Hydration and nutrition are two of the most important aspects of cycling. Timing, portion control, and calories become a necessity on any ride longer than 10 miles. Forget Gatorade, Kool-Aid or a Snickers…the science behind proper body fueling is noted by athletes world-wide.
As my training is progressing, I have started the task of hill repeats which is just what it says, repeating a hill with a set amount of trips up and down…up and down…. Within our park system, Louisville is home to many hills, one of which is, Cochran Hill a snake-like hill slap dead in the middle of the park. Repeating it burns your calves, your hamstrings, and your caloric intake.
While proper nutrition guidelines suggest the consumption of appropriate proteins, no sooner than I had finished my seventh trip up and down the hill did I desire one thing….MEAT. In fact, on the 6 mile trip to return to the car, all I could picture in my head was a heaping plate of MEAT. By meat, I mean BBQ…smoked and delicious coated in a sugary sauce thus possibly defeating any restorative powers to my twitching muscle fibers. Combine the heaping plate of meat that I did consume in record time at a local BBQ joint with the sugary goodness known as a “buttermilk pie” and you have a satiated cyclist void of hunger and possibly considering never eating again.
Every cyclist has pre, during, and post-ride foods that are their signature foods. I have seen cyclists consume Big Macs, pizza, and fried chicken (not all at the same time). I have also seen cyclists consume broccoli, baked chicken, and nutritional bars made up of 40 or so chemicals meant to restore muscles and hydrate the body. High end performance foods are always recommended by the pros. However, I am not a pro. I am a girl training to have a successful cross season and when I finish a ride, I am not about to crave a peanut butter soy honey bar and an electrolyte energy water. Hell no! I am craving proteins…heaping, smoking amounts of fatty proteins. Dare I say, I need it slathered in sauce and by sauce, I do not mean a Gu gel, or a HammerGel gravy, I mean, sugary, molasses laced, preserved BBQ sauce. I think it is safe to assume, I probably will not be asked to join some SUPER serious road team anytime soon.