I’m not sure how else to describe my new found addiction to running and cycling that is now competing with my climbing regime. I never in a million years thought this would happen to me. I mentioned before in other posts how I couldn’t understand my other climber friends lust for anything other than climbing, but now I am right there with them. Climbing is STILL and will remain my first and primary love. Even thought I am running and cycling more, it is simply because it’s easier to do without killing an entire evening.
Anyway, since purchasing my road bike for the purpose of endurance training as I previously posted I finally got go head out on a long ride today. I also left the homemmade gels at home and only brought a bottle of water with the juice of one lime, some agave nectar and sea salt for the purpose of replenishing electrolytes. The reason for doing this is to deprive my body of carbohydrates and teach it to burn fat as energy.
By teaching my body to burn fat for energy I will be able to perform better in a carb depleted state, maintain more energy for a longer period of time and build up a higher tolerance for pain as Matt from No Meat Athlete mentions in his Running Shorts blog. This is important because there is more energy available in stored fat, this energy source is also more readily available; not to mention sugar burns a lot quicker.
I was also recently reminded of this concept in Brendan Brazier’s Thrive, an amazing book on sports nutrition from the standpoint of a Vegan. Brendan is a huge advocate of eating a highly alkaline diet, which I am also a big proponent of. Our bodies maintain a constant PH level of 7.35, but it has to work hard to maintain that level of PH. We can help our body out thought by eating less acid forming foods and more alkaline foods.
The cleaner and more alkaline foods we eat the less our body has to work to maintain a PH level of 7.35, thus making our bodies more efficient machines and giving us more energy. This is why I tend to eat more raw foods close to race days. I usually shoot for a 100% raw diet in the three days before, but so far have fallen short, mostly due to Holiday parties at work. In the future temptations to deviate will be minimal (at least I hope).
You can find Alkalizing / Acidifying food chart here. Its best to avoid as many acidifying foods as you can, but many of them are still healthy for you, so it’s important to balance them out with more alkalizing foods.
As far as today’s ride… it was tough. It was extremely windy and there were lots of hills. You can view the elevation profile below the route map. I rode just over 35 miles in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. My time and speed weren’t too bad considering the conditions. I also was feeling a bit light headed at times because of the lack of carbohydrate intake. It was all for the good of endurance training though.
After getting out of the winds on more rural roads without having cars whiz by be at 60mph, the course become enjoyable and I had fun soaking in the quiet countryside, seems like I saw lots of farmers out working too. There were a number of hills though I didn’t get a lot of momentum going up and barely made it to the top. One of them I actually thought I might have to get off my bike and walk, thankfully I pulled through though. Somehow I was able to do quite well on the hills though and powered up them pretty will, which was surprising since I haven’t been on a ride in over a month.
I am looking forward to more and longer rides like this thought. I plan on riding the Hotter than Hell 100 in Wichita Falls in August 2010. I don’t know if I will do the 100K or the 100 mile yet though. More than likely it will just be the 100k. There are a couple other guys I climb with in the Texas Mountaineers that ride the race every year so I will more than likely have somebody to ride with.
On a side note I should be getting back into the climbing grove starting in January, so I will be able to start bringing you some climbing content for a change! Something I am excited about. Also, be looking for the announcement of a new climbing area I know about as well. It will likely excite a lot of trad climbers in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. That is all I can say for now, but if you dig through past blog entries you will see more information I have leaked!