Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Carbs and cadence

Race Recap:
The beginning of the non-collegiate season is here!

This week was the second of the local criterium series. And, oh boy is it a lot less aggressive of a race.

Collegiate cyclists are out for blood and want upgrade points. Local people tend to be more interested in just hanging in the race. This is great news for me, as I'm still struggling to rehab my ankle. I raced this past weekend and this Tuesday in a laughably easy gearing, spinning at over 100rpm for the entirety of the race (except for the many times in the local race where I didn't need to fast pedal or pedal at all).

If there is one great thing that this ankle injury has done for me it is jacking up my cadence! My coach said that this is a great thing, as it will set me up for sprinting when my ankle can tolerate high torque again. Horray for that. Also, I'm planning on competing in the collegiate track cycling season to show off my new ability to hit 140rpm.

Speaking of which, this past weekend I was mistaken for a past national track champion. More than once. My response was at first to laugh, and then reply, "I'm not that fast". It was strange. But, apparently we look semi-alike in that we are both short and have a muscular build (read: not a climber).

All in all, it was uneventful and not terrible. I was last in none of the races, and apparently was towing people that I didn't even know were on my wheel during the last collegiate criterium race. And, I didn't get caught up in any crashes (1/4 of my field crashed in the road race). Also, we took 6th out of 16 in the team time trial.

Interesting interview on metabolism and carbs:

Today while working on a biostatistics class final project, I've been listening to this incredibly smart and relavent interview. I can honestly say that I've never trusted any of the low carb diet hype before, but now I can see how it would be applicable for some types of athletes (marathoners, triathletes... not road cyclists). I not a low carb person. I love carbs. But, I am also fascinated with metabolism and sports performance.

Not having a lot of guts left has forced me to tease out some of the same issues that this guy touches on regarding dumping salt and the resulting potassium abnormalities. Additionally, I think this discussion is very relavant because there are so few complex carbohydrates that I can tolerate while on the bike. This means that I am limited to fast-burning Gu shots, instead of the sandwiches and bananas that other cyclists carry in jersey pockets during long road races. An ultra slow burning carbohydrate sounds awesome! However, cycling requires short bursts of energy in addition to long endurance efforts and brings me back to the Gu.

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