For a more personal touch and focused training for Amtrak, Contact Michael Lovgren
M.S. FMS, CES, USACC
It’s recommended that you are already riding at least 3 days and/or 100 miles per week to prepare for a century. This can be accomplished by riding any of the offered OCW club rides or just out with friends or even yourself. Each individual ride should be no less than 30-35 miles and should gradually increase with the week and end with a recovery “spin” ride. For more information check out the training tab on the OCW website. One month prior to the event day you should be able to ride 60 miles with approximately 2000 feet elevation gain in 4 hours or less. At the end of this ride you should not be totally exhausted. Remember you have 40 more miles to ride to complete a century. Training should also focus on eating and drinking on the bike for optimal down time, fast tube changing and fixing any component and/or clothing malfunctions that may arise.
Remember to wear your clothing in layers for temperature changes. Cycling clothes are great because we can wear easy off arm warmers, knee warmers, leggings, etc. that just peel right off. It’s best to pull over though when removing clothing as items can get stuck in your spokes and this can be VERY dangerous. I know we all see the pros take stuff off with no hands but there is a reason – THEY’RE PROS!! AGAIN…don’t try this on YOUR bike, as all you need to do is hit a rock or worse - get your clothing stuck in your spokes AND YOU GO DOWN!
By Dr. A.J. Nelson
The subject of this article is the dilemma of hyrdation and nutrition for AMTRAK’s Torrey Pines.....the dilemma is having enough energy to get to and do Torrey Pines, and get to the train on time.
Torrey Pines comes about 5 to 7 hours into the ride. The average trained cyclist has enough fuel in his muscles for about 2 hours. This is enough to get you between the first and second food stop.
1). Start With A Full Tank Of Fuel:
Glycogen is the fuel needed by the muscles. Preparation begins the week before the ride, with carbo loading and tapering. One article stated that carbo loading can increase endurance by 20%.
is eating a proper diet with an emphasis on carbohydrates.
is gradually tapering your training during the last week, ending with a rest day or very easy ride the day before, so carbohydrates can be stored as muscle glycogen.
Simple carbohydrates - fruits.
Gives immediate energy.
Complex carbohydrates - corn, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, give a longer lasting energy but do not go to the muscles as fast.
2). Topping Off The Tank:
(Done At The Pre-Ride Meal): This meal needs to be individualized as we are all different. This is to ensure that it is digested and out of the stomach. Remember that fats take more time to digest and require more oxygen to be converted into usable energy. The meal should consist primarily of foods high in complex carbohydrates, eaten three and a half to four hours before the event. That means for our rides, you should have breakfast between 3:00 and 3:30 a.m. That is not acceptable to me. Solution: In our Newsletter, PowerBar, one of our sponsors, has an ad that suggests that you eat a PowerBar 30 to 60 minutes before the ride to raise and sustain your energy level. Then eat chunks of PowerBar, with water, to ensure sustained energy levels. I like this idea, and have found it effective and acceptable. Drink 1 or 2 glasses of water with the PowerBar. PowerBars supply both simple and complex carbohydrates.
3). Keeping The Tank Topped Off With Energy For Torrey Pines:
Start eating and drinking immediately upon starting the ride. You need 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour. A PowerBar has 45 grams of carbohydrate, 18 grams are sugar for fast energy. You need at least one to two bottles of water per hour. Vigorous exercise supresses the thirst mechanism making it difficult to replace fluid loss without a plan. One article stated that marathon runners may lose 13 to 14% of their total body water through sweat. The evaporation of sweat from the skin is part of the body’s natural cooling system and helps to prevent heatstroke. So keep drinking one to two bottles of water per hour, so you can sweat enough to keep cool. Many of our ultra endurance riders have found that energy drinks are effective in replacing fluids, carbohydrates, and salts that you lose in sweat. If you are dehydrated, water is the best and fastest way to hydrate. Sometimes when you drink a concentrated solution of glucose, it will upset your stomach. I keep an energy drink in my water bottle and I sip it frequently, following each sip with sips of water from my Camelbak. I cut PowerBars into quarters and eat them frequently on the ride. When I roll into a food stop I hit the energy drink first, then top off my Camelbak, eat fruit and one cookie, (complex carbohydrate, you know) and get out of there as fast as I can, before my muscles start to tighten up. This goes for the lunch stop, as well. Then I pig out after the ride! So, keep eating and drinking throughout the ride, using good judgement.
4). Refilling The Tank After The Event:
This is VERY important, especially if you are going to ride the next day. While we are riding, our body tries to deliver the fuel to the muscles as quickly and efficiently as possible for energy. This effect lasts for about two hours, so you have a two hour window of opportunity to pig out after the ride. Most articles have suggested 50+ grams of carbohydrate. This tops off the tank so you have energy to use the next day.
5). Other Thoughts:
Alcohol effects your muscles for about 36 hours. It weakens them, so no wine or beer with the spaghetti the night before. If you are deydrated after a ride, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds likeMotrin, Aleve, Tylenol, etc. can damage the kidneys. Be sure you drink plenty of fluids if you choose to use something for those aching body parts.