Tag Archives: cycling

Are you fueling your goals or starving them?

If you want to ride a bike over 30 miles, you must put enough fuel in your tank.  This is actually a note to myself.  I just returned from a long – and hilly – ride with my cycling-addicted husband.  Although regular workouts are part of my established lifestyle, my workouts are usually much more “low key”.  A 3-mile easy paced run is about as vigorous as I usually go.

I have ridden with Peter before, I simply have never really understood on a physical level what it takes to fuel that kind of a workout – until today!  I made it, but my legs are not good for anything else today, and I have been eating continuously since I got home.  The tank was really, really empty!

I did not plan for this to happen.  I actually thought I had fueled fairly well with a big bowl of Greek yogurt (probably about 20 grams of protein in there) and a large serving of peaches and strawberries.  Of course I had a large glass of water too.  I know enough to at least TRY to prepare properly for a workout.

Lucky me!  I got a great reminder and topic for this post – a body just will not do what you want it to do if you do not provide adequate nutrition.  Next time I will keep this in mind.

I was also reminded that people need to fuel their bodies for anything they do, including weight loss efforts.  With too few calories, not only is it tough to resist temptations, it is also nearly impossible to expect to keep exercise commitments.  I was not even trying to reduce calories and I ended up depleted.  Just imagine if you thought that eating enough to move meant that you had failed at sticking to your plan.  What a colossal setup for failure!

For example, if someone thinks that 1200 calories is supposed to do anything more than keep them breathing, they will be very disappointed in themselves when they try to add any type of exercise.  Let’s not forget that exercise, even without any weight loss, improves health tremendously.  Why would anyone want to limit their activity by eating too little?

Life as a Ride

My lesson learned:  Momentum makes the uphill climbs easier.

I have started cycling with my husband on Sundays.  Lest you think this is a stroll (glide?) in the park, I should clarify.  He rides thousands of miles a year, mostly in the summer – it is Wisconsin, after all! – and an easy ride for him is 25-30 miles.

It is a challenge keeping up with him, but I do OK.  What I am learning is that I have to capitalize on my limited advantage – I am lighter than him.  This allows me to go up hills faster if I keep consistent momentum going. Continue reading