Sunday, 01 September, 2002

Bicycle Training / A Hard Lesson

What's so hard about training to ride 100 miles on the bicycle?  You just get on the bike and ride every day, right?  Follow a training program and you'll be good as gold, right?  Not hardly.  Once you graduate to longer rides you have to start paying a bit more attention.  You have to drink water, or better yet something like Gatorade (have to maintain that sodium level), on a regular basis (but not too much!) while you're riding, and if you're going more than 50 miles or so you'd better be eating while you ride.  Otherwise you're going to "bonk".  What's worse is that your diet in the days before the long ride (especially the day right before) makes a huge difference in your performance.

I knew all of that, but got a very painful review lesson during today's 66 mile ride.  I didn't pay attention to my diet on Friday and Saturday, and failed to drink enough water during the early part of the ride today.  As a result, I started fading at about mile 50, and it was all I could do to finish those last 10 miles.  I ended up with very sore legs and severe muscle cramps.  I'll probably have to take it easy the next 3 or 4 days just to let my body recover.  Very dumb move.

If you're interested in nutrition for cyclists, two good places to start are the Training pages at Ultracycling andBicycling Magazine.

This week's mileage is below.  I've moved my long rides from Saturday to Sunday, because we're taking Charlie the Slobber Dog to obedience classes at noon on Saturdays.

Monday 13 easy
Tuesday 17 varied
Wednesday 26 fast
Thursday rest
Friday 19 pace (stationary bike)
Saturday 24 varied
Sunday 66 pace
Total 165.5