about nutrition and what things I eat when I'm out riding.  I wrote a blog about gels and sports products recently which you can read here

Setting out today, I knew things were going to be tough. I'd picked a route which was had an ascent ratio of 50+ which when combined with the wind, would need a little something.  Here's what I consumed pre, during and post-ride: -

Last night - pasta dinner (Carbohydrate rich meal).
Pre-Ride- x2 Scotch Eggs, 0.5L bottle of Gatorade.
On the ride - 1.5L of water with High Five Zero tablets in, 1 x SiS Energy Bar, 1 x Gel.
Post Ride - Chicken + Egg Mayonnaise + SiS ReGo.

So, pre-ride and during the ride the focus is ensuring that you are taking on carbohydrate, hence the gel and the energy bar.  I took the gel ten miles from home as I was feeling the wind, normally might of skipped it as I would have had a coffee somewhere.  However, no cafe stop today, did the 65 mile route without stopping.

Post-ride is all about getting protein into your system within the magic 20 minute window of finishing your ride. I'd recommend a post-ride supplement if you are at effort, it all depends on how hard you've been working!

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