Monday, June 11, 2012

Team Success Starts with Registration

I just recently noticed something concerning the results posted on USA Cycling.  Take a look at the results here from this weekend criterium at Todd Stadium in Newport News, VA.  These are the Cat 3 results:

Men - Cat 3
 Place Points NameCity, StateTime USAC #BibTeam
1243.99Nicholas Tempest   Virginia Beach, VA 328886   Tri Power
2259.51John Gray   Chesapeake, VA 256083   Virginia Beach Wheelmen
3275.04S Curtis Smith   Henrico, VA 236138   Team 3Sports

4290.56Josh Moore   Virginia Beach, VA 212047   Atlantic Velo-Virginia p/b Walt's Racing

5306.08Jake King   North Garden, VA 231130   Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc.

6321.61Timothy Pope   Chesapeake, VA 230804   Fat Frogs Elite

7337.13jeffrey hellner   Hampton, VA 296544   JRVS/American Pride

8352.66Luis Guillen   Youngsville, NC 281805   Constellation Cycling

9368.18Owen Hassig   Arlington, VA 186551   Squadra Coppi / Vapiano USA

10383.70Tyler Cloutier   Charlottesville, VA 360809   

11399.23Joe Altomare   Hampton, VA 290623   Celerity Cycling p/b Brooks Systems

12414.75Kenneth Sumrell   Poquoson, VA 304878   Fat Frogs Elite

13430.28jimmy deaton   Virginia Beach, VA 8975   Team Tripower
14445.80Joshua Goyet   Virginia Beach, VA 58274   Virginia Beach Wheelmen
15461.32Tim Shockley   Virginia Beach, VA 60982   Virginia Beach Wheelmen

16476.85Christian Sheridan   Crozet, VA 167388   Charlottesville Racing Club

17492.37Mark LaDow   Camden, NC 344832   
The thing I want to point out are the symbols all the way to the left side.  The top three medals are obvious but lower down under myself and teammate Tim Shockley you will see silver ribbons.  These are because we were on the same team as the second place finisher, therefore we got Team 2nd Place.

The Virginia Beach Wheelmen have always been team centered.  We were started with friends who enjoyed racing together and hopefully winning together.  Our non cycling friends would ask many times "how did you do this weekend?"  Our answers reflected the top finisher of our team.  This last weekend, when asked, we answered "2nd place".  Usually the top finisher on a team doesn't get there alone.  Even if he raced alone that day, the support of his team during training had a play in how well he raced.  Therefore my team always takes an individual victory as a team victory, we don't see the difference.

I really don't know how long USA Cycling has been placing these ribbons to support the fact that cycling is a team sport, but I do like the idea.  Now to real point of my post.  Notice the winner was Nick Tempest of Team Tripower.  Nick was led out on the final lap by his teammate who sacrificed himself for Nick's victory.  That teammate was Jimmy Deaton.  Jimmy should have received a gold ribbon by his name but he did not.  The reason is because Nick signed up under Tripower and Jimmy signed up under Team Tripower.  In order to support USAC's attempt to really highlight cycling as a team sport, do your part by discussing with your club the team name that all racers should use when registering for the events.  Its the least you can do to support those who sacrifice their personal glory for the team.  Now, for all to see, there is no question when we answer "we got 2nd place."

On a side note, this race was tough.  We went into it with a team plan to win the race via a breakaway.  If we could not establish a winning break, we had a plan for a good leadout.  For those their I think you can agree our 2nd place was an easy 2nd and we did give it everything we had to come up with the victory.  The winner, Nick, also raced well.  He did not sit in and wait for the sprint.  Actually at one point I bridged up to him to form a two man break and he was riding so strong that I could assist at all.  I had to signal to my team to start chasing.  It was a good race, as always.  Thanks again to the promoters. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nutrition for Better Performance: The Pre-Workout Meal

I am going to start this post with a couple of questions:
  • Do you have a pre-race meal that you eat?
  • Do you have a pre-workout meal that you eat?
  • Are they the same?
A couple of weeks ago I had a client who decided to go on his endurance ride in the evening and the last time he ate was breakfast in the morning.  When he reported his ride back to me he stated he felt a little tired.  He then explained the didn't eat because he wanted to burn more fat during his endurance ride in order to lose a little weight.  Does that sound like anything you have every done?  I would have to say that most endurance athletes have thought along those lines before.

Back to my originally three questions on this post, do you have a standard meal for training and racing?  Again I would probably say that most racers do have a standard for pre-race but not for pre-ride.  Why?  I would guess it is for the same reason we swap wheels to race, it makes us faster.  We want to be as prepared as we can for the race and that usually means not playing around with our diets and eating something that we know will work for us.  Then why not do the same thing for training.  The point you really need to focus on here is what is the goal of your training session.  It should never be the goal of training to go out and bonk.  Therefore your pre-ride diet should be as important if not more important than your pre-race diet.

Let's say your coach has given you a ride for the day that included some sprints in the early part of the ride and then a tempo and endurance segment at the end for a total of 2 1/2 hours.  If you chose not to properly eat and during the form sprints you completely exhausted your glycogen stores and had nothing left for the remainder of the ride, did you get the most out of the workout.  Come race day, will you be the best prepared.  The answer of course is no.  If you don't properly prepare and take every training session seriously you won't get the most out of your training.

What I attempt to do is to fuel myself about 2 hours prior to the start of my training session.  This then requires planning of my day.  This meal or snack that I will eat prior to my ride will be about 200-400 calories depending on my ride I have planned.  Now I am not much of a calorie counter so I may be slightly off when it comes to this.  The goal though is to eat enough to fuel me for at least and hour ride.  Anything more than an hour and I am eating while riding as well.  Don't think that if you are training for 3 hours that you need to eat 3x the food.  You want most of the food out of you stomach prior to riding.  Otherwise it will just sit in there as blood is diverted to the working muscles.

A typically pre-ride meal will consist of food from the moderate glycemic index.  This could be fruits, oatmeal or my favorite Shredded Mini Wheats.  The idea is to create insulin release to store the sugars as glycogen but you don't want to create a spike that would occur with high glycemic index foods.  I will also usually add a little protein in for good measure.

A typical breakfast for a morning ride (410 calories):
  • bowl of Shredded Mini Wheats with Skim milk ( 340 calories)
  • Beet Juice (70 calories)
This is usually eaten 2 hours prior to riding.  If I am feeling a little hungry before leaving I will eat a banana.  The cereal gives me a lot of good carbs that are moderate on the glycemic index.  The milk will give me some protein.  I use skim milk to keep the calories down.  The beet juice, well the reason for that may be for another post.  Now I am good to go and will be ready to accomplish the goals of my workout.

What is your pre-ride meal?