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Old 09-08-07, 02:47 AM   #1
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Touring Bloat

Like Eleanor Meecham (recounted in her cycle touring book Llamas and Empanadas) and other traveling cyclists, Amanda and I are astounded by the fact that our physical conditioning is actually declining while touring.

Starting out on this trip we felt it was important to continue to move in the right direction. Which way is the right way? I figured I would know it when I saw it. Well, stretchy spandex cycling shorts and a lack of full length mirrors gave a distorted view of reality. Insatiable hunger coupled with the challenges of finding sufficient and healthful food sent us on a detour.

The last few months we have slowed considerably in our constant motion, staying in places for longer and creating the opportunity to exercise at an intensity more than looooong and sloooooow.

And it has paid off. On the island of Langkawi, Malaysia Amanda was second runner-up in a 10K and, incredibly, won US $225. This past weekend I fulfilled a lifelong dream by competing in and finishing an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon here in Singapore. (Yes, I did the bike portion on my touring bike, a converted mountain bike.)

No doubt, our reaction to the phenomenon of touring bloat was extreme. How do others maintain the feeling that they are moving in the right direction without going overboard?

Last edited by Losligato; 09-08-07 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-08-07, 07:05 AM   #2
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I have to go on diet every time I come back from a tour
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Old 09-08-07, 08:39 AM   #3
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You all must have incredibly efficient metabolisms!

Even with 5000+ cal/day, I come back 5-10lbs lighter
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Old 09-08-07, 08:53 AM   #4
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I usually lost 3 lbs a week when I toured. Never came back heavier.
I am hoping this still works for me!
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Old 09-09-07, 07:02 AM   #5
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I eat constantly while on tour and either lose or maintain my weight. This despite the fact that along with normal healthy meals I eat ice cream, candy bars, snack cakes, jerky, cookies, fried foods, and all manner of junk.

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Old 09-11-07, 07:27 PM   #6
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Just mix it up a little. Go for some intense, high-speed rides (great for crossing long boring stretches of your trip) intermingled with the looong slooow routine. If you wind up somewhere interesting, stay there for a couple of days to let your muscles recover (and maybe put on some muscle mass). Do short sprints mixed with more frequent or longer rests.

This isn't based on any scientific or medical knowledge. But it works for me, and it also gives you more flexibility for sight-seeing, playing, and exploring.
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