Eating for Raceday

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Now that I’m not racing anymore I’ll let you in on all my secrets.

You’re ready to race and you’ve done everything right. Lets continue to do things right by planning out your race day nutrition. The feeling of having a gut full of food 5 minutes into the race or running out of energy and bonking with 5 miles to go are not pleasant experiences and can be prevented if you plan your meals out for race day. It’s a little easier to eat for a start time between 9:00 and 10:00am. It’s best to eat your breakfast 2-3 hours before your event. I like to eat 3 hours before I race. Carbs with some protein has always been my go to. Ideas for carbs would be oatmeal, cereal, bread, rice, pasta or something that’s easily to digests. I usually do eggs for my protein but whatever you feel like can digest pretty well in 2-3 hours. Since I eat 3 hours before the race I usually eat an energy bar 1 hour before the start. I like Ally’s Bars, ERG bars, and the new Skratch bars best but brands like Cliff Bar are good too. I also like to sip on a sports drink during that hour. In the last 30 minutes leading up to the race I like having a pack of Cliff Shots because they taste good. A gel 10-15 minutes before the start is good too. I always found it good having something just before the start because it might be hard to eat in that first part of the race. From there keep in mind eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty. If you get hungry or thirsty it’s probably to late. For a 2 hour event gels will do. Take a gel 45 minutes in and again 1.5 hours in. That should keep your glycogen levels pretty level throughout the event. Try and drink when you can. I always had a goal of 1 bottle an hour. What worked for me might not work for you. Find a system and try and stick to it. If you do you’ll avoid having a full feeling gut or bonking.

If you’re racing later in the day do the same thing but work backwards. In the elite race sometimes the start is around 2:00 in the afternoon. If you don’t plan your meals well with a later start it’s easy to bonk. I’ve been there. I’d get up and have my normal breakfast toast with 2 eggs and some fruit. 3 hours before the start of the race I would then have a plate of plain pasta or rice with olive oil and 2 eggs. I’d sometime also have toast and jam. With 3 hours before the start you can eat until you almost feel stuffed. Then I’d do the bar 1 an hour before (unless I still felt stuffed from my meal 3 hours before). Then the Cliff Shots and then off we go!

I hope you can find a system that works for you. Plan from your race start and work backwards from there.

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Iceman Service Special

Whether you are ready or not (we all know you ARE), have the piece of mind that your bike is good to go for The Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike Race this Saturday!

Safety Tune + Drive Train Clean for $40 (savings of $25)

24 hour turn-around available. Iceman Service Special is good for mountain bikes and fat bikes only and is only good through Friday, November 3, 2017.

8 Week Iceman Cometh Training Plan

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Cooler mornings and slightly shorter days means Iceman is starting to creep up! Iceman is one of best events we have in Michigan. Many of you sign up because it’s a good challenge and, in a sick way, it sounds fun. This training plan is just like last years but we’re getting after it 2 weeks earlier. Remember, while you’re training and racing to have fun! This training plan is a guide and should give you some ideas. This isn’t a special formula that you have to follow. If you put time in on your bike you’ll do great. This training plan has you putting in 6-8 hours a week. Most training for Iceman can be done on the road but try and make it to a trail at least once a week. As the days get shorter you may end up doing a few of these workouts on the trainer. At the bottom I added a video of last years race from my handlebars that is a good one to watch on the trainer. With light technology these days you can avoid the trainer and even start your workout in the dark. The longer endurance rides try and get outside.

This training plan has you riding 4 days a week. You can have a great Iceman riding 3 days a week…but studies have shown you can gain a lot by training 4 days instead of 3 days a week. The gains training 5 days a week are still there but aren’t as great. Everyone has different schedules so you’ll have to figure out what days you have time to do what workout. Make sure the intensity workouts you are well rested. For all the workouts make sure you’ve had something to eat before. Doing workouts tired or on an empty stomach aren’t as effective. At the bottom I’ve listed a few good races and events that can help you train and put in miles without doing it on your own.

Race Day Tips:

If you’re traveling to the race bring clothing for all conditions. The last two years have been full on Niceman with the most amazing weather. We’re due for some nasty weather or will global warming shine on us? Even the morning of the race bring a decent amount of clothing to the start incase the weather changes. The thing people like about Iceman is the unknown of what conditions you’ll be dealing with on race day. Kalkaska were the race starts can be a little colder then the finish so look at the weather for Kalkaska and Traverse City.

As far as the race goes save some energy for the final 3rd of the race as that’s were the hills are and you’ll need some legs. You can save energy in the beginning by staying calm in the singletrack sections. If you get caught behind someone slow take a second to recover until there is time to pass. Trying to pass when there’s no room is risky and wastes energy.

Post race is a great time to tell race stories with your friends and those around you. Try and get your sweaty wet clothing off and slip into something dry as you’ll be able to hang out longer without getting chilled. Stay after and hang out at the Velo City Cycles tent and cheer on the Pro/Elite riders as they come in! My favorite part of the race last year was hearing the roar from our tent area as I came past to finish 8th in the Pro/Elite field. Thanks for catching the moment Wade Burch!

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Week 1 : Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1-1.5 hours temp intervals. 10min warm up 2 x 20 min. at a hard temp with 5 min easy spinning between. During the 20 minutes you should have good pressure on the pedals. Don’t go to hard. We want you to feel good pressure on the pedals at the end of 20 minutes.

Day 3: 2 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: This is a good day to find a fast group ride or go hard. Push yourself a little. If you can’t make a group ride shoot for 1.5 hours at temp Zone 3 with 3 10 minute sections during the ride where you lift the pace to Z4.

Week 2 : Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 hours like the week before but we are adding a 20 min. interval. 10min warm up 3 x 20 min. at temp with 5 min easy spinning between.

Day 3: 2.5 hours endurance pace Zone 2

Day 4: Fast group ride or event. If not workout would be to go to a trail that has a good 20-30 min. lap. Do two laps: First lap just ride and find your flow but time yourself. Second lap go for it and try and beat your first lap time. Set a benchmark for yourself on that trail. In the coming weeks you can test yourself again. Please be respectful of others on the trail even if you’re trying to set a good time.  

Week 3: Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 hours with long intervals: (20 min warm-up) 3×10 min at a solid tempo (Upper Zone 3). 10 min easy between.

Day 3: 2-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 15 min warm-up then do the following 2 times (2 minutes zone 4, 2 minutes easy, 1 min 40 seconds zone 4, 1 min 40 seconds easy, 1 min 20 seconds zone 4, 1 min 20 seconds easy, 1 min zone 4, 1 min easy, 40 seconds zone 4, 40 seconds easy, 20 seconds zone 4, 20 seconds easy.  After doing this 2 times do 15 min easy.

Week 4: Recovery

Day 1: Ride 1-1.5: Fun ride at a trail or a favorite easy loop. Take it easy and smell the leaves.

Day 2: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 3: Ride 2 hours Zone 2

Day 4: Ride 1 hour fun intensity: Do a local race or head out on the road or trail and mess around with going fast when you feel like going fast. Going fast for 1 hour isn’t necessary. More like go hard up a couple hills or sprint for a stop sign or two.

Virtue Cider Gravel Fondo October 1 

Week 5 Build

Day 1: Ride 1.5-2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 Hours with intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 10 min warm-up then the following: 4 times 5 min of 40 seconds hard zone 5 20 seconds easy with 5 min easy between each 5 minute interval. 10 min warm down after.

Week 6: Build

Day 1: Ride 2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: Ride 1.5 Hours with intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2.5-3 hours endurance ride. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 7: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 15 min warm-up then the following 2 times (2 minutes hard Zone 4, 2 minutes easy, 1 min 40 seconds Zone 4, 1 min 40 seconds easy, 1 min 20 seconds zone 4, 1 min 20 seconds easy, 1 min zone 4, 1 min easy, 40 seconds zone 4, 40 seconds easy, 20 seconds zone 4, 20 seconds easy.  After doing this 2 times do 15 min easy.

Week 7: Build

Day 1: Ride 2 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 2: 1.5 Intervals: 20 minute warm up, 4 times 5 min at threshold zone 4. Take 5 minutes easy between each interval. 20 min easy to warm down.

Day 3: 2.5-3 hours endurance ride zone 2. Just go ride. Don’t worry about how far or hard you go. You’re just putting time in the saddle.

Day 4: 1 hour Intensity: If you have a local race do it! If you’re going to go training do a 10 min warm-up then 10 times 1 minute Zone 5 1 minute easy. 10 minutes easy then 5 times 40 seconds Zone 5 hard 20 seconds easy. 10 minutes warm down.

 Week 8: Recovery

Day 1: Ride 1-1.5: Fun ride at a trail or a favorite easy loop. Take it easy and smell the leaves.

Day 2: Ride 1.5 hours steady: Go ride a trail or road (Zone 2).

Day 3: Pre ride the finish of the race before or after picking up your packet. Remember you’re not racing yet. I’ve seen people out riding the finish the evening before the race going faster then they will be in the race. It’s okay to get your heart rate up a little while you’re riding the finish the day before but save it for the next day!

Day 4: Race Day!!  Warm-up can be rolling around before the start and maybe throwing in there a minute or two of tempo. Otherwise use the road section at the start to warm up.

Training Zones:

Training zones can be done using power, heart rate or feel.  When using feel we use the RPE (rate of preserved exertion) scale. 1 being this is easy to 10 being my goodness made it stop.

To figure out your training zones from power or heart rate you need to do a field test. This is easiest done on a trainer. After a solid warm up you will do a 20 minute effort as hard as you can go without slowing down. Try to average the highest power that you can for the duration. Don’t go out to hard and pay the price later. We want you to finish strong. After you’ve done 20 minutes we want your average HR for the 20 minutes. This we’ll call your FTP or functional threshold power. We then calculate that as a percentage to get your zones. Below in the zone chart you’ll see what % off of your average HR is appropriate for each zone. If you’re using power take your average wattage and multiple by .95 and that will give us your FTP. Below on zone chart you’ll see what percentage of your FTP each zone should be.

Zone 1: Active recovery, Easy Spinning, RPE <2 (HR <68%) (Power <55%)

Zone 2: Endurance, All day pace or classic long slow distance, RPE 3-4 (HR 69-83%)(Power 56-75%)

Zone 3: Tempo, fast group ride paceline, RPE 5-6 (HR 84-94%)(Power 76-90%)

Zone 4: Lactate threshold, above time trial pace, RPE 7-8 (HR 95-105%)(Power 91-105%)

Zone 5: Vo2 Max, This hurts a lot!! RPE 8-10 (HR 106-120%)(Power 106-120%)

 

Lord of the Springs gravel road race and singletrack September 16

Pedal the Providences September 16

Virtue Cider Gravel Fondo October 1

Mountain Bike-tober Thursday Practice races

Kisscross Cyclocross races

Advice for a Filthy Barry-Roubaix

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A few things to expect for Barry-Roubaix and some pre, post, and during race essentials.

One thing that I can guarantee is that you’ll be wet, cold and dirty. Here are some things to help you have fun on a filthy day.

We’re going to start with post race essentials:
– A gallon or 2 container of water to wash yourself off
– Rag and towel
– Plastic bin or trash bag for all your wet clothes
– Dry clothes to change into
– Founders Brewery Beverage Founders Brewing Co.

What to outfit your bike with for the mud:
– Fresh lube on the chain
– Fender if you have one! If you don’t, I recommend finding one
– Water bottle for drinking and clearing glasses off

Pre race:
– Try and stay dry and warm as long as you can. Use the first few miles of the race as your warm-up. If you want to go out fast warm up on a trainer or at home.
– Make sure you eat something of a decent size 2-3 hours before the race. And a gel or something small 15-30 minutes before the start.

What to wear (You will be wet and cold no matter what you wear):
– A nice pair of gloves will be essential
– Cycling cap or hat
– Rain or wind racket. Make sure you can get to the zipper if you start to overheat
– Baselayer and jersey
– For the legs you can go with shorts, knee warmers, knickers, or tights. Just don’t go with too thick of pant or heavy tights…you’ll over-heat and get heavy when wet.
– Embrocation on the legs will keep you warm. Just know it’s a different feel if you’ve never used it. And don’t mistake it for chamois cream!!! Soigneur Athletic Skincare is a great brand and local business out of Grand Rapids, MI
– Clear lenses for your glasses. I’ve used rainx on the glasses in conditions like this but it can also fog up the glasses. I think they’ll be fogged up anyway.
– Shoe covers for the feet.

How to race:
– Have fun and be safe
– Find someone to follow that also has a fender
– Give the person in front of you a little space
– Use the first bit of the race to warm up
– If you feel cold, go harder
– It will be hard to eat but you’ll need fuel…so eat!
– Find a rhythm on the climb and accelerate over the top to get back up to speed
– Don’t be a jerk

And don’t forget to wash your bike that evening!

-Brad White