30 August 2010

Drink reviews

As noted earlier, I've also used a small number (two!) of the bazillions of different hydration/fuel drinks for cyclists (and triathletes, and runners, and ... and ... and ...), both during and before activity. As with the gels from earlier, I have some more different drink mixes coming from various online stores, and shall have a more comprehensive review of these products in a month or two. For now, the ones I've used recently.

First up is the PowerBar Endurance Fruit Punch, which I have used sporadically since ... I think 2000? I used to buy this back when I first got into cycling for health, and have found it to be SUPER easy to drink. It's tasty, sweet without being too sweet, and in fact makes hydrating so awesome that I've had to stop myself from using it for all my hydration, even when just sitting around the house surfing the internet or reading. Yes, it's so easy to drink, I found myself contemplating just putting a scoop in a glass with water for no reason other than because it was around. That's probably as high a praise as I can give any hydration product: I'd drink it just because.

As for how well it does during extended activity ... I haven't really done any activity so long that I'd be able to tell, at least not in long enough that I feel I have any baseline for comparison, but I can tell you that I will indeed include this in my future plans for actual on-road riding and racing. Probably as part of a two-bottle back-and-forth system. I have used it as pre-ride fuel, and never had any problems with bonking or getting dizzy, or cramping. From that perspective, it works very well.

Second, I have been using the Hammer HEED product as well (specifically, the Mandarin Orange flavor). I have one complaint about the HEED: it doesn't seem to completely dissolve, even when I mix it at the lower end (1 scoop in 16 oz of water), and so I'm not sure if it's really all getting into my stomach, or how much/what is left in the sediment. Maybe this is normal for most dry mix fuel drinks, but I'm concerned about it.

Again, not really much in the way of extended activity to report yet, though I have a planned 1.5 hour ride tomorrow and intend to have a bottle of this for during-fuel, so I can give a better assessment then. I have used it pre-ride, and have never had a bonk or cramp problem after, so it works as expected in that regard. The flavor is very light, which means it is also easy to drink.

Tomorrow, I will be starting day 1 of a week-long ramp-up to the Time-Crunched Training System I talked a little bit about yesterday, beginning with a 90 minute EM ride with a 40 minute Tempo stretch.

Short version of the next three weeks:
Tuesday—90' EM with 40' T
Wednesday—Rest (shift)
Thursday—90' EM with 40' T
Friday—Rest (shift)
Sunday—90' EM with 40' T
Monday—50' EM
which segues nicely into the TCTP (New Century, if you're curious):
Tu—90' EM with 4x6' SS (5' RBI)
We—Rest (shift)
Th—90' EM with 4x6' SS (5' RBI)
Fr—Rest (shift)
Sa—90'–120' EM
Su—90'–120' EM
Tu—90' EM with 3x8' SS (4' RBI)
We—Rest (shift)
Th—90' EM with 3x8' SS (4' RBI)
Fr—Rest (shift)
Sa—90'–120' EM or group ride
Su—90'–120' EM

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