Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lemond blah blah blah

So the blogosphere has been on fire the last day or so with posts about LeMond/Trek Royal Rumble. I first came across it on BikeSnob although I think he gave a pretty lame-come-comical thrust on the story. I thought it was another of his ego boosting post's, I really enjoy his writing.. normally. Well if you want a bit of a twist on the story you need to check out Jennifer's take on it. So I've done my bit on reporting this bit of bubble and squeak... onto a less controversial topic.Doping, yes we haven't heard much about this subject for all of five minutes so thought I'd bring it up again. Since the start of the year I started racing and this has brought about a few changes in lifestyle. Firstly I have been getting up really early in the morning to be able to get my training in. Not so much the fact that I mind getting up early but rather that it was mighty cold during the winter months. My diet has also changed for the better, it terms of health not always taste. I have been a bit lax lately and feel the difference becasue I've been much more lethargic lately. Basically before I was only nodding off at work after lunch but now I basically can't open my email without requiring a Powernap. So I'll be going back to my Low GI diet and regain that zip that made me the star in the office. Well this leads into the subject of supplements and to the topic I was aiming for. In the beginning all I used was a bit of water and maybe some dates on a ride. Soon realizing that during a race handling sticky little pieces of fruit with a pip in them was not going to work I discovered the simplicity of gels. OK not too bad I was able to get a quick bit of energy from a small packet without making my gloves to sticky that I couldn't change gears. Next came the drink, water was no longer as beneficial as an electrolyte loaded energy drink. So I was soon sipping Isotone during my laps of tearing down the track and then taking water at the feeding zones. I must say that these two have given me a huge advantage in the races becasue I am actually not depleting my resources so quick in the body. Sure its more complicated than that but I have felt stronger and with a little more in the tank at the end of a race. Lately I have also been advised that directly after training or a race I should be ingesting about 30g of protein. Why you may ask?? Well it speeds up recovery of the muscles. Yet again I have actually felt the difference between a week of missing getting these proteins into my system and it does actually speed up recovery, sometimes by a few days. The catch is you need to get them in within 30-45 minutes of the session. So you can either carry a can of tuna around with you or use weigh protein powder. I was leaning towards the first option but then decided that the joy of adding a can opener to my keyring would wear off far to quickly. My last bit of supplementation is to help with cartridge. Everytime I bend my knees they crack!! I don't mean rub something rubbing against my knee, sometimes you can actually hear the cracking. The weird thing is that it doesn't hurt... yet. About a week ago I started a taking glucosamine and chondroitin tablets. The first is made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine and helps build and repair the cartlidge the second a carbohydrate that acts as oil to keep things moving. From what I've read there is conflicting studies on how effective this treatment is so I'll be trying it on a half year basis to see whether anything stop's cracking.
Now why have I rambled on about all my supplements and what does this have to do with doping? Well as you can see it has taken me less than a few month's to find ways to improve performance. These are all legal things that I have been taking but still they have improved my performance or helped in recovery. So have I not been partaking in the whole doping scandal. Filling the pockets of pharmaceutical companies for the promise of better health in return. If I were to ride more often and possibly become a pro would you not be required to use other performance enhancers. I'm not saying its right, actually quite the opposite. The fact remains though as a racer you are faced with trying to get more out of your body where a bottle of water a a few dates just won't cut it. I can why these chap's would be trying to increase their performance when everyone around them is moving to the front of the pack and all your training is still not help you move up the ladder.
So I leave you with one question: How doped up are you on your average ride?
Related Posts with Thumbnails