Endurance Athletes and Coke

Type: Bike Ride with High Candence Intervals
Distance: 21.17 miles
Time: 1:00:37
Average Watts: 180 watts
Normative Power: 195 watts
Average Heart Rate: 155 bpm
Total Work: 657 kJ
Average Speed: 21.17 mph

Now this is more like it. This ride was designed to challenge me to be ready for several different accelerations from the leaders of a race or for rolling hills. Either way, you have to be ready to put some extra effort out so you can continue the pace that you have targeted.

I started with a 10:00 warm up at about 160-170 watts. At every five minute mark, I had a one minute interval. For the entire ride I had 10 total intervals of varying difficulty. I kept the resistance the same initially but turned my cadence up from 80 rpm’s to 105 rpm’s. I would go from 170 watts only up to about 225-235 watts. The last three intervals I did jack up the resistance to 300+ watts. It was hard to hold the 1170 watts during the 4:00 recovery after these three intervals.

The good news is I am feeling strong again. Looking back on my files, this is the type of workout I would have during my training for Ironman Utah last winter. I would hold higher watts during the recovery, but the amount of power I could output was just a little higher than what my intervals are at now. As tough as the last three intervals were, I felt pretty solid. This is the workout visually from the WKO+ Software.


The Something in Your Stocking Contest

There are a couple of you who really get this contest. I love those of you who are really working hard to maximize the number of entries you are getting. It is really bringing some of you lurkers out of the shadows and I love that. Your input is important to me and I really appreciate the comments that you leave on my posts. There are people out there who know so much more than I do about our sports. Their input on this blog is great.

Remember the last day you can enter the contest is today. Only entries received by midnight MST will be considered. Now that the rules are done, let’s get to the good stuff.

You Want to Lose Weight? I Know How

I grew up in a southern family. We love good southern food and southern eating. The official beverage of our family is Dr. Pepper, and I still have a tough time eating barbecue without it. But my real food addiction has to be Coca-Cola. Since I was in about the 6th grade I absolutely crave it. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to drink a Coke. It is kind of pathetic for a grown man to admit, but it is the truth. I love Coke.

When I started running I was usually in the Clydesdale division. Nothing against my Clyde brethren, but it was too heavy for me. I had to get serious about my nutrition so I could cut weight without increasing the amount of mileage I was doing. When I conducted an analysis of my diet through a comprehensive diet log, one thing jumped out at me. I was drinking too much Coke.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Coke. As with anything, when it is consumed in moderation, it is just fine. But when you drink it in excess, there is plenty of damage that can be done to an endurance athlete. Check out this graphic:


Thanks SugarStacks.com. If you wonder how much sugar your breakfast cereal has, check out their site.

The average can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Can you imagine putting 10 teaspoons of sugar on anything? That actually isn’t true — Coke has high fructose corn syrup, so technically it has no sugar. So for your RD’s out there, back me up that we are talking about a sugar equivalent. At the time of the diet analysis I was drinking at least one 32 ounce cup of Coke each day, which has about 400 calories if you include ice. Some days I would drink two of these cups. So I figured if I cut Coke out of my diet, I could theoretically cut about a pound a week by doing nothing more than changing what I drank.

By hell it worked too. I started to slim down and lose the extra weight that I needed to. When I cut Coke out of my diet I can cut weight at will. It is amazing. Because I cut Coke and take other measures to improve my diet, most of the racing season I weigh in between 175-180 lbs. My off season weight is usually between 190-195 lbs. My body composition also improves significantly during the season.

One of the first steps I take once I want to start cutting weight is to cut Coke out of my diet. I mean I won’t touch any sugary sodas at all. I cut everything out, so no carbonation enters my mouth. To tell you the truth, I really hate it. It isn’t the easiest thing for me, but this sacrifice helps me get to where I need to be. But once I hit my target weight and body composition, I do allow myself to have a couple of cans a week, mostly on Sundays. I don’t know what I picked that day, but giving myself an off day like that helps me not cheat the rest of the week.

One of my favorite books on nutrition for endurance athletes is Racing Weight. Here is what the author, Matt Fitzgerald, had to say about Coke and other sugary sodas…

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...