Lunchtime ride – with sports drink

I like getting out on my bike during my lunch hour.  Allowing time for getting changed, unlocking my bike and getting out of the car park, I can ride for about 40-45 minutes.  Conveniently, that’s just enough time for me to ride from Teddington, over Kingston Bridge, along Kings Road, around Richmond Park once and then back to work.  The route is about 20.5 km (12.8 miles).  I sometimes ride elsewhere, but usually it’s Richmond Park.  I tend to go three or four times a week (when the weather’s ok and depending on other commitments), so if you’re ever riding about the park between 1 and 2 pm and see someone who looks like me, then say hi!

I headed out today for my first lap since last Thursday.  I didn’t ride at lunchtime yesterday as my legs were still aching from a hard day’s gardening on Saturday.  Conditions were great today.  It was about 22 degrees Celsius with a south-westerly.  I could definitely feel the effects of the wind, but riding against it wasn’t too bad.

I’d started thinking over the last few days that perhaps one of the reasons I haven’t been seeing much improvement in fitness is that I’m not getting my nutrition right.  Because my lunchtime rides are fairly short, I’ve tended not to bother with sports drinks.  Due to the limited time, and the fact that I don’t get out to ride much on other occasions, I tend to push myself on these short lunchtime rides.  Not keeping my blood sugar topped up is probably not helping me to make the most of these sessions though.   I’ve also usually followed up the rides with PhD Pharma-Whey, which is almost pure protein, rather than a regular recovery drink with closer to 30% protein and 70% carbs (I eat lunch afterwards as well).  Although getting the protein into my system is good, the lack of easily-digested carbs straight after my rides probably means that my muscles are not refuelling properly within the little window of post-exercise opportunity.

So today I mixed up a dose of High5 EnergySource and sipped two thirds of it before I set out to get my blood sugar up.  I finished it off during the first half of my lap around the park.  I rode around anti-clockwise today and felt pretty good most of the way around.  In fact, I managed to complete the lap in 19:34, which is the best I’ve done since November and 1:26 better than my fastest lap last week!  I also managed to hold hard efforts for longer without wearing myself out.  A few stats for the lap:

  • Power (W): Avg 333.7, Max 788
  • Speed (km/h): Avg 33.1, Max 61.5
  • Cadence (rpm): Avg 93.7, Max 108

Following the ride I mixed one scoop of the PhD Pharma-Whey with one scoop of Zipvit ZV3 Recovery Drink Rapide, which provides maltodextrin and sucrose (and a bunch of other special ingredients) in addition to whey protein.  I gave my quads and calves a good stretch as well.  It’s only been a couple of hours, but the legs are feeling pretty good.

So I conclude from this that despite my lunchtime sessions being quite brief, it’s still a good idea to feed myself with a sports drink.  The extra sugar available to my muscles will allow me to train a bit harder, which will make me stronger and faster over time.  I still need to fit some longer rides into my schedule, but keeping sugared up for my regular short rides should keep me in a better condition.


2 Responses to “Lunchtime ride – with sports drink”

  1. 1 wheeledweenie Wednesday 28 April, 2010 at 11:48

    We bow to your training schedule… I dunno if I could do lunchtimes as well. It’s all so hardcore!

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