Monday, 13 February 2012

Dragon 2012 Preparations. Week 6

This week, more advice from the T-1000 Terminator

It's back to the grindstone this week with a temperatures diving beneath zero throughout the country. It's also been another school day with Steve "T-1000" Malone giving me advice on how to use three white bags of powder efficiently...

Because I slacked off last week, I decided to run into work and back. I mentioned a few weeks ago that knee pain had flared up towards the end of such a run, and this time it started snarling after 10 minutes of running.

Instead of slowing, which is fairly impossible at my speed, I decided to continue running at a regular pace. The pain is in my right knee and feels dull when running. It subsided a little after the run, but lurked for another day or two before almost disappearing. The pain isn't crippling, and as such I am considering another run to work in a couple of days.

If anyone reading this knows how to fix knee pain, or to manage it effectively with certain exercises, please get in touch, or post in the comments below (posting as anonymous lets you comment without logging in).

I spoke to a colleague at work and he spoke with great authority and told me that stretching before a run will help immeasurably. I will take his word for it and do some lunges and squats etc before running on Wednesday.

Last Tuesday I rode 50 miles in minus 2 degrees. Basing my training around Steve Malone's previous advice...

" - Long cardio session (jogging, rowing etc) sessions at no more than 60% of max heart rate (you can count 1-20 without taking a breath whilst training). These sets are best done hungry / before breakfast. The body presumes nothing is trying to eat you and you are jogging from cave to cave. It only burns visceral fat from the body and leaves your trygliceride alone in case something tries to kill you on the way. Best done hungry as the body has no choice to cheat, you will have no tri glyceride in your blood. Needs to be hour plus to really work."

I did the ride without eating breakfast and only took a banana and a couple of bottles of "Zero" on the ride with me. I ate the banana at around 35 miles and at the 40 mile mark realised my remaining bottle was beginning to freeze up (see photo). I wore a couple of base layers and a fairly large waterproof/windproof jacket. It was just enough to keep me warm. I'm still keeping it in the little ring and spinning frenziedly downhill. The weight is certainly coming off. I'm going to weigh myself at the end of the month next, in order to keep the suspense at a fever-pitch (I can imagine a few readers will have jumped out of their bedroom windows in sheer suicidal frustration at this point).

How to make your own Slush Puppy ... Ride 50 miles in sub-zero conditions

Because I spent the week working with the T-1000 I asked for some more niblets of advice. He recommended I purchase some powdered products, and because his word is the Logos, I immediately spent a lot of money on Oats, Protein and Dextrose.

Unfortunately they arrived on the day of my return from the 50 mile bike ride and I was rather bloody hungry. I opened the protein and couldn't find a scoop, so I ladled half a pint's worth into a pint glass.

The next day I found out that I'd got the mix completely wrong, so I asked Steve to write me some advice. Again, he insists he's no professional, so please take the following words with a pinch of salt...

There should be a scoop in the bag? The scoop is '1 serving'. 1 serving of the powder is about 25gms of actual protein, the rest of it is amino acids which you need to convert protein into the good stuff. There is only about 100kcal in a scoop so don't worry too much.

Pre ride or good 45 min plus before weights take - 1 level scoop of each powder with good bolt of water - Do you have a shaker for mixing?

Post ride - 1.5 scoop protein (with milk not water - casein slows down the release, you can only absorb 25gm an hour) and heaped scoop dextrose level scoop oats.

During - 750ml bottle with 1/2 protein and 1 scoop dextrose will keep you trucking.

Protein - repairs damage and develops muscle growth - 2/3 scoops a day will make a big difference to training.

Dextrose - fast burning low calorie carbohydrate (it's just corn sugar) - is used quickly by the body as a fuel source, prevents any protein being used up as energy and promotes fast recovery - Only use this immediately before, during or straight after.

Oats - very slow burning carb, keeps you fueled and prevents dips and highs which lead to eating too much after training.

Oats, Whey and Dextrose. Everything a growing Terminator needs.

If you are using weights and doing some good miles prob best to judge your weight loss by tape measure and not scales. I can get heavier and thinner if that makes sense?

The "1 of each scoop" shake is only about 320kcal (about 25 mins at 18mph - ish) so don't worry too much. You should notice the dextrose effects on your output and energy levels, particularly if you have it in a bottle on the bike. Dextrose is strange in that it's basically bad, but it's the cleanest form of bad and is actually very good in that its positive effects allow you to go harder for longer, far outweighing any negatives - you take on 100kcal but your output increases by 250kcals in total...

The oats are excellent at making you feel fuller for longer and avoiding any of your expensive protein being taken as energy when the dextrose gets burned up quickly.

Best way to imagine is : Input "1 of each scoop" drink - pedal - expend energy and damage muscle fibres - require energy now and repair matter now - body uses dextrose and protein - dextrose runs out but intestines start to break down the long chain oats and convert - body continues to fill blood with glucose - feel stronger - ride harder, faster,further etc...

End ride - dextrose and oats all gone, protein still knocking about a bit and doing it's best to repair 'tears' - have another shake - body refills glucose levels and continues to burn it during repair - dextrose runs out again but oats start being broken down so you don't 'spike' (that feeling where you want to eat 3 star bars). Protein mixed with milk drip feeds into system and is used for repair - legs hurt less next day - train more.


See you next week!


  1. I suggest hip flask of peach snapps for the next sub zero ride

  2. as someone who has knee issues and has had an ACL repair also, my physio's always told me to warm the knees and keep them warm during exercise in thats easily said than done so what i do is always wear a set of cycle stockings under my tights this time of year as it help's trap and maintain a constant temp even on those cold winter descents! has always worked for my...just a tip...

  3. Brilliant, thanks Dave, I'll give the stockings a go and warm the knees plenty before starting off.

  4. To read the other weekly Dragon Prep articles, try clicking on the "Weight Loss" banner just beneath the title banner at the top of the blog. It will take you to all of these articles and a few other related features.