Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fueling really does make a difference!

Today was the "BIG BIKE RIDE" that I've been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading! These longer bike rides have been a struggle, but I had been thinking it was a problem with my fueling.

After today's ride, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it was at least partially related to my fueling (or lack thereof)!

Thanks to help from my MRTT Triathlon group, I decided that I needed to be doing MORE fueling than just a few beans halfway like I did last week. And I needed to drink more. So today, I took a bottle of Cherry Limeade Nuun and a bottle of water. I also took some sport beans and a peanut butter sandwich made with a bagel thins bagel. I cut it into 4 pieces and put two pieces each into a snack sized baggie. I wore my Team Tough Chik tri top and put one baggie into each pocket and one sample size thing of sport beans into each pocket as well. I was feeling very much like a cyclist, or a triathlete, or something!

I continued with my plan of drinking every 10 minutes, but I made a point to drink a little more each time. I think I have been seriously underestimating how much I was actually drinking each time.

On the way to the trail, I ate my entire granola bar, instead of just half like I usually do. So I started out with more fuel. I also drank some Nuun on the way over.

30 minutes into the ride, I reached back and pulled out a packet of the sport beans. I opened it with my teeth and then pushed the beans into my mouth. Yes - I ate WHILE I was riding!!! If I hadn't been able to eat on the ride, I had planned to eat the beans at one of the stop signs. But, to my surprise, I didn't need to! I was eating while I was cycling!! How cool am I?!? LOL

60 minutes into the ride (half way), I started eating my sandwich. I ended up eating only half, but I don't think I could have eaten much more. It was fairly dry, being on the bagel thin. I think next time I will try it on wheat bread and see if that is any easier to get down. I'm sure the bread will get a bit squashed, but I don't think that will be a big deal.

90 minutes into the ride, I took another sample pack of the sport beans. (I wonder where I found these?! Anyway, I want to try the Honey Stinger chews so I can put them in baggies if I need to.) By the way, I put ALL of my trash back into my pockets! Do not litter on the trails, folks!!

One of the side effects, I think, of eating on the ride was that I was actually quite thirsty throughout! By the end of the 30 MILES (yes, you read that right - THIRTY MILES!!!!), I had finished just about all of both of the bottles. Compare that to last week's ride that was only about 17 minutes shorter and I barely drank half of one bottle. That is a huge difference.

Averaged 14.3 MPH and my fastest mile was the 27th at 16.9 MPH! Amazing!!


What I noticed the most is that I didn't have that feeling now and then like my legs weren't going to make it. Yes, I had some miles that were faster than the others, but nothing like I had experienced at this trail before. Those first 5 miles that had been so slow previously were a more typical pace for me. I did have a couple of miles where I felt like I wasn't moving efficiently, but I wasn't warmed up, either.

Now I can see why people enjoy riding bikes for long rides! LOL Just like I didn't understand before I got my new bike why anyone would want to ride at all because it hurt me so much, now that I fueled properly, I understand why people would enjoy riding for a few hours! It really is pleasant! Also, I'm sure that my increased time in the saddle has to be contributing to that as well. I'm noticing that I am not having as much difficulty with The Queen as I used to have. Not even today when I got to the park and realized that my period had started and I was completely unprepared for it (sorry to any guys that might be reading! LOL). I was really afraid it was going to really bad for The Queen but it wasn't too bad. I kept needing to scoot back on my saddle, and that positioning helped with both my pedaling and The Queen. Still, I would like to find something that I can carry with me for The Queen that I can reapply easily at the trail or mid-ride. My "Hoo Ha Ride Glide" bottle is too large to carry with me. Hmm, while getting the link, I just noticed that they offer little travel packs that you carry in your pocket. That might be a good option - they are a little pricey, but maybe I can find a deal since I like the stuff so well!

So that's my two hour ride report! I still can't believe that I did it!! Tomorrow is my long run, and then the peak of training will be done and it'll be time to taper!! :) The tri is 2 weeks from today!


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