Sunday, February 10, 2008

GenR8 Performance Test: Palm Springs 100 Mile Ride

Saturday morning I rode the Tour de Palm Springs 100 miler with Mark Matyazic and Larry Davidson. I was able to do the ride on water, GenR8, and one Clif Bar, just to have something to *eat*. No simple sugars. No gels.

After last weekend's ride of the same course, this would be a perfect test of my fitness level and fueling. After a 90 minute easy warmup with Mark, I was able to hammer long pulls over the next 3.5 hours at Lactic Threshold using GenR8 as my fuel. Again, I have noticed that GenR8 not only gives you the feeling of having an IV drip-steady blood sugar-but also effects your perception of tiredness, thirst, and hunger. There isn't any.

I plan on bringing ziplock bags of GenR8 on all long rides moving forward. I can refill my bottles with water, and use my own fuel, rather than relying on gels or other sugar or maltodextrin-based fuels that may be available at races.

Sunday night, after working all day, I was able to run 3 hours in El Moro canyon, with about 3,000' of climbing, all at a low heart rate and pace. The run literally felt almost effortless. You might know what it feels like to run :45 minutes or an hour with an "effortless" sensation of floating. But 3 hours? Over rocky steep trails? I enjoyed every minute of it.

I started just before sunset, and was able to enjoy views of Orange County lights, the Santa Ana mountains, and a crimson and pink sunset over Catalina Island. Running through the dark with my barely sufficient Tikka XP headlamp, I tried to avoid the frogs hanging out on the trail. The recent rains have brought hoards of them to El Moro canyon, and their chorus was the only sound on this very quiet, perfect night.

I took just one bottle of water with a nuun caplet for the first 1.5 hrs, then a bottle of water mixed with GenR8 for the next 1.5 hrs. My energy was perfect the entire run. Now, the conditions were perfect: night time, temperatures around 60 degrees, cool ocean breeze. However it is interesting to note that I did an almost identical run last summer in 85 degree heat, and needed over 100 ounces of water and 3-4x more calories. Not this time.

This weekend gives me a great deal of confidence as I enter very specific preparation over the next 6 weeks for the Baja Travesia expedition adventure race. My goal is to arrive Supremely Ready to help my team (DART-nuun) win the race. A win will earn us a free entry to the Adventure Racing World Championships at the EcoMotion race in Brazil this summer...I have not done the World's since 2001 in Switzerland, and would sell a kidney to race in Brazil. Well, no not really, but I really would like to race in Brazil this year!

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