Just for the sake of it – yes a good enough reason
To train for a BIGGER event – yes another great reason
To train for an awesome event with a group of like-minded people and raise vital funds for the Isabel Hospice - well hello, that’s got to be the best reason on this list!
On Sunday 15th January we were proud to be part of one such training cycling event.
Chris Lansdowne, a physiotherapist from Birchanger, Bishops Stortford is the leader of a group of 12 intrepid cyclists (of mixed abilities) who have signed up for an epic adventure from the 12th to 17th June 2012 which will raise funds for the Isabel Hospice.
5 Countries in 5 Days! visiting : England – France – Belgium – Germany – Holland (and then home to England!)
If you would like to sponsor the team pop over to http://www.justgiving.com/fivecountriesinfivedays
The training event on the 15th January was the first time the group had got together since the latter part of 2011 and it was time to blow away some of the cobwebs of the festive season and start to get more comfortable back in the saddle. Larry, along with Pete Stephens, one of our clients, joined Chris and the team (pictured) and covered a 50mile undulating course around the lanes of Hertford.
They were met by a support car about half way in Datchworth to take on a quick banana and drink and then covered the rest of the route, arriving back at our studio, elated, a little weary and cold, but smiling at their triumphs. The day was a resounding success for team morale and gave them all a good marker of where they were at with regard to their fitness levels. In terms of negatives they only had 3 punctures and 1 cyclist had a fall on a patch of black ice, pride hurt thankfully nothing else! They left in sub-zero temps, cycled through a ‘high’ of about 3 degrees and arrived back just as the temps dipped below freezing again.
Kimberley and Julie North, the Corporate Relationship Manager for Isabel Hospice, greeted the team at the warm studio with lots of (healthy) stodgy cake and cups of tea to de-ice and congratulate them all. Lots of smiles balanced out oodles of cups of tea. A great day of cameraderie and success was achieved.
One of the key aspects of the planned training events is to get used to fuelling correctly for the longer cycles ahead. Training events give you the chance to practice and introduce new nutrition and hydration ahead of the ‘main event’ so that by the time you get there you leave nothing to chance.
Chris Lansdowne, physiotherapist, has pulled the information below together for the Intrepid 5 in 5 team and we wanted to share it with you all as it is relevant for all endurance training events (pre and during info here).
Over to Chris….
Basically you need glucose to provide energy. Glucose is converted in the cells into something called ATP by about 4 different processes. The ATP is what then powers your muscles, it is broken down and releases energy which is what actually provides the energy for the muscle to contract. Without ATP, and therefore without sugar (glucose) we will run out of energy. For some reason, when this happens whilst cycling, someone chose to call this ‘The Bonk’… This has inspired many equally brilliant expressions, such as training hard early in the morning without eating to exhaust your glucose supplies “bonking hard”!
Unfortunately it can also cause hallucination and fainting, so a really bad idea!
Our body stores its energy supplies in the form of glycogen, some in the liver, some in the muscles. If these are full, we have fuel for about 90 minutes of moderate exercise, after this, we can convert fat into glucose but not quickly enough to keep cycling remotely hard. We have to top up our bodies with some form of carbohydrate, which is broken down to form glucose in the body.
Carbs come in 2 forms – simple and complex.
Complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole foods (ie seeds, pulses, generally unprocessed food)) is what you should eat the night before cycling or
exercise to top up your levels of carbohydrate in your body.
Simple carbohydrates are what you need whilst cycling, and without having these in one form or another, we will probably not be able to do this bike ride – certainly not at a respectable (in daylight) speed!
Simple carbohydrates are basically broken down very quickly into your blood stream. You want this sudden rush of sugar when cycling so that your body
responds with a large production of insulin which ‘opens up’ the cells to absorb glucose so it can be used much more quickly.
Examples of simple carbohydrates are:
Energy Gels, Energy drinks, Jelly babies or jelly beans, Raisins (and most sweet dried fruit) – but have to be able to be physically broken down easily, Nakd bars or Humzingers fruit based sticks (suggested by Kim from eKuiLibriuM)
Basically they want to be largely sugar (look on the ingredients – the more the better), and very easy to dissolve and break down.
Pasta, bread (and percy pigs) etc won’t work nearly as well because it takes far too long to break down in the stomach.
I personally really like energy gels which unfortunately cost a lot of money! So I read up a bit and decided to make my own. Your body can absorb 60grams of glucose per hour, (so eating more will just cause stomach cramps as the food just sits there), but also 30grams of fructose per hour, which can be broken down and converted to glucose to provide energy. One of the best forms of sugar is maltodextrin (and forms most of the energy gels you would buy), which is very easily absorbed and is tasteless. One of the best forms of fructose is honey. Mixing the two gives the ideal dose of carbohydrate and tastes of a milder, less sweet version of honey.
I buy maltodextrin from MyProtein – http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/maltodextrin
I buy my honey from Tescos then I put them in something like http://www.tfn.uk.com/acatalog/High_5_energy_Gel_flask_.html, which mine are
marked in 1/5ths.
To make the gels, I pour 30g honey into a bottle (20%, bottom mark on the gel bottle), 60 grams of maltodextrin (3 tablespoons), pour a little boiled water in (a little less water makes it thick and gooey, more water makes it really runny), shake it until evenly mixed and stick it in the fridge overnight. Each bottle then has an hour worth of drinking and energy and works out about 30p per gel stick (as opposed to >£1 per official bar!)!!!
Immense thanks to Chris for the pre and during cycling / endurance nutrition tips. This applies also to other endurance events, if cycling is not your ‘thing’. Another blog to follow with some ideas on recovery nutrition #watch this space#.
If you are looking for a Physio in the Bishops Stortford area, Chris can be contacted for appointments at this private practice in Birchanger on 07809 879868.
"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones"