Thursday, November 13, 2008

Carbo loading and ride

I started my carbo-loading cycle. I prefer to carbo-load the old-fashioned way. Although I realize that recent research has shown that one or two bouts of hard exercise followed by carb-rich meals can lead to equivalent loading, I do prefer the old-fashioned way of starving one self of carbs for a week, followed by two days of nothing but carbs.

The old-fashioned way has several advantages in addition to good loading. The most important ones are related to feeling hungry and keeping the weight off. Not surprisingly, after two weeks of very intense exercise and 4,000+ calorie days, I am tempted to eat too much during my taper. Now that I no longer burn 4-5,000 calories that means extra weight gain. In the past I found it was easy to gain as much as 5-10 pounds during those two to three weeks.

Not good before a long race. The other alternative is to restrain oneself and therefore constantly feel hungry, not fun!

The advantage of a low carb diet is that one does not feel hungry at all, and secondly, that one loses weight instead of gaining. Both of these are very helpful. The main disadvantage is a feeling of sluggishness, which may actually help prevent over-training, and a slight nausea from time to time. The latter is a small price to pay. I also tend to develop a craving for carbs but that does not come until the end of the week.

To start off my carb loading cycle and deplete my muscle, I rode a hard 40 miles today without eating or drinking sugary drinks. I rode a hilly course for 2:20, burning an estimated 1,940 calories, and working at an average of 220W or 258 NP W. The NP formula is an Ergomo proprietary algorithm that takes into account bouts of intense power output to give a better estimate of the difficulty of the workout. See previous posts.

I will probably do one more 40-50 mile ride and then a few short 10-20 mi rides once I get to Arizona.

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