(Well itís time for the summer reruns on TV, and Little Jacksís Corner will follow suit. For the next few months we will be rerunning articles that appeared previously in WheelPeople. These are all oldies, so if youíre young, you may not have seen them, and if youíre old, like me, youíve probably forgotten them.)
Idonít often reveal my training secrets, but I’m afraid many young riders are being misled on the subject of nutrition, and I feel I must speak out. The Granola generation has been taught to seek cycling success with whole grain organically grown goodies. Then there’s the Exceed crowd, whose magic elixir consists of water bottles filled with any of a number of repulsive fluids.
Even I fell in with bad companions in my youth (more like early middle age), and have been spotted swapping granola bars in parking lots. I’m not ashamed to admit to consuming many pounds of granola and its friends. I must qualify this by explaining that I am omnivorous. By that I mean I’ll eat anything that doesn’t bite back. Usually, by the time I’m in need of a feeding, I’ve waited much too long, and I need something that can be consumed RIGHT NOW. So I find myself eating quite a lot of healthy things, bread, cheese (?), microwaved veggies, mostly because they can go from refrigerator to mouth in the minimum amount of time. I’m a de facto vegetarian, mostly because meat meals require a bit more foreplay.
But breakfast is another matter. I have to agree with the experts that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Especially on a long ride where we all know your carbohydrate stores deplete eventually. So, those looking to go the distance need look no further than their neighborhood Dunkin Donuts.
My particular training regimen involves scarfing down at least three of the greasier doughnut varieties. Muffins are more politically correct, but are sorely lacking in important nutrients, namely grease. Avoid anything that contains bran (unless you’re having problems with regularity). This should be washed down with massive quantities of industrial strength coffee, thus providing a balance of the three major food groups: sugar, grease and caffeine. This is guaranteed to propel you out of the starting gate.
For the ultimate sugar high, try washing down one of those honey glazed beauties with a generous cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee laced with at least three teaspoonfuls of totally refined sugar.
The choice of doughnuts is especially important to impart a performance edge. I prefer to start with a chocolate glazed doughnut. This provides a good mix of carbos, sugar and grease to get you going in the initial phases of a long ride. Next, a blueberry or lemon filled doughnut pays lip service to the fruit family, while providing the sugar and grease stores for the middle part of the ride. Finally, a Boston or Bavarian creme doughnut lays in your stomach like a time release capsule to fuel you on in the later stages of the ride.
A breakfast like this is guaranteed to get you at least sixty miles without any other form of nutrient. For a century ride, you may need to supplement this. I recommend a couple of cans of Coke. Go for the real thing, not the decaffeinated, desugared and otherwise emasculated varieties that have been invented to appeal to a misguided public (by the way, have you noticed how many things that never had any cholesterol in them are now advertised as cholesterol free?). You know it’s the real thing, if you can feel your teeth decay when you drink it. This provides an almost intravenous injection of caffeine and sugar. Twenty miles per can, guaranteed.
To recap, here’s my feeding plan for the spring Century:
breakfast: (one hour before ride)
glazed doughnut (chocolate preferred)
fruit filled sugar coated doughnut
quart of industrial strength coffee
during the ride, mile sixty:
one can of coke
package of hostess cupcakes (optional)
during the ride, mile eighty:
same as mile sixty
after the ride:
anything in sight
nacho cheese flavored Doritos