I haven’t blogged recently. And, I haven’t cycled outside much either. The two are inextricably linked. Being out on my bike in the wind, sun, and rain inspires me, freeing my mind to explore, and create.
I have been cycling! Indoors on a spinning bike. A lot. I’m preparing for the Pacific Populaire, the first local century ride of the season. For the past 3 months, I have been spinning, lifting, and stretching for 2+ hours most every morning focusing on increasing my pedalling power, and losing weight. I am pleased with the results but anxious to get outside more with Chas and Lou.
Several of you have noticed my absence. I’m flattered. It wasn’t my intension to stop writing, or reading your posts. It just happened. I had the proverbial “writer’s block”. My focus was on training, and I didn’t think my workouts would be of much interest to anyone. I was more into cadence, wattage, bike fit angles, resting heart rates, and lactate thresholds than anyone in their right mind would want to hear. I have learned a lot but, if you are not into that kind of thing, you would immediately dismiss my post.
The weather has improved. Sun and warm temperatures are forecast all of next week, so I’m taking my workouts outside with Chas. We’ll do laps around the Stanley Park Road, cycle out to Horseshoe Bay and back on Marine Drive, and tackle repeat climbs up the Spanish Banks hill to UBC. That will get my creative juices going. These routes are some of the most scenic in these parts.
I have 2 more weeks before the Pacific Popular; 2 weeks to build up the mileage; 2 weeks to toughen what is left of my bottom; and, 2 weeks to get the fuel mixture right. I have “bonked” before. If I hydrate “too” much, I pee frequently. Too frequently. But, if I don’t take in enough fluid, I “bonk”! I loose power, and cramp. Oh, how I hate those crippling cramps. There is a delicate balance where I continually take in the calories I expend, and replace the fluid lost. For me, that’s about 350-500 calories, and one 20 ounce bottle of water every hour depending on temperature and effort. Getting it right is more art than science. I have 2 weeks to experiment.
What’s your eating and drinking routine while cycling? And what do you normally “eat”? Do you eat natural foods and drink natural liquids or do you intake the gels and sports drinks? Do you intake once every certain-amount-of-minutes (do you have a schedule) or is it more of a “feel” sort of thing such that you know when your body needs the stuff? How much time can you be on the bike without intaking anything and how long are you on the bike and know you need to start intaking something on a regular basis?
You ask a lot of questions 😎 I have tried everything but find natural foods agree best – homemade gel (dates, honey and lime), bananas, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Every 45-60 minutes I consume one of the gels (I have 3 small squeeze containers), and every 60-90 minutes I take in a banana or part of a sandwich. Eating and drinking while cycling isn’t easy. First, I don’t usually feel hungry or thirsty. so I have to make myself take in fluids and fuel. I keep an eye on the clock on my cycle computer and try to take in fluid every 15-20 minutes. I can cycle for 60-90 minutes without taking in fluid. I sometimes do this on workouts. But, if I am out for 3-5 hours, I try to take a few sips of water every 15-20 minutes and take in a gel or banana once every hour or so. One last thing, on event days, I try to have a good carb breakfast – cooked oats work for me. They are filling and sustaining.
I hope I have answered your questions. If not, let me know.
I was wondering what happened to your posts! I actually would love to read about all the other topics and it seems during the winter that is what my focus goes to as well. I haven’t been outside on a bike since November but have been training 3-4 times a week, which is my typical winter MO. I think this is the week for me to get off the trainer and get outside – at least partially for my endurance rides, I’ll continue to do my structured threshold and VO2 workouts inside.
Good luck at your event! Don’t forget to taper! 🙂
At the end of the month, I thought I would recap what I have been doing and the results I have realized. In general, I trained with a power meter and a heart rate monitor focusing on improving my weight/power performance. This mean eating less, lifting heavy, and several spinning workouts at or near my lactate threshold. I’ll elaborate in a subsequent post. Thanks for the interest.
Do share your experience for us training nerds! And good luck for the big one.
Thank you for the encouragement and yes I will recap my winter training schedule and results.
I’m not sure if you are a randonneur yourself, but your dedication towards this event inspires me. I too am focusing on improving my performance on long distance cycling, and would work hard towards being a randonneur myself. Wish you all the best with your preparations! 🙂
Thanks Manu. I wouldn’t call myself a randonneur although I complete several randonnepuring events each year ranging in length up to 200 km. I enjoy the 100 km distance and am planning on doing the Whistler Gran Fondo (122 km) this fall.
Welcome back and nice pics!
Thanks Rachel. I even stopped taking pictures. This is not like me. I think I have turned the corner, back to enjoying writing once again.
Great to read your update Gary. It sounds like your training is going really well.
Thanks Gail. I feel like I have made some real progress this winter. We’ll see how I do on the upcoming century ride in a week 😎
Looking forward to reading about it Gary 🙂