Check out the latest news on cycling, diet and exercise. Issues covered are what it takes to do endurance cycling events, why a pro turns vegan for the Tour de France and why exercise keeps us sane.
Who would want to ride 3,000 miles in 12 days or less? Christopher Strasser, the winner of this year’s Race Across America (RAAM). He finished in 8 days, 8 hours.
According to a New York Times article describing RAAM, cyclists must ride 3,000 miles across the U.S. within 12 days, which means you must ride at least 250 miles a day. Even if you averaged 25 miles an hour, you would have to ride at least 10 hours a day. More people have climbed Everest than completed RAAM.
If you’re interested in endurance cycling but don’t want to suffer too much, you can try the civil war century located in Thurmont, Md., choose one of the gran fondos in Virginia or take a multi-day cycling tour in the mid-atlantic.
A less taxing but more prestigious event is the Tour de France. As the tour enters into the first week of racing, one rider – American David Zabriskie – on Team Garmin-Cervelo – talks about going vegan to help his performance.
A Wall Street Journal article describes why he is going vegan, what he needs to watch out for (low ferritin) and what he will eat.
Zubriskie found out that meat was causing inflammation in his muscles and that he should stay away from it. He will live on oats, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, protein (nonmeat) shakes and small amounts of fish during the tour.
His team won the team time-trial. Zubriskie is still low in the rankings as of July 5, number 188 and 14 minutes and 35 seconds behind the leader but that could change as the race goes on.
Diet can make a big difference in how you perform in races. If you find out that meat doesn’t agree with you either, check out Zubriskie’s diet plan. It might work for you.
Diet is one part of the formula for high performance but exercise alone can also benefit the everyday cyclist’s health. From this week’s health blog in the New York Times, scientists from the National Institute of Health conducted a study on mice to show that exercise can counteract stressful situations. According to the study, mice that could exercise after a stressful situation showed less anxiety and more calm brain activity than mice that were in stressful situations and did not get to exercise.
Michael L. Lehmann, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute and lead author of the study said that exercise can be short and moderate and can bring great benefits. It can be walking to work or doing errands by bike.
You do not have to be an endurance athlete to get the benefits of exercise. As long as you get moving on a regular basis, you will feel better and be healthier.