Not the sort of bonk you want …

Check out how smug I was in my last post where I was bragging about how I’d done so well losing weight since the turn of the year!  Well, I learnt a good lesson about dieting and training on Saturday morning.

I was delighted to get out on the bikes with my mate Stu who I cycled to France with.  He’s had a number of injuries over the last 12 months but seems to be on the mend so I hope he’ll be out with us more often this year.  We had a good chat and some banter around the first 27 miles of our route, then Stuey sensed the end was in sight and picked the pace up a little.

In normal circumstances I find the last 8 mile run-in on this route a good blast. It’s largely downhill from a beautiful village called Bitteswell, along quiet country lanes in the Leicestershire countryside.  Anyway, on Saturday I wasn’t so keen.

As soon as I had to start working harder, I found there was nothing in the tank. My quads felt heavy and ached to the point of exhaustion as I tailed behind Stu who was holding a 19-20 mph pace.  As soon as we hit the solitary incline on the run home I dropped way back despite pushing as much as I could.  The rest of the way home was just a case of keeping the wheels spinning and reserving some strength for Sundays 12 mile run.

Now, I do suffer from bad days from time to time and I am conscious that form and fitness only come along with hard work and dedication.  But this felt like something different and it didn’t take much analysis to work out what was going on.

I think I bonked.

Bonking is a “technical” cycling term relating to the point when you’ve got no energy left to draw on in your body.  Chris Froome was in danger of doing it in last years Tour de France and suffered a 20 second penalty when he got a late energy gel from the ever-loyal Richie Porte.  I’m not saying that the situation coming in to Sapcote was anything like the one Team Sky endured on l’Alpe d’Huez, but I do think I bonked!

A picture from the BBC showing Froome and Porte

Looking at what I ate on Friday helps explain.  With a total intake of around 1500 calories I hadn’t fuelled up for the ride which burnt 1200 calories in itself.  The tank was well and truly empty!

On rides of that distance I don’t bother with snacks but could’ve murdered a banana just to get some strength back.  As soon as I got home I started steadily carb loading with some macaroni cheese for lunch and a pasta dish for dinner.  I think I just about got enough in to cope with the 12 mile run on Sunday, but won’t be risking the same situation happening again.

So, lesson learned: In place of my daily tuna salad I’ll be having a pasta salad on Fridays from now on, with a proper carb balanced dinner in the evening. That’s about the best I think I can do to prevent any unwanted bonking in the future but I’m open to other suggestions?…

Advertisements

Last years Big French Bike Ride…

Last year me and my mate Stu did something amazing and rode from our village in Leicestershire to Paris.

Me, Stu & Mr Tim

Me, Stu & Mr Tim

Supported by Mrs G and our friend Mr Tim, we arrived in Paris the day before the end of the Tour de France and enjoyed the magical end to the first Tour ever won by a Brit

It was awesome and can’t be described in a short blog.  Which is why I wrote a full account of it when we got home.

If you find a spare 15 minutes, have a read and see how we ended up on the Champs Elysees with Brad, Cav and Froome Dog

The Story of Stoney Stanton to Paris 

Head says Froome, heart says Wiggins

So with Wiggo now out of the Giro early with a chest infection, he’s now got 6 weeks to recover and train for the Tour de France.  As a minimum I’m expecting him to play a key support role but with 6 weeks to prepare, surely Sir Brad has got the opportunity to get the all important “numbers” right to once again lead Team Sky in July?
I wouldn’t like to be in Chris Froome’s shoes right now. After months of speculation, the needle had just swung his way after Dave Brailsford said Plan A was Froome for the Tour and Wiggins for the Giro, will that still be the case in a months’ time?
Leading out Cav

Leading out Cav

The logical approach would be to stick to Plan A and provide Froome with the world’s best domestique to support his attempt at winning the Tour.  But the romantic in me really wants Wiggo to defend last year’s victory and go all-out to win again in Paris.  Back-to-back victories would put Wiggins up with the greats and show that he has got the ability to continue 2012’s “Golden Year”.  Just writing this, I am getting goose bumps thinking about his victory punch whilst wearing yellow at the end of the last time trial and what a fantastic day I had watching in Paris as he led out for Cav on the Champs-Elysees.  And this is the 100th Tour – taking in every great climb (sometimes twice) against every great climber in the world.
 
Plenty of Hills

Plenty of Hills

Let’s face it though.  It’s because there is more climbing and less time trialling than 2012, that Froome should be number one.  Froome is outstanding in the mountains and has already shown in Romandie this year that he has got the ability to kick away on the slopes, whereas Wiggins is best being supported at a constant high tempo.  I don’t think Team Sky will be allowed to dominate on their own terms this year – even with Wiggins and Porte as their super-domestiques.  With the return of Contador and Joaquim Rodriguez, the peloton is likely to be shaken up with regular attacks in the mountains.  So my brain is telling me Froome has to be the man to lead Team Sky this year because he can deal with the opposition better.
 
But I’d love it to be Wiggins …..