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A Long Hilly Skate Without Gatorade

eebee's picture

...Turned out not to be such a good thing for me.


This past Saturday I decided to do a dummy-run for Training Rides without Gatorade.


Just to explain why I feel like I have to go without Gatorade: I have put myself on a strict health diet to cure a particular ailment. So far, after a week it has been working. However, the bad news is that I am supposed to steer clear of any sugars (all the '-ose's), and artificial flavorings, as well as wheat, corn, rice and potatoes! Getting any carbs that stick to the ribs is challenging at best and not at all conducive to preparing for a long training skate. But I haven't given up trying to find a way, yet.


Basically I started this Saturday's T2T Clemmons training ride with gnawing hunger pangs, since the fruit and veg and home-made nut/date/carrot bread just wasn't enough to carbo-load. I had managed to buy some Elete water mix at Board n Bike in Buford, GA the night before. www.boardnbike.com I knew I was set for electrolytes etc., but was worried about the calorie deficit and how it would affect me.


Let's just say I started off at mile 1 close to 85% max hr and stayed above that (with near black-outs if I even tried to go in to a tuck), until in a panicked frenzy about 9 miles out I grabbed Blake's Gatorade-laden Camelbak tube and slaked my calorie-cravings like a ravenous baby chugging its bottle of formula. Man did I feel good after that! After wheel-sucking into the rest-stop, I poured out my $1.25 Elete water and loaded up on Gatorade :-(


The Elete water wasn't the problem. The lack of assimilable calories was the problem, as well as failing to carbo-load adequately the night before. Plus washing your Camelbak bladder out the night before with neat bleach to try to kill festering residue and then failing to rinse it properly before filling with your liquid of choice, will tend to induce the gag reflex when you try to drink out of it next morning...


Don't get me wrong - if I were skating loops of some kind that brought me back to my cooler at predictable intervals, I would have been more relaxed about the missing calories. However, out on the road like that on a scorching day with all eyes on us, and a responsibility not to make skaters look incompetent on training rides, I really wanted to make sure I had my wits about me. I can't do that if I'm bonking.


I'm thinking I'll have to wean myself off of Gatorade over time, or at least just have it be 'Rest-Stop' strength ;-)


By the way - the Clemmons Ride was a beauty, with smooth roads completely sidestepping the bumpily dreaded Gus Hill Rd, many steep uphills and one lovely 2.5 minute downhill coast on Fraternity Church Road. We had police-support in the beginning, manning several busy intersections on the way out of Clemmons. We went up, then came down that really steep hill on the Tour to Tanglewood itself, where in 2003 our approx. 40mph, 6 person paceline was interrupted by some cyclists on the way down (Oh! That one!).


Video thereof: http://www.roadskater.net/movies/t2t2003.mpg


We ended up completing the 36 mile option. There were 18, 27, 36 and 50 mile options. We were happy not being last until the 5 cyclists behind us decided to bail!!


skatey-mark's picture

Training on a calorie deficit

Interesting report...  You definitely did the right thing by getting some carbs in you!  It seems like the past few years, I've always been on a calorie-restricted diet during training season, so I'm more-or-less used to it.  I'm not sure if there was an adjustment period to get to that point or not.  (It's been a long time since I've had the luxury of training while not trying to lose weight.)


It is a little different for me though.  While I don't drink Gatorade, I do eat plenty of carbs beforehand.  Usually, I'll stop at Panera on my way in the morning and grab 2 Cinnamon Crunch bagels.  I also carry plentyof Gu with me, although I don't eat as much as I should.  If Dave & I are skating out normal Saturday route in Apex, I always grab a Snickers bar at the gas station where we stop...  So I'm getting plenty of sugar, but I do try to work it so I have at least a 1000 calorie defict by the time we're done.  (Counting bagels, Snickers, and Gu.)  I could probably get by with eating less beforehand if I used a sport drink, and could probably eliminate the Gu.


I can't imagine trying to get carbs with all the restrictions you mentioned!  Definitely keep us posted on your progress with that...


- SM -


eebee's picture

Being able to carbo-load

Exactly. I was thinking that from your description of your own weight-loss formula, and knowing just how much skating you do, that it's a question of acclimatizing oneself to fewer calories. Perhaps there's a delicate level at which we need to keep the calorie intake, for being light enough to maximize our power-to-weight ratio, yet not see black-and-white spots before our eyes whilst skating. But the biggee is being able to carbo-load right beforehand. Those cinnamon crunch bagels are my favorite!  And what was that last week about jelly donuts? Aarrgh. Yer killin' me!



kjg's picture

honey stingers

We love Honey Stingers as a replacement for GU. They are about the same number of calories but I use them because they seem a lot easier to swallow (especially after a few miles of skating!) and tasty. They are pretty much Honey with vit.B and electrolytes, they also say that you can mix it into water or a smoothie. The ginsting flavor also has Kola nut for a shot of caffiene! 

They are available at REI (including online) if you want to try them www.honeystinger.com

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