Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lessons Learned - Part III

Now that my cross Saskatchewan trip is done, I have a severe farmer’s tan. In fact I began peeling on my nose and one of my calves. I should have figured out some sort of visor to wear under my helmet, or perhaps used sunscreen. It is a good thing that it was cloudy most of the trip, I hate to think of what I would have looked like, had it actually been sunny.

Not to give any product a bad name, but I did try a common sport’s drink and it made me sick. It was like drinking way too much cold water on a hot day. My stomach felt upset all the time while drinking it. As soon as I switched to natural fruit juice, my upset stomach went away and no more nausea.

During my ride, I drank 3-4 times more than my normal daily fluid intake. I found myself consuming approximately 5-6 litres a day. It seemed like a lot to me, but I had no cramps and I was able to cover so much more ground than I ever could before. (Prior to this cross Saskatchewan cycling trip, during my training rides, I often got cramps in my feet and legs.) As a direct result of the constant hydration, my energy levels and drive remained high all day.

I read a lot of advice in the magazines, recommending that long distance athletes listen to music as a way of keeping their minds off the task at hand, or to help them keep pace, etc. Yet, I found that there was very few times that I even thought about the need for such a distraction. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the ride. The last thing I would want on a long bike trip would be to have some annoying chorus repeating through my head over and over again, driving me insane. Though if I did have my choice of something to alleviate occasional boredom, I believe I would prefer an audio book to listen to.

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