My mountain bike ride from Clermont down to Montpelier will be roughly 660 kilometres long, I’m planning on riding with a total weight of 90 kilos, made up of me, bike, camping gear, food and water. That may increase on a hot day with extra fluid but to make that easier there are plenty of streams where I’m going and farms where I can ask for water.
So in my preparation for this I’ve been adjusting the main variables, my weight and the kit I’m taking with me. 3 Months ago I weighed 71 kilos with a target of 66. I’m nearly there at 68 and I have managed it with a combination of plenty of riding and dieting. My carb intake has been reduced and I go on fat burning rides.
Fat burning rides, for me anyway, work well. I get up early, ride over varied terrain at a medium effort for 2 hours without any breakfast at all. The idea is that your body burns the carbs from supper while you sleep, leaving the body with only fat to turn to as an energy source during exercise. After that just don’t eat as much as you might have done before, no chips, no ice cream and no beer!
Simples, as they say. And if once in a while I stuff ice cream, drink beer and wash it down with chips …. I’m not in a race!
On my other “training rides” where I plan to be out for 4 hours or more I take food with me, peanut butter and jam on rice cakes, energy bars and chocolate. I have a control route that I take from time to time which I ride as fast as possible, the idea being that if I weigh less and I’m getting fitter, so my times are improving then I must be doing something right.
Somebody is going to ask why worry about a few kilos of extra body weight? And my answer is, find a flight of stairs and walk up and down them several times, carrying 6 litres of water. After a little while you wonder how much easier it would be if you left some at the bottom.
Another way of looking at it is to say that every kilo lost from me can be used instead on something useful like a spare part for the bike … provided I don’t exceed my limit of 90 kilos.
My method works because I’m losing this weight slowly so as not to lose strength or stamina. The ride is going to be a wonderful adventure, but only if I prepare for it carefully.
On my next blog I’ll write about the ride itself and what I hope to see.