Friday, May 21, 2010
Yesterday I blogged about my on-the-bike training plan for my up-coming double century (200 miles in one day) and today I'd like to say just a few words about my nutrition plan.
First, I want to acknowledge the obvious: good nutrition over time is just as important as developing speed, strength, and endurance on the bike. In fact, the latter things are totally dependent on the former. The body simply must have the stored fuel necessary for engaging in aerobic activity for a number of hours, in this case 13-14 hours! Wow, I can't believe I'm going to be on my bike for that long!
Second, good nutrition during the ride is also crucially important. When a rider fails to fuel well throughout the ride he or she experiences what we call "bonking," that is, completely running out of energy and the ability to move the bike forward. I've been there before and believe me it's not fun. The body is like a car in some ways: if you don't give it fuel it runs out of gas.
So with these things in mind my nutrition plan is as follows:
1. Maintain a normal healthy diet packed with fruits and veggies, focusing especially on storing up complex carbs, protein, and the good sugars fruit provides.
2. I take a couple of supplements each day: whey protein (chocolate is my favorite!), a series of GNC vitamins for active men, and a creatine smoothie for post-ride recovery.
3. On the bike, I drink every 15 minutes and consume one full bottle of liquid every hour. My drink of choice is Gatorade. Further, I eat 1/2 of an energy bar or its equivalent every half hour and more if I'm feeling hungry, however, that rarely happens.
I have found that when I am very disciplined about all three of these aspects of nutrition, I do not "bonk" on the bike. I might get tired from time to time but I'm always able to push through. But when I compromise I "bonk" and as I said that's not fun. I've actually had to have my wife come pick me up before because I literally ran out of gas! Not a good feeling.
So I happily give as much attention to my eating habits as to my on-the-bike strengths and skills, and hopefully this will produce a good day and a happy camper on June 19!