Two Hour Challenge Ride, Version 2

Ten days ago, on Thanksgiving, I gave my 2 Hour Challenge Ride a good honest try.  But, as I explained in that article, at around the 1 hour 20 minute mark I was starting to feel some fatigue.  I neglected to mention in that article that along with my legs starting to feel fatigued, I was just plain ‘ol bonking.  Not bonking hard, but that oh-so-familiar feeling of “I need to stop off somewhere and buy a triple cheeseburger” was setting in.  Then, a few days later, I stumbled upon an article by Carmichael Training Systems that addressed sweating and how it relates to exercise.  And here is the small part that gave me a sudden realization:

Electrolyte drinks or carbohydrate/electrolyte drinks should be a part of during-exercise nutrition strategy whenever your workouts are going to be longer than 1 hour. For workouts shorter than an hour, electrolyte drinks may still be somewhat helpful, but generally you’ll start short workouts with enough carbohydrates and electrolytes on board to complete a high-quality one-hour session.  — Chris Carmichael, Founder/Head Coach of CTS

Wow, maybe this explains why I died at the 1 hour 20 minute mark.  Ya think?  :-)  I had actually used Gatorade or Powerade in the past, but had stopped using it since most of my rides back then had a lot of breaks where I’d eat granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches, and so forth.  I just felt like it didn’t need it.

So, sometime last week, I thought of a fun experiment.  I was going to go buy some Gatorade powder, mix that into my water bottles, and drink that instead of my usual plain old water.  Well, friends, it worked.  I was totally expecting to start feeling like a weakling at the 1 hour 20 minute mark or so, and I didn’t.  It might have been the turkey and cabbage wrap I ate this morning, it might have been the fact that I started cycling a few hours later in the day than last time.  But, I dunno.  I’m pretty sure it was the Gatorade.  I felt pretty fabulous energy-wise all the way to the finish line.  My legs were pretty fatigued, but I was able to power through it anyway since my stomach felt fine and I didn’t feel so horribly weak like I did on the previous attempt.  I felt like I could go for another hour (haha, ok, maybe not…).

And my time?  2:04:15 with an average speed of 15.3 mph (taken from my cyclometer).  Shaved off nearly 6 minutes AND I didn’t feel like I was going to fall over afterwards.  Great success!  </ Borat >

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