about the hilly terrain, is that a substitute
for interval training? I guess that
depends on the goal.
I mean if someone is doing lactic threshold
intervals then they are probably training
for something goal-oriented. Or, they
might just be training for a very hilly
100 km-a-day tour but I wouldn't say
necessarily that riding through hilly
terrain is a substitute. It helps your
body to develop the ability to ride
hills and strengthens your legs and
gives you a little bit more power but
it's not necessarily a substitute. If
you really want to work on lactate threshold
you have to be doing high-level-intensity
interval training, and or hill repeats
at a pretty high intensity. If you're
going to be riding hilly terrain on
a tour, or a hilly race, then you definitely
need to stimulate your body to ride
hills but it won't give you the full
benefits of proper structured lactate
Hills are a good way to develop strength
and power in the legs but they don't
address the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular
training is addressed when you do your
long mileage, your long, steady-state
ride. Hill repeats and sprints will
help to develop the higher-end levels
of your aerobic fitness but not cardiovascular
fitness, not your steady state aerobic
guidelines . . . I've heard different
things about hydrating during exercise.
I read recently that people are over-hydrating.
And in marathons people are dying because
Yes they are. It's
a huge problem. At first people weren't
drinking enough, so there was a big
push to hydrate, which is good, but
people have now gone to the other extreme
and drink too much. And instead of drinking
some kind of electrolyte replacement
fluid they're drinking water which just
eliminates all the salts in their system.
If you're in a race and sweating and
maybe using the bathroom along the way,
you end up sweating all the salts out
of your body and that's pretty serious.
It drops the electrolyte level in your
body. Hydrating is very important.
Generally the rule of thumb with hydration
is if you're just doing an hour recreational
ride you're okay just to take a bottle
of water, but as soon as you start getting
into the one and a half hours plus,
you need to be supplementing with some
kind of electrolyte sports drink. There
are a number of products on the market.
Which one you use is very individual.
you have a preference?
I use eLoad, a local
Toronto-based company makes it. It has
the right balance of sodium, potassium,
and salts and it has carbohydrates in
it. If I'm doing a post-race recovery
ride I just use water, but for every
other ride I use an electrolyte drink.
People cycling 100 km a day on tours
definitely need some kind of sports
drink with electrolytes in it, not just
When you're cycling for ninety minutes
and beyond, you also need to be supplementing
with food. You can do that with energy
bars, gels, or bananas. I find energy
bars work for me. Some people like gels.
The good thing about gels and energy
bars is they have a little bit of protein
in them as well as carbohydrates and
For endurance rides, 100km plus, it's
a must to be supplementing with food
from the ninety minute mark. And, again,
how you do that is individual. There's
some trial and error involved. Never
go into an event, or a race, without
first trying out a new product. You
should always figure out what your body
can handle and what you can actually
take well before the event. I remember
a few years ago when I was training
for a marathon, gels had just started
to become popular. And I said, "Oh yeah,
I'm going to take these gels on my three
hour run today". And I hadn't used them
before. I thought I'd be fine. And I
got out there and I couldn't swallow
them. They were making me gag! (laughing)
So I was glad I did that before the
There are certain gels that I find okay
now and can tolerate but it's trial
and error and it's very individual.
But definitely from the ninety minute
mark on, you need to be supplementing
with some kind of food, and hydrating
with an electrolyte drink if you're
riding more than an hour.
cycling snacks I like taking bread and
maybe some smoked turkey and cream cheese
and that works well for me.
Yes, again the whole
key is finding what works for the individual.
For me it's just easier to have bars
in a wrapper. I can open them and eat
them as I'm riding. I don't stop when
I ride, so I try to make everything
as easy and accessible as possible.
Just be careful not to have anything
too heavy, because then you're going
to be diverting the blood away from
the working muscles to digesting food.
Your cycling snack should be mostly
carbohydrates and a little bit of protein.
Proteins are way more important post
ride. Within the first fifteen minutes
of finishing a ride you should have
a good combination of something with
proteins and carbohydrates. There are
many recovery drinks on the market,
or you can have a shake, or a bagel
with peanut butter, or turkey, or chicken.
I use a recovery drink called Endurox.
It has the right amounts of carbohydrates,
proteins and fats for recovery and I
drink it within the first fifteen minutes
of finishing a ride while I'm stretching.
Then an hour from then, you take in
the same amount of proteins and carbohydrates
again. This builds back the glycogen
in the muscle, so the next day when
you ride the muscle, glycogen is built
up and you've got the energy to ride
like Diane to be your personal trainer.
. .stay tuned. Starting next month Diane
will offer training programs for women
cyclist on womenscycling.ca!
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