In his constant quest to improve himself as a cyclist and advance his nutritional knowledge, Dr. Tim Podlogar underwent another difficult ordeal on 1st of August as he entered his second race (read about the first one), the Arlberg Giro in Austria, a 150 kilometers long cycling race with 2,500 meters of elevation.
Nutrition and preparation
One has to wonder how Dr. Tim Podlogar manages to be so efficient on his bike, while still spending most of his time in a lab.
The truth is, his lab is all about cycling, and Tim loves to put his body under extreme strain, pushing himself to the very limit. Before this race, among other reckless experiments, Tim elevated his body core temperature to 40 °C, which is, needless to say, not something you should attempt to recreate unless you are either extremely proficient or downright insane.
The other thing is, Tim is fully aware that proper nutrition is just as important as proper physical preparation, which is why his pre-race loading process was on point as usual.
He did an activation ride without breakfast the day before the race, and then he started carbohydrate loading.
"I ate all the Haribo I saw. And then some pasta. And some rice."
On the day of the race, Tim ate his pre-race meal, rice with fructose.
Tim's secret weapon (not so secret anymore)
The final touch, as every respectable cyclist knows, is proper gear, and Tim came fully prepared.
Proper loading is an integral part of endurance activities. If you want to perform at your best, preserve your health, and avoid injuries, you should fill up your glycogen stores as much as possible before any intense training session or race.
Early bird catches the worm
The weather forecast for Sunday was rain, rain, and some more rain, but as we saw with Vršič Pass (read about that adventure here), bad weather is not a successful deterrent for our Tim.
At 5AM, he was the first at the starting line, waiting for his fellow competitors. His glycogen stores were soaring and he was ready for action.
One after another, the other competitors appeared, and soon the place was packed with cyclists, eager to challenge themselves in the harsh weather conditions.
Tim in his Zen-like state before the race
The true alpha
Tim was given a rough outline of the race by Tadej Aleš, his traveling companion, who had cycled on the track the previous day.
"The downhills are fast." had said Tadej.
That was great news for our Tim, who likes nothing more than blazing at full speed on a slippery road he had never seen before.
"This is gonna be fun," he thought to himself as the race began.
A true alpha rides alone
Most cyclists were riding in groups, but not our Tim. After all, riding alone is the sign of a true alpha. Besides, most of the cyclists at the race couldn't keep up with Tim even if they tried. And that's no disrespect to them, it's just that Tim is a beast.
During his first descent, Tim discovered another interesting fact about this race - the road was full of traffic.
When going downhill at high speed, especially on a slippery surface, it is of paramount importance to be confident and relaxed. And don't mind the speeding vehicles, it's nothing but a Jedi mind trick.
It was an extremely hard race for our Tim, who at one point thought he was going to pass out. But he pushed on, powerful as ever, and he couldn't have done it without providing his body the fuel it needed.
"I consumed two Nrgy Unit Gels per hour. I also had two bottles of Nrgy Unit Drink with me, but only drank 300 ml because it was so cold."
Two Nrgy Unit Gels provide 90 grams of carbohydrates
Do you want to avoid that nasty feeling of running out of energy AKA hitting a wall? Then you should focus on proper fueling. For intense endurance activities, you should ingest at least 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour.
Tim finished the race in 4 hours, 8 minutes, and 46 seconds. His average speed was 36.18 km/h, and his average power was 254 W, which is approximately 4 W/kg. He spent four thousand calories and consumed 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour. His top power was 743 W, and his fastest speed was 80.6 km/h. He crossed the finish line wet and exhausted but extremely happy.
Even though Tim had no ambitions to win this race, was riding alone throughout the whole ordeal, and is, after all, a lab geek, he finished at fourth place total and second place in his age group, missing first place total for a measly 39 seconds!
Tim barely missed first place
And after the race, Tim recovered with a well-deserved bottle of Regen.
Rebuild your muscle, rehydrate your body, and replenish your glycogen stores with Regen
Without proper recovery, all your results will be short lived. After intense physical activity, your body needs protein to repair and rebuild the muscle, electrolytes to rehydrate and restore body functions, and carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and provide the body the energy it needs to recover.
You can also check Tim's ride on Strava!