If you have any physiology, performance, or nutrition related questions, email Ben at email@example.com.
For this column I will briefly highlight a couple of articles that I have bookmarked because I thought they would be of interest to those that read YGR. I will provide a brief summary of the article, and a link where it can be accessed if you are interested. All of these are well written for the public and applicable to your performance.
Why Vitamins Might be Bad for Your Workout: This is the New York Times summary of recent research that shows that taking exogenous antioxidants – meaning antioxidants that you take in from outside the body – can be detrimental to exercise training adaptations. I have covered some of this topic in the past. Please be mindful that there is a big difference between exogenous antioxidants (such as Vitamin C and E) and the antioxidants that your body makes itself, which are called endogenous antioxidants (such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase). There is a growing body of evidence that taking exogenous antioxidants blunt the very effect we are trying to induce with exercise, so be wary of those that advocate vitamins and other compounds with “loaded with antioxidants”.
Brain Doping (Thank you to YGR groupie Tom Bondurant): Although this article is not perfect, it does highlight the role of the brain in fatigue. These experiments relate to the Central Governor Theory of Fatigue originally proposed by Timothy Noakes that this column has discussed previously. The theory states that the brain integrates peripheral cues to regulate a safe level of exertion to complete the task at hand. In other words, a single factor (for example lactic acid, despite what Bob Roll states) does not limit exertion and cause fatigue, but rather, a cadre of cues, both conscious and unconscious, control sustainable exertion. I am a fan of this theory even though it has been very difficult to experimentally test. This article discusses how brain stimulation can change the perceived parameters to delay fatigue.
Personalized Carbohydrate Intake: This journal article is by Asker Jeukendrup who has worked with teams such as Rabobank in the past and has now transferred from academics to the global head of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute. This article does not have a ton new in it, but it does break things down quiet nicely on how you should fuel different durations of events. I also like the discussion about the studies that have used a mouth rinse with a sugary beverage (rather than actually consuming it) and found a performance benefit similar to actually drinking the beverage. These studies indicate that there is some yet unknown censor in the mouth that relays information to the brain about carbohydrate intake. In turn these findings indirectly support the Central Governor Theory discussed above.
A Step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise http://yourgroupride.com/images/PDFs/Jeukendrup.pdf.
The Lory Park Mountain Challenge, a 4 week mountain bike series begins next Tuesday August 5th and it will run every Tuesday in August. Come join us for an evening of fun on the local trails. All adult category riders will need to register online at www.ciclismoyouthfoundation.
Is everyone ready for 3 days of racing at Cross of the North this year? Racing gets started under the lights on Friday Oct 10th and keeps on going until Sunday the 12th. There are going to be all sorts of events and vendors for the entire family at the Budweiser Events Center this Oct.
This is an opinion piece by Reno Toffoli. Reno's opinions don't necessary represent the opinions of Your Group Ride or its advertisers but I always enjoy his rants. If you'd like to write an article for YGR, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the years, I have discovered a discrepancy in bicycle speeds. I’m not talking about gear ratios; I’m talking about the rate at which one is traveling. After years of countless observations I have constructed my own theory about this that states speed is relative to the rider, his or her abilities, the terrain, and the bike they are riding. I call it the Cycling Theory of Relativity.
In the same way that the laws of Newtonian physics break down at the quantum level or at very high velocities approaching the speed of light, I find that, under certain conditions, the speed at which you are traveling on a bike, the distance you have traveled, and the time it took you to get there start to break down and not really tell the whole story of what’s going on.
Kind of like Einstein’s theories of relativity, the cycling theory of relativity explains why one’s distance, rate, and time might be different depending on where you are in space. Where an outside observer might see a 2 hour mountain bike ride where you only cover 12 miles as slow, the rider may see it as a huge accomplishment. Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s lay the ground work for that first.
The standard formula for rate, time, and distance is:
d=rt or distance equals rate times time.
The problem with that is that it doesn’t take the variables of the cycling universe into account.
My first formula of cycling relativity* goes one further and states that:
r=2m. Where m=the miles ridden off road on a mountain bike and r=the miles ridden on the road on a road bike. What this really means is that 1 mile on a mountain bike equals 2 miles on a road bike.
That part is pretty simple but it’s not overly impressive so we should probably add some stuff to it to make it all cool and complex and make people’s brains hurt. Fortunately, cycling doesn’t usually make my head hurt (unless I crash on it, which has happened) but spicing things up a bit might be good. Einstein had a lot of stuff in his theories about how the faster you go, the slower time goes and to an outside observer distance decreases as you go faster while you also age more slowly than the outside observer, etc. That’s some crazy-funky jazz right there. Any mathematicians or physicists out there can feel free to help me out. Bonus points if you can use cool irrational numbers, exponents, and anything having to do with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. If you manage to pull it off, I will mention you in my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
The inaugural Four Seasons of Horsetooth Mountain Bike Challenge stage race has a very unique format. Each of the seasonal four stages can be completed anytime during their specified weekend. Timing is tracked and results are tabulated via Strava, Garmin Connect, etc... The first stage will be held on Sept 20th/21st.
Complete race information via The Hard Man of Cycling Blog: http://thehardmanofcycling.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-inaugural-four-seasons-of.html