Monday, November 24, 2008

Not enough miles

I didn't ride nearly enough the past week because of school: tests, lab reports, and some other stuff.  I got in 42 miles Saturday and came back disappointingly tired.  I suppose it's good enough that after a week off the bike I can go out and do that kind of mileage, but it felt pretty discouraging.

Coupled with the emails I see flying around the NCSU cycling listserv about people doing 80 miles in a day, who I know were drastically weaker than me no more than 3 weeks ago.  That's the really discouraging part.  

But, hopefully that will change in the next week: I've got no classes today, so after I snag a little part for my bike computer I've got about 50 miles planned.  Then a test Tuesday night, then off for Thanksgiving, where I'm looking for some serious mileage to carry me through the last few weeks of school.  

I need to work on my eating strategies when going on these longer rides: doing the same thing I do for 25 miles doesn't cut it.  In the past I haven't  been a fan of cycling-specific foods like power bars, gels, and the like, but I've been reading a little bit of sports physiology and the gels are probably the best thing to have on a moderately long ride, because they're quickly converted into sugars.  My granola bars are a pretty complex food that takes a while to break down, and doesn't last really long.

If I was really smart I would email our coach and ask for guidelines for building up the mileage over the next few weeks: progressing from 45 miles up to 80 or so, but I probably won't see any benefits from training this scientifically right now, because my week-to-week mileage is all over the place.  I know what I need to be doing from a training perspective: ride lots of slow miles.  It's just a matter of squeezing those miles in.... in miserable weather.

In other news, I moved the saddle on my road bike up 8 mm, which is the first change to that bike's setup in a loooong time.  I'll see how it works on today's ride.  After riding the fixie for a week I got on the road bike and went, "Oh hey!  The saddle's too low."  Which is what my dad's been telling me for ages.  I asked for a professional bike set-up for Christmas, but it might become a birthday present.  But I'm riding enough now to justify a moderately scientific bike setup session, I think.

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