Monday, April 6, 2009

Love the New Bike Setup

Rode my first ride on the new and improved bike a couple days ago. I moved my Sunday long ride to Saturday on account of crappy weather forecasted for Sunday (which never really happened). From the start I couldn't believe how much more power I could produce. I have spent a bunch of time thinking weather my legs were just fresher due to no running (my calf has sidelined my running this past week), or whether it is the new bike set up. At any rate I was faster. At the one hour mark I was about where I was a couple weeks ago, 21.1 miles, but no tail wind this time, and I was solo. At the 40 mile mark I was about 15 mins faster than I have ever been, and at the 45.5 mark I was over 13 mins faster than my previous record. I know this spot well as it used to be the end of the trail until they finished the connecting 5 mile section. You can now go from Atlanta all the way to Birmingham, AL on the trail system. I haven't been all the way to Birmingham, but I have rode 12 miles into AL from Atlanta on a 140 mile ride last fall. So it took me 2:10 to get to the 45.5 mile mark, where I turned around. I continued at this pace until about mile 69, when I started to crack. I didn't bring enough food and my heart rate was much higher than usual, which means I am burning more fuel. I stopped at mile 20 for a bottle fill....fountains still not turned on, rats. So, out of food, extremely low on Gatorade and now I have to ration drinking for the next 20 miles. Well it all caught up to my with 6 miles to go. Complete BONK! A bonk is when you have emptied your glycogen store and you muscles have no fuel. Your only source of fuel is fat and it is harder for your body to break that down, which results in you slowing down. There is nothing you can do at that point. Physically, it is a limitation there is no work around for. The training is to teach your body how to avoid this. I've been over this before. Well I am not really sure how I made it back to the car those last 6 miles as it was all I could do to not pass out. I too about 30 minutes once at the car to try to eat something, but I just couldn't get anything down and even water was a chore. I felt this same way after each of my 3 Ironman's. The drive home was a blur as I was in a haze. I made sure not to set the cruise control as passing out with the cruise on wouldn't be good. Not that passing out while driving with the cruise off is all that great.

When I cycle it has been VERY difficult for me to get my Heart rate out of zone 1 and to hold it in zone 2 required such mental focus it was just mentally too exhaustive to do for more than 10 minutes at a time. This has puzzled the hell out of me for months and months. Why can I not push on the bike and get my heart rate up? Well with the new set up I realized within the first 15 mins of my ride Saturday I was able to get my heart rate into zone 4 and hold it there relatively effortlessly. I was able to push hard and keep pushing without it taking complete mental focus. I am amazed at what some small tweaks to my body position can do for my power output! Simply amazing. Oh, finished my ride at 20.25 mph average, even after my complete collapse on the last part of the ride. Up until mile 69, I was averaging over 21 mph, which is smokin' fast for me on that course with 4200 ft of climbing.

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