Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A Managerie of Topics

Well it's 2am and I am wide awake (could be that the moon is as bright as the friggin sun tonight, plus the fact that I am a raging insomniac), so I thought I might as well cover a couple of topics that I have been asked about (yes, apparently someone other than you reads my shite...and no it is not my mother, that hunchback boy that works at the church, or one of my alternate personalities...OK, could be that church dude.)

Anyways, here are the topics in question, and my answers.

Nutrition 201

So, I have been asked about pre and post workout, and race nutrition; here is what I do...and why.

For pre intense-workout, or pre race I will supplement my regular meal with a drink containing Branch Chain Amino Acids (powdered to throw into a shaker bottle with water), and a nitrous oxide mix.  The BCAAs are necessary for performance and recovery.  The nitrous oxide is a vasodilator (fancy science geek word meaning it makes your blood vessels bigger to get nutrition and oxygen to your muscles faster)...the endurance community is big on beetroot juice just for this reason, it is high in nitrates.  The body building community has been into nitrous oxide since forever.  Many of the better nitrous mixes also contain elements to boost cognitive function which is great for battling the mental haze that comes with intense training sessions, or longer endurance races.  It's important to keep the mind awake and aware of trail obstacles, and race strategy.

For during workouts, I generally will only take water.  However I do carry a bag of Sharkies, and a Clif Builder Bar, and will eat either one only if I feel cramping starting during a longer more intense session.  During races I will include, in my camelback, a combination of a dextrose based sports drink (like ELoad or Heed), and a maltodextrine based sports drink (like Perpetuem or Sustained Energy).  Dextrose is digested faster and more quickly available to the body to provide glucose for energy, maltodextrine is used slower by the body and is a better energy provider for longer races.  The percentage of each that I use in combination is based on how long the race is.  (Shorter races means more dextrose, longer race means more maltodextrine.)  Sports drinks also contain necessary electrolytes to replace what is lost during intense exercise. 

I have also been asked about gels.  They generally supply an intense blast of carbs.  However, be careful to not take a gel with a sports drink.  The body can digest approximately 60 - 80g of carbs per hour...any more than that can cause stomach distress and you will find yourself crouching in the bush deciding if its better to use that stick, or that pile of leaves to clean up with.

For post race/workout I will have a drink that contains 30 - 60g of whey protein, and Branch Chain Amino Acids for muscle repair.  If I have a second training session that day, or a race the next day, I will include a sports drink as well to replace electrolytes and depleted muscle glycogen stores.  (A round of Creemores has also been known to replace lost carbohydrates on certain occasions.)

Infinite Nutrition will let you tailor your own drink mix, and they will package it and send it to you, however I prefer to mix my own tailored to each individual race and/or training session.
In addition to my regular (real food) daily nutrition, my pre/post/during training-racing nutrition (drinks) I supplement with a multivitamin (and not your regular drug store multivite...needs to be a multivitamin that is enough to provide for an active lifestyle).  Also, because endurance athletics can play hell with the immune system I supplement with trans-resveretrol (a very powerful antioxidant and fact it's the stuff in grape skins that lead certain scientists to say it's healthy to drink copious amounts of wine), oregano oil, and cinnamon (both are powerful anti-inflammatories), and fish oil (omega 3).


I have been asked what I carry in my camelback.  Right or wrong here is what I have:
  • spare tube,
  • 3 CO2 cartridges (trim down to 2 for races, one cartridge is not enough to fill a 29er),
  • CO2 cartridge chuck,
  • MTB multitool with a chain tool,
  • 2 chain quicklinks,
  • derailleur hanger,
  • tire levers.
I know there is other stuff I could a small first aid kit and such...but I don't.

So there ya have it...its 7am now, and time to get ready for a Saturday AM ride.  See ya soon, and watch for hunchbacks' mothers with alternate personalities.


  1. It's important to keep the mind awake and aware of trail obstacles, and race strategy... What kind of race strategies would an awake mind typically be thinking about?

  2. For solo endurance races its mainly about pacing, and not falling into the trap of racing a rider behind or in front of you, especially if you don't know what team size category they may be entered in. Then there are other issues, like passing, proper gearing for certain conditions, maintaining proper nutrition and hydration, and being aware of your placing with time to finish.