Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm off the juice

Tomorrow is rubbish collection day, and I found myself dispossing a couple of leftover electrolite/sugar drinks (the powder type) that have gone rock solid.
In the short years I've been doing this I've experimented with differen brands and flavours, and while most times it has been OK, come race day I always got stitch, or upset tummy or something of the like. Unfortunately, though, this is a very personal issue, and I've found that all the litres of ink wasted on literature on the subject are of little help if there is not a concious approach to it. By concious approach I mean a way to monitor and document one's reaction to the different substances tried and their results.
At first I thought my problem to be a core strength problem, but later I learned it's more a combination of that and not eating the right things: on my first half I had: 1 bottle of electrolyte/orange flavoured drink, a bottle of lemon flavoured half protein half carbs drink, a bottle of water, 2 protein bars and 2 gels and I cramped out my tummy even before getting off the bike. On the second one, I had 2 bottles of water and 1 bar, and 1 gel and still cramped out, but it was due to having drunk 1 litre of electrolyte drink in the hour prior to the race start.
So this season I worked out a way that seems to be working for me: I've taken any sweet drinks off my training and racing (until the time comes to make the jump to long distance) and since then I have had no instances of upset stomach:
For training sessions less than 90min long, I have water only,
For training sessions lasting over two hours I take a gel and/or a cereal/protein bar plus water
For training sessions of 4 hours plus, the same thing and a banana.
For races: gels and water are my best friends.

Of course that I do have a good healthy breakfast for the longer sessions, and a lighter option for some others. On nationals I borrowed one electrolyte tablet from one of my buddies and it worked out OK, so I may use them some time again.
Anyway, I thought it was worth to share it, and here's the day for me
Date: 22 Apr
Sport: Cycle
Time: 1hr
Dist: n/a
Comment: I've gone to 330 watts on my lab sets, and I finished them all!


  1. I am playing with my race/training nutrition now as well! I know what does not work, and after this weekends marathon I found some success. It is such as huge part of the game! Good work on the lab test! that is good power!

  2. indeed, it's a big part of the game and I tend to forget. RE: power... it's just 2min intervals
    (12 of them)... ha ha ha