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  1. #1
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    How to gain 30 watts overnight:

    ADEQUATE CARBOHYDRATES!

    Ok, I figured I post this story because it seems like a good representation of a training hurdle seemingly overcome by some simple nutritional changes. Hopefully this is helpful to others on this forum.

    So, I had a great 3x15 trainer workout on Saturday, seeing 299, 303 and 314 watts and 140, 146 and 152 average BPM respectively, PT was zeroed. RPE was feeling spot on. This is quite good for me and I was feeling pretty pumped.
    I followed this with a 4 hour fixed gear ride on Sunday with some attacking but a generally moderate/low pace. OK, feeling great after the weekend. Monday was 1 hour @ recovery pace. This was the second week of my mesocycle.

    Tuesday I attempted a 2x20 indoors right below LT. I knocked out 295 and 296 watts at 140 and 147 BPM. HR was low, but PE was through the roof. This workout killed me! I felt like crap... I was barely breathing through my mouth, but the legs just couldn't hold the pace enough to get the HR up. (Cadences matched those of saturday). OK, now I'm a bit disappointed, but not really worried... Wednesday I chose to forgo a real workout and did 50 minutes strict recovery pace. Legs felt OK.

    Thursday is SST on the trainer. I hop on, legs feel pretty bad. The workout proceeds to go horribly. It was all i could muster to hit 43'x1 @ 252W and 122 BPM, then 1x20' @ 253 and 125 BPM... all the while PE is through the roof. I mean I'm blowing up doing low level SST. Ridiculous. It was demoralizing to say the least. So, I finish up, stretch, ice and sulk with my recovery shake. I was emotionally drained by this point.
    So at this point I'm really feeling like my weight cutting is the problem here, and try to see if bumping up my carbs will do the trick and get me back to my normal self. I proceed to consume around 1200 cals of pasta, popcorn and Kamut cereal and 300 cals of whey, milk, and egg proteins in the next 4 hours before bed. I wake after a long sleep and really go at the carbs today, not out of control, but just more than I have been. Maybe 20-30% more carb than usual, a bit more protein too.

    So I feel great at work today, even though it's super busy/stressful, I feel calm and controlled. King of the world type feelings.
    Physically I feel a bit sore and bummed about last night crappy session, but I keep eating through out the day, just a bit more carbohydrate than usual.
    So, after a commute home in the snow, I hop on the trainer expecting the worst.

    And low and behold, I feel great! (PT is zeroed, again).
    I was hoping for 30-40 minutes of SST, but was aware that I might be abandoning the ride if I felt badly. I was planning on aiming for 250-260 and letting my legs decide the pace. So I quickly find a comfortable spot at 281! Not only am i hitting 281 with ease, but I find myself drifting towards 300. I dial back and do a relatively easy 45' @ 280W and 135 BPM. Just right. Bike feels good, legs feel sore still, but at least there doing what they're supposed too!! 30 Watts higher than yesterday with a much lower PE!
    So, needless to say, I'm feeling very relieved and satisfied with my workout and have been keeping the carbs coming.

    I feel like I've learned a great lesson here and have been reminded that proper nutrition makes a world of difference. Lowered cals and high intensity training dont seem to mix, for me anyways.


    thanks for reading and I'd love to hear any other stories of obstacles met and overcome with your training/racing.

    -L
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  2. #2
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    So, you proved (again) that South Beach or Atkins (i.e., low carb diet) is not a good thing for intensely training athletes. Good job! Good story!
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  3. #3
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    yah, I guess so... but I was no where near a low carb diet, though... i was taking in 60-70% of my daily calories from complex carbs, so not even close to South Beach (just too low for that intensity of training). Similar effect, though...

    thanks, NORacer.


    -L
    Teammates-on-Podium O'meter: 0/n (n=total # of teammates I get to race with)
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  4. #4
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldesfor1@ithaca View Post
    yah, I guess so... but I was no where near a low carb diet, though... i was taking in 60-70% of my daily calories from complex carbs, so not even close to South Beach (just too low for that intensity of training). Similar effect, though...

    thanks, NORacer.


    -L
    Sorry about the assumption. Glad it all worked out for you, L.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  5. #5
    cmh
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    Wow, you analyze the crap out of your training. I'm glad it worked out for you. It seems common that people try to lose weight and lose a bunch of power as well.

  6. #6
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    Wow, you analyze the crap out of your training. I'm glad it worked out for you. It seems common that people try to lose weight and lose a bunch of power as well.
    Truth. I'm done with the weight loss thing. Just going to sit at 180lbs and train hard. Kinda a silly comparison, but watching the ToC and guys like Rollin and Cancellara are the same height/weight as me (6'2 180) and making prodigious power, and getting over the hills pretty well. I don't think it's worthwhile to try to shrink any further. If I shrink as a result of training, that's okay - but no more big calorie deficits unless I start to bulk up.

    L, to your story - you're right on the money. It's all about calories in/calories out...proper fueling before rides and recovery afterwards help me from becoming ravenous in the middle of the night and cleaning out the cabinets Not to mention train stronger.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ldesfor1@ithaca's Avatar
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    Yeah, Snuffle, YEAH!!

    I came to that conclusion too. The with loss is over!!
    I'm 6'3.5", 190 and low BF. I think that's the sweet spot for me. Maybe I'll see 180-185 next season, but I'm happy at this weight and glad to finally feel like my weight loss is over with.
    With training races starting in 3 weeks and the first race of the season in 5 weeks, crappy workouts (and ensuing loss of confidence) can't be afforded.

    Glad to have your empathy and support, mang!


    -L
    Teammates-on-Podium O'meter: 0/n (n=total # of teammates I get to race with)
    Successful Breakaway O'meter: 0/total number of races entered

    Team/Training blogness:www.thresholdcycling.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    My new training program........More hills and more Chocolate Cheesecake........

  9. #9
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Not so much an obstacle as an anecdote.

    WARNING: This story contains no math.

    Several years ago I was training for a stage race as the first big peak of my season. I had a new team, with good sponsors and we were bringing a very good rider from Japan for this event. I knew the race had back-to-back mountain stages that would be crucial. I really wanted to be able to support him but I also knew that that type of climbing had never been my strength.

    I started doing mad mileage and 3 day blocks of 5-6 hours of climbing each day with crazy elevation gains. After 8 weeks or so I really started to climb like I never had before. I started dropping weight (but was eating enough to train) and started getting even faster.

    The guys I was training with at the time, some of whom normally climbed much better than me, became toys on the mountain. I was FLYING! I did a warm up race in Japan with tons of climbing and almost won KOM (another story)! Come race day I was down 15 lbs and couldn't wait for the climbs.

    Aside from the 2 big mountain days there were a few circuit races, another point to point and 2 crits. Our GC guy won a stage and had a shot at the podium. We had to defend his position in the last 2 days and find him a few more seconds.

    The second last stage was a crit. This had always been my strength but when it came time for me to go to work I just didn't have the jam. I had sacrificed a lot of pure wattage by losing too much weight (muscle mass) and, although still pretty strong, couldn't contribute the way I should have been able to.

    In the end our guy slipped down a few spots on GC (another story) and I learned a lesson. Like Popeye says, "I am what I am and that's all what I am." Now I focus on lean and fit and don't obsess about my overall weight. (5'11" and a smidge and 172-175 lbs).

    End of story.

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