An interesting Does protein intake improve cycling“>article + discussion.
I’m a fan of eating a higher protein diet after hard rides for muscle recovery and repair.
This does not negate the need for simple sugars and carbs immediately after a ride – then my next meal will usually be more focused on protein. BUT keep in mind that I am a protein metabolic type. Meaning that I do well eating meat, steaks, chicken, fish, beans. Some people don’t feel as well on a diet like this, but eating ‘more’ than usual would be helpful.
leave a comment (1)
Tip: Listen to your body, pay attention to the signs/signals. Sometimes these signals come from different places.
The other day, I cycled out to meet up with the in-town Atlanta Tuesday night hammer group. As I was riding over, each hill seemed taller and steeper than necessary. I was looking for more gears than the bike has available…. and I started to realiz this was not going to be a hammer night for me. Maybe I’m just not warmed up yet – it has happened before – I feel rough for 10-20 miles, then suddenly the muscles warm-up and are ready to go to work.
As I rode up another climb, I attempted to shift to an easier gear – I was in the easiest…. I peeked at the Heart Rate (HR) monitor and sure enough I was about 15 beats lower for the effort that my body felt like it was at. This was a sign that my HR was not responding to the effort that my body was attempting to put out. Was my central nervous system suppressing the Heart? Or is it that the heart muscle was too fatigued to move the amount of blood that my body normally needs for this effort. Either way, it wasn’t there.
I spun easy for a few more miles and started up another rolling hill – still my HR was reaching the normal numbers, and my legs were grumpy about the strain I was putting them through. So, instead of meeting up with the group, I made the turn to go along the same route ahead of them, and spin much easier.
Your body sends you signals about what is going on, it is your brains job to interpret what those signals mean. For me, I did trail work on Saturday, I did a 5 hour ride on Sunday, Monday was off. My HR wasn’t getting to the upper range (zone 4) like it should have for the effort I was putting out.
The night before I happened to check my HR as I was ‘trying’ to fall asleep and it was about 5-7 beats high.
All of these added up means that I needed another day of rest, and since I was already on the bike, I did an easy, active recovery spin. There is no gain in stressing your body when what it needs to get stronger is recovery.
When you pay attention to the signals that your body is giving you, it becomes much easier to put them together to realize what they all mean.
leave a comments (0)
Sit around most any group of male cyclists and they will end up talking about their weight. A conversation so in depth that it would shock most women not in the cycling community. Besides shaving their legs, nearly all cyclists attempt to stay as light as possible, yet attempt to keep a high power to weight ratio. This is quite a challenge for almost everyone I know, but here are some thoughts on how to do this effectively.
To drop bodyfat, there are good ways and not good ways to go about it. For example, most people tend to just eat less, but Caloric deficit is one of the prime facilitators of over training and slow recovery.
I did a consultation with a 300 pound guy that said he was eating under 1200 calories a day, basically starving himself and only eating a dinner meal. Yes, the scale reads a lower number, but A) what is the bodyfat % are you loosing fat or muscle? you want less bodyfat and keep or add more muscle, especially since muscle burns more calories than food and B) what happens when you do start to eat more – your body has been in starvation mode and will pack on the fat reserves in preparation for the next starvation.
I don’t truly believe the numbers behind calories, however I get where it can make it easier for some people to understand their eating habits – but please do NOT tell me that 100 calories of cheezy poofs are equal to a 100 calories of broccoli.
It’s a tough balance because of the great advantages of weighing less in a sport where power to weight ratio can matter.
For cyclists doing LSD (Long Slow Distance) is a great time for work at ‘on the bike fueling‘. This is the time to have an alarm go off every 30 minutes and eat/drink a little. You will be amazed at the difference this will make.
When I do this well, I am usually starving at the end of a ride because my metabolism is fired up so much. But try to keep this steady supply of nutrition going and you metabolism will have less tendency to slow down!
leave a comments (2)