Pedal Strike

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July 1st, 2009

sunny sailing

I never really understood the obsession with protein until my hot cousin married a yachtsman.

Tall and ruggedly handsome, sporting the perpetual tan, I was impressed. He also happened to be a super nice guy, and we shot the shit about the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup, the then-new yacht used by Team New Zealand that ended up breaking into pieces, and what it feels like to be on a yacht that is fucking flying. On water.

He also told me how, when he was racing full-time, he was eating about 10,000 calories a day.

Back then, I was all wtf. But following and befriending a few real cyclists, it makes sense, and consuming that many calories doesn’t seem so much like a death sentence to skinny. Well, that and the fact that my cousin’s husband had a regimented diet balanced out for his sailing skills.

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I don’t have a nutritionist, unfortunately, so I’m left to my own devices of “don’t eat too much processed shit” and “eat balanced meals.” Which translates to “eat stuff that won’t break the bank.” Too bad when you start riding a lot more, you tend to get hungry. Like all the time.

So in comes protein [to supplement my massive caffeine consumption], which is supposed to keep you fuller longer and help build muscle and all that goodness. But being a former vegetarian, I’m a tiny bit wary of animal products. Still, when a friend comes up to visit his parents who own some free range chickens, and hands you half a dozen fresh eggs, dinner for the next week is going to be omelettes and sunny side ups and scrambled eggs.

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Cracking open the first one in the pan a few nights ago, I was tempted to bike down to M1’s parents’ house. Or at least steal a chicken. These things are huge. These eggs are to grocery store eggs what Chris Hoy would be to a sad anorexic hipster. And as delicious [looking] in comparison.

I’ve actually been hoarding a few; making that half dozen stretch. And as odd as it may sound, this is dinner food. I somehow still can’t manage to eat much before a ride. Call it a digestive system used to a day that starts at school or the office, but eating anything before 9am [even with a ride planned] takes a conscious effort. Although, of course, that could just be a sign that I need to do more riding.

At least these delicious protein bombs have me pedaling faster on the way home…

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  • 1 pete! Jul 2, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Don’t forget carbohydrates! Protein is best used AFTER EXERCISE, otherwise your body will only except so much and you will piss out the rest. From what I have read, a pro-cyclist’s diet will have a 7 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, protein burns off much slower than carbohydrates so not much energy is gained from proteins. During exercise you will burn off muscle so protein aids in replenishing it, and building it up post work out.
    This is coming from a vegetarian who eats at least 1 cup of rice a day, so do take it with a grain of salt. Though keep in mind, at the peak of my fitness I would eat around 5,000 or more calories a day, and kept about a 6 to 1 ratio.

  • 2 jones Jul 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    pete said what i was thinking. in general, even at peak training phases, i wouldnt worry too much about protein, other than within 30 minutes of a HARD workout. and then, studies have shown, the best CHO:protein ratio is 4:1. in general, after a typical “everyday” ride (or, run), dont do anything special.

    balanced diet, and all of that, but remember what john parker, jr said: ““He was not a health nut, was not out to mold himself a stylishly slim body. He did not live on nuts and berries; if the furnace was hot enough, anything would burn, even Big Macs. He listened carefully to his body and heeded strange requests.”