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Training/Supplements

Old 01-24-13, 07:52 AM
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donny_07
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Training/Supplements

Hi all,

I have rather foolishly agreed to do a 75 mile charity ride in 8 weeks time, and was looking for some advice on how best to use the time I have to avoid embarrassment.

I am beginning from a base level of 0 fitness after a prolonged period out with injury, and have found several difficulties getting back into exercise. I find my recovery period is particularly long, and I am having to take days off at a time to avoid cramping upon rides.

I was hoping someone could give me some advice on supplements that may improve my performance and recovery. Essentially I am looking to improve my overall strength and stamina and also improve recovery time. Could anyone offer any insight?

Your time is much appreciated.
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Old 01-24-13, 12:06 PM
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The short answer is ride lots, build up to greater distances over the next 8 weeks, eat normally (but good food), get plenty of sleep, and rest when your body is signaling it needs a day off. You're (re)building a base after an injury, recovery took a lot out of you in addition to drop in fitness.

I am not a trainer or nutrtionist, I just like to ride a lot. Cramping diagnosis is complicated, however - during rides - do you think it is from lingering muscle soreness (recovering from last hard ride) or does it come later in ride (suggesting to me an endurance limit or electrolyte depeltion if you are sweating a lot and prone to that). A prolonged recovery might mean you went out too hard the previous ride - it takes several weeks to build a base, and having fitness in one activity does not always translate fully to others as I have found out. I'll guess that because you are complaining about recovery and the cramping is coming early, than it is not an electrolyte problem.

Since you are coming off an injury that prevented exercising, can you talk with a physician, the******, or trainer who has expertise in both your injury and returning to cycling (or another endurance sport)? They may be able to help with specifics and develop a plan. Depending on terrain & weather, 8 weeks to 75 miles is doable as long as your goal is to finish and not break any records getting there and moderate your activity to not reinjure yourself. I'd plan a long ride of 60-ish miles the weekend before, and use the 7 weeks prior to build up to that distance/duration (duration may be more important). Try to ride at a pace that will let you finish the event in a reasonable time, allowing for rest stops as well (but don't overdo the rest stops). Mid week, plan at least 2 shorter rides you'll do at similar or if you feel motivated at a slightly faster pace; all other riding should be easy (as in small children and grandmothers could pass you) in a nice low, easy gear. Try to include terrain similar to what you will be riding on, particularly if the event route has a lot of hills or headwinds.

Rest when your body tells you to rest. If you feel up to it, aerobic activity that doesn't strain what's aching can be helpful - maybe an elliptical trainer or swimming (e.g., no impact). See if the event has some training rides or suggestions, and if you can find friends to ride with, it will help with motivation during training and riding. Check the web for training plans for your first century; they will give examples of progressively increasing distances/volume of riding, rest/recovery, and pacing you can use. Congrats on having a cause to support - that means a lot more than if you are riding 25, 50, or 75 miles in 2 months. Good luck!

I can't offer much advice on supplements; a good diet with real food is always best, see what junk you are eating now and try to replace it. I try to ride my longer rides with some food in me (commutes are usually pre-breakfast but are under an hour), drink when thirsty, and grab something to eat that isn't junk as soon as I can after a ride. Water-only works for me on rides up to an hour or so unless it is hot/I am sweating a lot. I think gatoraide is overpriced sugared garbage, and accelerade is an acquired taste I can't acquire. My preferences are for EFS mix and Skratch Labs (my current favorite). I use energy bars, gels, and Honey stinger waffles during a ride (and PB sandwiches, bananas, and (for the salt) pretzles if there are supported rest stops); I've managed to figure out over time what works for me and what doesn't. Trying to develop a taste for energy chews if I can find any that don't remind me of gummi bears (in a bad way). My general rule on eating during a ride is I am OK eating it if my body signals "more!" on the 1st bites, and will regret it if I have to force it down. Extreme case are PB sandwiches - I hate them most of the time, but seem to inhale them at rest stops on supported rides.
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Old 01-24-13, 12:21 PM
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Here's my blog entry about when I trained for a metric century. Basically I got ready by doing base miles and a long ride a week:



In my case, it worked out well. Just make sure you don't train on easier terrain than your charity ride (e.g., train on flat ground when your event is hilly).

As far as supplements, I hear EPO works wonders. (Sorry!)

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 01-24-13, 02:03 PM
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Well I don't know about cramping too much, but I have heard it could be a symptom of lack of electrolytes. My opinion is to be sure to eat while riding. When I first started riding I would do 65 mile group rides and I'd bonk (completely crap out) at about mile 50. The problem was that I wasn't eating. I started eating while I ride and the difference was amazing. I tried to eat every 45 minutes to an hour. I would eat GU or peanut butter sandwiches (some protein). Also caffeine during the ride seemed to help me too. That personally worked for me.

As far as recovery food I think ks1g nailed it with just wholesome carb and protein rich food.
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Old 01-24-13, 02:04 PM
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Also lots of water.
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Old 01-24-13, 04:21 PM
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If you're starting out with zero fitness it is highly unlikely that you are cramping due to depleted electrolytes. Especially since it's winter. It takes most people many hours of riding in the heat to actually depelete their electrolytes.

You're cramping because you are not in good enough shape for the rides you are doing. Possibly you are riding in too high a gear which will hasten cramping.

Doing an easy recovery ride will help you more than staying off the bike.
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Old 01-24-13, 04:29 PM
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I am with eric...unless your spending two hours sweating like a pig, I cant see needed supplements.

Make sure you stay hydrated before the ride and during the ride...easy enough to check, if you pee and its medium to darker yellow, your not drinking enough though out the day.

And I second the recovery days, if your hurting, still go take a ride, just put it in the small chain ring and spin away for an hour.
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Old 01-27-13, 05:24 AM
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Try magnesium for the cramping. Take one with each meal.

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swans...33-mg-180-caps

the day of the ride, bring a Roctane. When you get really tired after about 50 miles, take it. It tastes awful, but it works.
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