Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Keeping fuel in the tank

One of the perks of unemployment is that I don't have to live by the traditional Monday - Friday, 8 - 5 workweek. Since I decided on Saturday to do the Mt. Harrison hill climb rather than doing a long training ride for Lotoja, yesterday I needed to get some long hours in on the bike.

My original plan was to ride from my house to the top of Bogus, then on to Horseshoe Bend and Emmet before coming home. Would have worked out to about 130 miles. But Sunday night Brad called wanting to ride MTBs in the morning, so instead of climbing Bogus on the road bike, I rode up Bogus on the MTB and did Eastside and Sweet Connie instead. From there I pedaled home, changed shoes, filled up the bottles, and did the rest of the loop. Since Brad drove me from near his house to the Sweet Connie pullout, that cut about 10 miles out of my original plan, but I figured it was a wash given how much of the mileage was on the MTB.

One of my objectives for this ride was to use Hammer Perpetuum as my primary nutrition source. My brother, Steve, is sold on the program and used it to great success when we rode from Logan to Bear Lake last month. I've been using it on my longer rides since then, including Saturday at Mt. Harrison. It's worked well for rides from two to four hours, but I wanted to see how it worked for longer efforts.

The MTB portion of yesterday's ride was about four hours of bike time by the time I got back home. I didn't eat for the first hour because I'd just had breakfast and then had two servings of Perpetuum and a hammer gel in the final three hours. I felt fine throughout, and when I got home downed a serving of Perpetuum before heading to Horseshoe Bend. I still felt good after five hours, but after six, I started feeling empty and week. I thought it was the stiff headwind while I rode along the river from Horseshoe Bend to Emmet, but even when I got out of the wind, I didn't feel good and couldn't get my heart rate up.

In desperation, I stopped in Emmet and got a coke at a convenience store. That was enough to get me up the hill, but from there I just limped home, tired and sore.

So the lesson here, for me at least, is that no matter what the sports nutrition product, I need some solid food during efforts of more than five or six hours. RAWROD was the same story, and I'm certainly glad to have learned this before the event, rather than going in assuming that what works for my brother will work for me. While he's still sucking down orange cream flavored Perpetuum, I'm going to have a turkey avocado wrap and maybe a cookie to help me get through Star Valley.


  1. I agree about solid food. At breaks, go solid. On the bike, supplement with gels / energy bars / etc. My worst bonks have been when I tried to rely on only gels and the like.

  2. Mark, Garn tried the Hammer program on the Tour of Park City and did great for about 95 miles. We hit the feed zone at 100 miles and I think he ate everything that wasn't nailed down. I would guess he consumed around one thousand calories per minute for approximately five minutes. It was a site that I will never forget.