Thursday, June 3, 2010


Wow, This nasty saddle sore is finally going away. Until you've had one, you don't know what a pain in the ass (sic) it really is. But, that's what I get for turning a short ride into a long ride without the proper preparations. I'm going to give it a go today for a short ride in Hartley Field. I've been riding pretty much solo because I am just too slow and have been having a lot of low blood sugar episodes. Plus, I can't climb worth a dam at the present.

Ok, you may have-or may not have- noticed I haven't done much road biking this year. Frankly, it's part vanity and part that I think I'm too heavy for the road at this time. Yes, I packed on the pounds since last summer. if you want a sure-fire formula for weight gain, just try this: Eat too much, too often, at the wrong times, of the wrong foods. Add in too many social occasions that feature alcohol and rich foods. Sammy's Pizza at 11:00 p.m. is a killer. Hey, love is blind, and I guess a bit undisciplined.

Where's this tale of progress turned tragedy going. Yes, spring 2009 I was getting a divorce, riding my bikes a ton, and getting fit. Like many, I started strong in the early season, but wasn't on the right plan to sustain my fitness gains and weight loss. 30 lbs dropped like a hot rock, my average speeds in the same route shot up, everything looked rosy. Now it's looks more like Rosey O'Donnell. Why? The wrong everything. Eating, riding, recovery, all wrong.

In his book RACING WEIGHT-How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, Matt Fitzgerald spells out how elite and not so elite endurance athletes find out the what's and how's of getting to their optimum racing weight. I bought the book a couple of days ago and can't put it down. It's a gold mine of information, all backed by current cited studies and facts, no fad diet plans designed to sell books and pre-packaged meals. He also disproves some of the long standing "truths" we cyclists live by, such as high volume-low intensity will burn off excess fat the quickest, high protein-low carb also is the ultimate diet to get lean, and my favorite, the trap I fall into, is that you can ride without much in the way of carbs on board will get your fat burning mechanism going. I just bonk, then have to suck down gels and really screw up my ride and that of those I'm with.

So where does this leave an insulin-dependent diabetic as far as eating. The less carbs consumed means the less insulin I have to inject. That's a given. So how do I get more carbs stored for long rides. Take more insulin. That's a fact of diabetic life and for now I'm stuck with it. Don't cry for me, Argentina, it's not that bad. Millions do it every day and there is an upside. It's the best thing we have for glucose control and doesn't have much in the way of side effects. A diabetic athlete just has to be more vigilant and cautious with dosage. You must also carry the proper fast-acting glucose sources at all times.

So what does EPOC mean and have to do with all of this? To me as a diabetic, it means everything. Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption is the effect of keeping the inner calorie burning mechanism stocked. I have noticed this effect in the past and have commented on how my blood sugar stays in control long after my ride has stopped, and the longer I ride, the longer the effect. Fitzgerald's book explains the phenomena in that your base metabolism is boosted about 10% of the calories burned during a workout for the length of that workout afterwards. If you burned a thousand calories per hour for say four hours, then you'd burn an extra 100 calories an hour for four hours after the end of the workout. Now I know I wasn't wrong about it as others have disagreed that EPOC is a real thing. I just no know it has a scientific notation attached to it.

I'm going to start to put some of the basic principles of this book into practice and will report what happens as I go.


KungFooSausage said...

Not sure I understand the whole EPOC thing you wrote. I'll have to look up this book you mention. As a Type 2 diabetic, not having an epi is my greatest concern in cycling which probably means I eat too much just in case.


Tim D said...

Glad the pain is gone and you are back out. I don't really understand all this stuff, I just like riding my bike. 2300+ miles so far this year. record week last week of 205 miles. I'm having trouble with internet at home so I've not updated it for a while.

Tim D said...

meant to say my weight has finally started coming down, 8-10 lbs in the last months

Boz said...

Yes, I sometimes wish I didn't have to think about this stuff and could just ride. Diabetes took care of that, unfortunately, but if I can effect just a few people in a positive way, it's worth it.