6 hours total, 86 miles. At hour 3 I bonked. Best possible training at that point. I had been pushing a hard ride in the beginning with HR at 172-178 and ate not enough calories using a inferior fluid replacement drink. I then made the mistake of diluting the half full bottle at one of the water stops instead of just dumping it and starting over. After I realized the mistake it was too late, and I was getting hungry... uh oh. So chomped a certain energy bar, and about 30 minutes later, I wanted to hurl all over the road! Funny thing is these bars didn’t used to do that to me, but I think the high HR cut off my ability to digest well, and liquids were the only thing I could handle at that point. So at this point the goal was well on its way. Who knew... it's so easy to screw up your nutrition, yay!
Since this is the primary reason for some of these long training rides, I started trying to put back the pieces of the puzzle. Of course while you're thinking your way through the plan, the brain can only think of one thing, "I'm really hungry and want to throw up all at the same time leave my legs at the rest stop in favor of a painfree fresh pair". So I determined that the legs need to stay attached, food will have to improve, and take it slow.
I used a sampler of a higher end fluid replacement, and sipped that aggressively to get it in. Ate a gel, and slowed down HR to 145-153. The slowed pace and better food intake started kicking in, and over the next 1.5 hours I was able to get the energy back. Popped a caffeine gel and finished my fluid replacement drink just as we started back towards home.
On the way back I got the benefit of watching Campy draft a school bus, and actually had enough energy to catch up (if only for 5 seconds) while going uphill at 20mph.
- Didn't follow a plan: While I though I had one, it fell apart after the first 'fun hill' (yes it's illogical fun+hill). Make a plan, stick to it, for both electrolytes and carbs/protein
- Inferior FRD: Using Accelerade dosn't allow me to mix it strong, the taste is way to sweet, and it's a sticky mess.
- When I needed to digest some calories, I chomped a powerbar way to quickly, and kept the HR in the 170s. This was a bad decision, as I got nauseous and inadvertently stopped getting in calories as a result.
- My gel use was completely random, relying on "now seems about right" or "hmm, I'm getting hungry now". 100 calories per gel, I should have planned out when to use them instead of just going by feel.
- Got to try Perpetuem by Hammer Nutrition, Caffe Latte flavored. It taste pretty bad.
- Got to try Sustained Energy by Hammer Nutrition, Unflavored. It taste pretty decent.
- Also had Esspresso Hammer Gel. It taste GREAT! Also, the caffeine really helped after I'd bonked, to change the metabolism over to fat burning, as well as a boost via carbs. This was a game changer for me.
At roughly hour 4:45 I was back. So that experience knocked me down for about 1.5-2 hours, yikes! But being able to put the body back together felt really excellent!
Lesson learned, and added to the cycling repertoire. Let's do it again, after my order comes in from Hammer...