I used to read through the Lance Armstrong books looking for some kind of subtle tip-off about how to improve my training. I’d scan cyclingnews articles hoping for some kind of guidance as to what I should do with my next ride. I’d plug Bry, the LBS owner, for info every chance I got. And I’ve got to be honest, the best advice seemed to be obvious: just ride. I learned that if I wanted to improve, I needed to take the time to make it happen. And that first season, I really did notice some speed differences. I even once pulled a little Pantani breakaway in a group ride, and that made me feel all warm and special on the inside.
I will tell you this much: nutrition made a difference. I really need to kick soda pop. Not because of the calories, but because of the effects of carbonation on your lungs. Have you ever drunk a 7up right after taking a lung-busting ride? Hiccups, really uncomfortable ones that don’t last very long. At least that’s been my experience. Whatever makes those hiccups simply can’t be helping you ride faster. And I know I gave up soda before I picked up speed.
Carbs? Eat all you want–if you’re riding often enough, you don’t have to worry about them being stored as cellulite in your love handles. Protein? Fish–which also gives you the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids, an extremely effective antioxidant. Only trouble is that fish and pregnant women don’t mix. So if there are pregnant women in your household, you might just want to buy an omega-3 supplement.
Whether a course broke my legs or my lungs first usually just depended on the topography. And the topography for your rides should depend on what type of race you’re training for.
One last point: consistency. It will make a world of difference if you keep a regular training schedule each week, which I haven’t been doing at all this year. Sporadic training, my current program, brings its own gains, I’m sure. But I got faster so much more quickly when I was doing the exact same stuff each week–two 30-milers during the week and a 45-50 on Saturday. Don’t worry about the specifics, just know that you get there much quicker if you keep the same schedule.
Okay, enough of me trying to be useful. Here, read the official Caloi diet health hints section. It’s written in broken English, much like my blog, but their excuse is that it was translated from Portuguese.
P.S. I purchased a new jersey on eBay recently in anticipation of an upcoming mountain bike race. I was the only bidder, which I can only assume means that I got completely ripped off. Anyway, I’ll provide details when it arrives. Ooo, here’s a photo: