Mocha Express
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3 It's Simple…they say

February 17, 2013

It's very simple, they say.  All you have to do is:

  1. Drink before you're thirsty,
  2. Eat before you're hungry,
  3. Be confident and well conditioned, and
  4. have decent, fitting equipment.

Yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, be strong, conditioned, blah, blah.

What They Don't Tell You....

What they don't tell you, or maybe they don't know, is there are some "mud puddles" that can take you down on any ride.

My "top 5" key learnings are:

  1. Drink before you are thirsty??
    -> it takes a frigging quarter to half hour for water you drink to get to you!
    and then, only if the stomach was empty and the osmotic gradient is right!
  2. Eat before you are hungry??
    -> your body can only process 300kcal of fuel per hour and you can burn 350-400 kcal/hour: of course you need to eat before you're hungry and you'll also never "catch up"!
  3. Eat only easily digestible foods??
    -> if you ride hard, your frigging stomach pretty much shuts down
    it will hold everything: food, water(!), electrolytes.  Not just "easy" but trivial foods!
  4. Eat only easily digestible foods??
    ->  if it is empty, at least sugar and fructose can get through!  Yeah, yeah, worry about weight? Naaah, just worry about getting there!
  5. Fat burning occurs up to 65% of max heart rate, digestion until about 75%??
    -> your MHR is about 220 - age!
    if you are over 50, fat burning stops at ~115 bpm and stomach stops at ~125bpm!

Even Worse: Stomach Shutdown!

Having your "stomach shut down" is a real "killer".
Suddenly, you become

  1. low on energy - bonking!
  2. dehydrated - no fluids!
  3. sloshing - all the fuel, fluids, and electrolytes bloating you up

All in all, a bummer.

Other Than That....

There are bunches of other things that can wipe you out, but those 5 are nasty, show-stoppers!
If you think about them (and you're over 40) you'll realize that for long rides, you better not try to "burn fat".  Sure the "kids" can do it and still ride as fast as you, but most folk find 8-10 mph to be a bit tedious/nonsensical for riding 200 miles in 16 hours.

Pololui Valley
63 miles from Kailua Kona

But I Figured It Out.. in Hawaii!

So, how did I figure all this out?
I was lucky enough to vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii and was able to try to ride the Iron Man route from Kailua Kona to Hawi (actually, eventually, the Pololu Valley "end of the road")

Everything you would want,
if you really, really want to and enjoy riding 100 miles or more.

Recent Commentaries
in Introduction Book

STP:Intro - February 17, 2013
3  It's Simple!
STP:Intro - February 09, 2013
1  The Book I Shoulda Had
STP:Intro - February 09, 2013
2  Looked Beat


1   The Book I Shoulda Had
  February 09, 2013
2   Looked Beat
  February 09, 2013
3   It's Simple!
  February 17, 2013
Carpe Diem: What you can envision, you can achieve!sm
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