I’m trying to get my head around a recent ride of mine, specifically in regards to my limitations, and how fueling plays a part.
I’ve been cycling for some time, taking it seriously for around a year, TR for 3 months specifically started using TR to train for a sportive. Sportive was canceled, however I did the equivalent ride myself, treating it as an ‘A’ race.
Yesterday I completed the 80mile ride in just over 5hrs (ride time), average speed of 15.7mph. I’m really pleased with this, and it’s my longest ride yet (12 months ago I did a similar ride, 70.2mikes at 14.9mph) however my legs had no power in the end. I live in a largely flat area but there are some small rolling hills and undulations. During these ‘uphill’ efforts my legs kinda just felt like jelly!!
I was thinking about going for a century, but didn’t want to ruin a good ride, and I felt pretty gassed by that point. I didn’t bonk (I’ve bonked horribly in the past. Never again!), but I am wondering if fueling played a part in my limitations.
The reason I say this is that my legs, specifically quads, don’t feel as bad as I was expecting to today. Previously I’ve hobbled around and my legs have felt half dead. Today they feel a little achy but overall pretty fresh! So I’m wondering if my limiting factor was actually my leg strength, my fueling strategy, or mental endurance/strength.
Whilst riding I concentrated quite a lot on fuel and strategy. Using a combination of rice cakes, flapjacks, peanut butter sandwich, and cliff bars, I ate every 20 minutes, give or take 2 minutes. I’ve calculated calories and carbs, and this means on average I consumed between 496-704 calories, and between 70-95g carbs per hour depending on my fuel combination. I also chucked a couple of gels into the mix over the ride, however wanted to fuel mainly on ‘food’.
Like I mention, when cycling my legs felt like they were done, however I bounced back faster than I thought. Thinking about the situation, if I had reached my physical limits I think I would be in worse shape after the ride/ today. I think I was fueling enough, so is it a mental toughness issue?
Apologies for my rambling question, I’d be interested to hear your opinions.