This blog/site is a collection of my thoughts, articles and other general excitement tied into cycling, training and competing as a vegan bike racer and athlete.

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

My Body Fat % / Weekend Rides -- Log


Popped into the Victoria Health Show today, lotsa neat booths and samples. Saw Brendan Brazier, world-class vegan triathlete, he should be back in the city in April and hopefully we'll get out for a few rides. =)

There was an interesting group called CHIP (Coronary Health Improvement Project), which essentially promotes a plant-based (vegan) diet for health. They were mostly seniors, and were really impressed with me, and that i've been vegan for more than 14yrs! They're saying things like:

"That's amazing.. It took me 60yrs before i figured out how to eat well!"

Anyway, they had one of those scales you step on (Tanita Body Composition Analyzer), and it sends electrical pulses through your body and measures all sorts of stuff, including body fat. It's funny, i'd assumed i still had a fair bit of fat yet to burn away, but it turns out i'm at a fairly svelte 10.5%! Very good news...i have less fat to lose that i thought. I would have guessed i was upwards of 15% or more! (Tho i'm not sure how accurate this thing is.)

It also told me my weight was 148.4lbs, my BMI was 21.3, and that i'd burn 1695 calories in a day if i were to do absolutely nothing.

I've got 15.6 lbs of fat in my body, total (which is 54,600 calories! I can eat and live off myself for over a month! Each pound is around 3,500 calories, fyi.)

I'm also 97.2 lbs of water! That's like 2/3rds of my weight! If i could get rid of all that water, i bet i'd fly up hills...!! ;)

Team No-Burn

Went for two rides this weekend:

Sat - went out in the afternoon, totally missed the sun.. Rode with a bunch of the Dr Walker (velodrome) team, it was nice seeing these guys, but they're on a very different training program from me...the ride was practically anti-aerobic!! Darn sprinters..

Sun - yet another rainy day, went out with the infamous Burnside group, pretty reasonable pace, tho we kept dropping people as the ride progressed...was down to four by the time we got to Mattick's Farm (started with ~15.) Was pretty wet by the 40min mark, but it was reasonably warm out. Felt good afterwards.

Note to self: ate a chocolate-chip peanut butter Clif bar, and it didn't digest too well...best to avoid on more intense rides (peanuts don't agree with me..)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Keeping Up Your Energy -- Training / Nutrition

Keeping Up Your Energy
AKA Bonk Prevention 101

Although it seems as plain as the face on your nose, it can be helpful to recognize the different ways you can keep up your energy levels on a ride. I often hear of people feeling ‘down’ or ‘low’, and this is often prevented by making sure you’re eating properly!

First, a little background: when riding, your primary fuel source will be the carbohydrates stored in your body. Fat is also used as fuel, as well as a very small (~5%) amount of protein at times. There’s a ratio of fat to carbs that’s burned, depending on your level of intensity. (As your heartrate increases, you’ll burn a higher percentage of carbs. At 80% of your heartrate and above, you’re burning almost exclusively carbs. Conversely, as your intensity level decreases, you’ll burn a higher percentage of fat. Note tho, you’re always using *some* carbs.)

As a little perspective, Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong’s trainer) says we have enough stored carbs for 1-2hrs of moderate to high-intensity activity – beyond that, in order not to suffer, you’re likely going to need to consume something to maintain your level of activity.

The first area I would focus on is the day before the ride/race. Eating a lot of high-carb foods really can make the difference in how you feel -- I definitely notice that I run out of juice much more quickly if I eat a small meal the night before. Feel free to stuff your face! (Also, by getting into the habit of eating high-carb meals the day before a ride, it becomes less for you to think about, and becomes more of a habit when racing.)

Next is the pre-ride meal…which is often breakfast! If you’re going to be eating semi-solid food (like cereal or oatmeal) you’re going to want to give yourself at least an hour before hopping on the bike (unless you like acid reflux!) Again, make sure it’s a high-carb meal.

My own preference is a smoothie, which is easy to make, enjoyable to eat early in the morning, and assimilated very quickly. My smoothies are made of soy milk, bananas (2-3), frozen berries, greens supplement, ground flax seeds and maple syrup, and I can eat it 30mins before heading out with no digestive problems.

(Important note: go light on the fats and proteins – your main fuel source when cycling is carbs, and that should be the majority of what you eat before and during a ride! It’s much harder for your body to use fats and proteins as energy, so go with the pasta rather than tofu burgers.)

The next consideration is what you’ll be eating *on* the ride. Prepared foods like Clif Bars are quite handy, as well as bananas, dates and high-carb items. (I avoid nuts, as the high fat and protein isn’t useful while riding.)

A ‘power drink’ is also helpful, and keeps you hydrated! Commercial beverages are available, but I prefer my less-processed homemade liquid energy: I juice a couple oranges, and add 4-6 TSP of fructose (available at health food stores) as well as a tiny pinch of salt. Fill the rest of your bottle with water and shake. It’s not too sweet and especially tasty when you need it.

FYI, the fructose is absorbed more slowly than other sugars, so you don’t end up getting a buzz. As well, I recommend a ‘rock’ or other unprocessed salt like gray Celtic Sea Salt, which contains other minerals and is considered more of a ‘food’ than a condiment. (I use ‘Real Salt’, which is a bit cheaper than Celtic.)

While you’re riding, it’s good to make sure you eat *before* you feel hungry, because if you’re starting to feel famished, it means you’re already quite low on energy. After the first hour, make sure you consume at least 150-200 calories per hour after, and even more if you’re out for more than 4hrs.

The final area of consideration is post-ride; make sure you eat within 45mins to fill your ‘glycogen window’, which allows for a much speedier recovery (your body can absorb carbs and restore the energy in your muscles *much* faster in this period.) This is incredibly helpful in recovering for a ride the following day, and I will write on this in more detail in a future article.

Stupid Sounding Summary: eat lots of carbs the day and night before, and bring food and drink. Eat when you finish too. That’s your mantra: eat eat eat eat eat!

Gas-Guzzling Cyclists? -- Activism

This month's Organic Athlete email newsletter mentions an interesting article on how a meat-eater walking is actually less energy efficient than a vegetarian who drives!

I remember reading this, possibly in Diet for a New America. Anyway, here's a quote from the article:
"It is actually quite astounding how much energy is wasted by the standard American diet-style. Even driving many gas-guzzling luxury cars can conserve energy over walking -- that is, when the calories you burn walking come from the standard American diet! This is because the energy needed to produce the food you would burn in walking a given distance is greater than the energy needed to fuel your car to travel the same distance, assuming that the car gets 24 miles per gallon or better."
Check the article for more info, and references to how this info is established:


The Amazing Spider-Dave! -- General

Last night Jen took me climbing, which was the first time i've done it in 4yrs, what a blast! (I'd done over half a dozen outdoor climbs in the past...not too much i guess!)

I wasn't sure how much i'd remember, but the knot and belaying came easily, and i was 'approved' quite quickly. (Almost like riding a bicycle!)

I was reminded how sweaty my hands get (hey ladies!) and got that cunchy toe feeling.

My weakness seemed to be my fingers...the rest of my body didn't seem to have any trouble, or felt tired, but my fingers just didn't have the strength to hold onto the really small or ackward spots..but that was after more than 2hrs of climbing.

The most impressive (and fun!) adventure was climbing a 5.10B (i find the 5.8's a challenge!) - it was in a corner, and i ended up scaling half of it 'backwards' (ie, i was facing away from the wall!) Pretty hilarious. I took my time on this, and thanks to a couple cheats, i managed to make it to the top. Very satisfying. =)

A very fun 3hrs, and a big shout out to Jen for taking me! Hopefully this'll become a regular activity!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Cool Quote

An cool quote from my friend Jen:

"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world." ~Grant Petersen

Monday, January 24, 2005

Weekend Rides & Long Haul -- Log / Funny

Went for two rides this weekend:

Sat - holy rain batman. My training and racing buddy Sarah asked if i wanted to go for a long ride on Sat, and i was like 'sure'.. Looked like it might rain a bit, but what the hey..

Of course, it totally dumped. From the moment i left, until, over 4hrs later, i got home. Call me Mr Prune. It was good tho, nice to be on the bike that long, tho we weren't going too fast or hard. (I'm really starting to like long, hard rides..)

Sun - much nicer weather, went out with Brandon (who i usually ride with one day on the weekend) and Sarah again. About 3hrs, did a sprint by the airport, and Brandon managed to pass both us (Sarah did an early jump, but i caught her pretty easily), Brandon inched by, and i was stumped because i'd not gone up to my big chainring (it's been gunked-up by all this weather) so he managed to pull a nice success. Got my HR up to 192, which i think is the highest i've seen. Brandon said he saw 200 on his (cheap one, doesn't retain max), which would be pretty incredible if it really is that high!

Also, saw this over on VeganFitness, thought it was pretty funny:

So far i'm planning this for the week:

M - w/o @ home, mostly upper body
T - short w/o @ gym, mostly legs
W - ride if nice, else rollers
T - same as Mon, or maybe ride if nice
F - rest, or ride if nice and didn't ride T
S - Ride
S - Ride

Happy week blogger-reading-world!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

First Message! -- General

Alright..hopefully this will be my least-interesting posting.

A little aboot me:

- vegan for 14+yrs
- local track (velodrome) racer, more endurance-focused than sprints (don't wanna get huge!)
- currently training 12-20hrs a week, time spent on-bike, and in the gym
- live in Victoria, BC, Canada, here's a link to our velodrome

This will be my first year of training 'seriously' -- i've been riding mainly for fun at the track for the last three years, long history of casual cycling before that (from off-road to trials to couriering to off-dirt), and after watching the local AVC and Nationals, i was inspired to put a bit more into competing.... I ended up 1st place in the local 'B' league (got a nifty plaque!) by the largest margin ever (woot!)

2005 will be a 'transition' year for me, i'll be racing in the 'A' league, but i prolly won't jump into too many other big races...but who knows. My goal is a top 5 placing in the 'A' league, and to keep building on my racing abilities. 2006 will be a whole other ball of wax, if my training goes well...

Wish me luck! =)

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

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Contact me and let me know if you're a vegan cyclist with a blog!

Organic Athlete

Oak Bay Bicycles

Fueled With: Vega



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