Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Running on 'Empty'

After a couple of days of rest, I headed out the door for Beal's Point again. 34 miles and 2,300ft, it's a nice, challenging ride from my front door.

Right out of my door the humidity hit me like a wet blanket. Steamy, overcast, the kind of humidity that turns the sky into the inside of a light bulb and coaxes every living thing to open it's blossoms and spew pollen all over creation. Good thing I had decided on an Alavert an  hour earlier.

The ride up was rather uneventful, except that I found a really cool .6 mile marker pointing out the snack bar on the way to Beals. I hit the Lap button on my Garmin so I could get a good timing on the top of the climb.

I intended to stop and rest 15 minutes or so, because as an experiment I had decided to only bring one weak bottle of Gatorade, and no other ride fuel, with the goal of doing the ride on liver glycogen to burn some body fat. A 15 minute rest does a good job of marshaling some fat the liver can convert to blood sugar.

As soon as I stopped the humidity and skeeters were making me miserable. The cold water in the lake only seemed to make the humidity worse, and the wind was dead calm. It was Memorial Day, so there were tons of people there, not many places to rest, and a watchful eye on the bike was required at all times.

After a few minutes making friends with a very curious puppy (I'm sure he as me down as a self-importing salt lick! :D ), I realized I was getting swarmed by mosquitoes, mounted up in disgust and pushed off. OMG the breeze felt good, even if I did have to make it myself. Coasting downhill a mile or so, to the bottom of the last part of the climb, I sat erect and opened my jersey. Blessed relief!

I felt strong all the way home, and uploading my Garmin found I had lost nothing in burning liver glycogen vs ride fuel. I used the Garmin software to compare my last two rides and they were right on top of each other. The only thing I lost is the fat I burned. Cool!

PS: This just in.
Your body is capable of storing enough liver and muscle glycogen to support 2 hrs of activity at 100% of max heart rate. For rides up to ~ 2.5 hrs, no fuel is required. After that, you will hit the wall HARD.

1 comment:

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

My coach took a long look at the fuel bottles I use while riding. What we figured out is that if the ride is less than 2 hours there is no need for them. Regular sports drink and water are fine.

Just backs up what you already know. :)

Don't be a wuss about the heat and Keep riding!!