Friday, October 17, 2008

Eat Your Spinach

...or rather, drink your energy drink, eat your gels and fuel your workouts; a novel concept for someone who has been competing in endurance sports for um how long? My whole life? I saw the 'proof' of this concept yesterday. Just give me a couple of minutes here...

Don't get me wrong, don't pin me as a complete idiot. I am very good about fueling up before a workout, though I am a big fan of 'real food' and avoiding gels, drinks, supplements as much as possible. However, I know that especially in a hot climate like Texas, there is a definite need for extra sodium thus energy drinks come in quite handy.

I went out for a 'hard bike' yesterday, following a tough Tempo run in the AM on already tired legs. I guess in my old age of 30, a day of recovery between 2 hard days did not quite cut it. In any case, I was heading out to go to Mt. Bonnell, a nice, short and pretty steep climb (about 2.5 minutes in duration) whereby my plan was to do 8x. Just going out there, I could tell the legs were a bit trashed...but, I had prepared! Being a very cool day here in Austin, I still decided to fill one bottle with water and one with Gu2O. I got to Mt. Bonnell and hit up my first effort; the average for my first effort was about 250W, good for me but not great. The second was 269W; wow, that is pretty flipping good for a little scrawny person like me. Each time I finished an effort, I took 2 gulps of my Gu2O drink and recovered, descending and then going up again. As I progressed, I just kept feeling better and was pretty bizarre. At the end of my 7th effort, I saw mid-300's on my SRM. Wow! OK this is just crazy. I descended for effort #8, happy this was almost done but motivated as hell to finish it strong. I put my Ipod to (do not laugh...) Shakira 'Hips Don't Lie' and started it off. By the time I completed this effort, I had averaged 284W on my last 2 min of what ended up being almost 20 minutes of maximal efforts. Incredible!!!

So; long story short, consuming carbohydrates consistently throughout especially a harder workout likely DOES actually increase the quality of the workout and therefore the speed/power/intensity we can reproduce! Brilliance! (...No, I am not trying to be all technical and bookish about this...really just mocking myself because I am stubborn as shit and often times refuse to drink much more than water during workouts; I will note, however, that I am very 'good' in races, often times taking 2 gels in an Olympic distance race and up to 10 in a half-ironman).

Lesson? Do as I say, not as I do. In training, that is.

Happy weekend to ya'll...we have finally gotten a taste of fall here in Austin and I am loving it; 'football weather' has finally arrived.


Anonymous said...

You go girl!

Trigirl 330 said...

Are you sure you're not a cyclist?!