Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
John Bissell's Blog

Wednesday’s Bike Ride - Learning from Mistakes

2010-03-27 19:40:17
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My training right now is aimed at doing well at the Davis Double Century on May 15. (Davis Bike Club, Davis California). I’ve done this ride 5 times before and it is the 1st ultra – distance ride I ever tired way back in 1980. Since I’ve done the ride before, I’m confident in my training and planning. I really like to do this ride more for nostalgia than anything else.

This year several of my friends are going to California with me. Three of them have done doubles before, and one of them has also done this particular ride a few times before, so I’m confident in their ability to prepare as well. However, one friend, Geoff, is doing Davis as his first double. He is strong and confident, and trains hard, so I’m really not worried about his fitness. However, he still has to learn what strange things his body does on long rides, and how to manage fuel, fatigue and pace.

To this end, I put together a series of training rides that longer than I usually recommend in training for a double. The point is to get him to ride into distress on his training rides, not at the event. We all learn more from mistakes than from success.

This past Wednesday we had one of the breakthroughs I was looking for. First Geoff used a nutritional product that many have trouble with. Then when that product ran short, he diluted it and relied on gels and Power Bars. Next he road hard, and went up O.K. Mill road at a pace I was not comfortable with. I watched my heart rate monitor to make sure I was not overdoing, and paid attention to my fuel intake while a kept up. After about ½ hour of this Geoff started to fade, then he went into a bonk including stiff muscles and no power.

But here’s the good part: We talked about how to fix this problem, including the ingestion of some maltodextrin and caffeine (Hammer Gel Espresso Flavor w/50mg caffeine), followed by some Hammer Sustained Energy, all while concentrating on keeping the heart rate down as close to 120 as possible. With about 20 miles to go Geoff was ready to quit, but I could see the recovery was starting to work. I suggested he see this through.

Sure enough, by the time we got home, Geoff was nearly fine. And he learned several important lessons 1. what to eat, 2. what not to eat, 3. how to pace, and 4. how to fix things when they go wrong. A fine example of the need for distance training to learn how everything works.

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High Intensity Interval Training vs. Long Distance Training

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