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My road to Haleakala

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My road to Haleakala

Old 09-25-19, 09:00 AM
  #76  
Syscrush
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Because this is a training & nutrition forum, I wanna share a bit about my experience so far with doing intermittent fasting for weight loss plus cycling for fitness.

First, like anything related to nutrition in general or weight loss in particular, there is a ton of "bro science" surrounding IF. There are legions of true believers who will assert that autophagy is the panacea for all of life's ills. Only by going extended periods of time without consuming any calories will you trigger your body to enter this magical zone of accelerated weight loss, increased energy and focus, body repair, etc. etc. Put some milk or sugar in your morning coffee? Sorry bro - no autophagy for you, hope you like being fat and having low energy and probably cancer. What is autophagy? It's when your body starts effectively digesting itself by finding tissues or cells that are ready for expiration, are damaged, or otherwise candidates for deletion, and breaks them down for calories. More info here.

There's no good evidence for how long one would have to fast to trigger autophagy, or what (if any) health benefits would come with frequent, short periods of autophagy.

Personally, I think it's hype. I think that setting strict eating windows is a valuable tool for managing caloric intake for some people, but it's not a cure-all. I also think that it's not for everybody - I can go a day or even two without food and feel basically OK, but if my wife tried it I'd be dead or divorced by 3:00 PM on the first day.

At this point, my approach is to aim for at least 20 and preferably about 22 hours of fasting each day. Most days I'm having my one meal of the day at about 6:00 PM, and then a snack or two afterwards, and no more eating after 8:00 PM. If I just decided to have anything and everything I wanted during that 2-4 hour window, I could definitely stay obese (although probably not 250+ like I was before starting this cut). For me, this is all about limiting intake in a way that is easy to manage. I've done multiple large (~40 lbs) cuts over the last 25+ years, most of them long before I had ever heard of IF, but I had always followed a similar approach of strictness and flexibility, and that combination is what I like. My target rate for losing the weight is 2-3 lbs per week, and so far I'm right on track. I think that as long as I'm in that territory I'm losing at a sustainable and healthy rate.

It's strict and simple in terms of having no eating outside of the allowed window, so I'm not counting or tracking or even planning anything. But if I get a craving for something, the response isn't "oh, no, you don't eat that anymore". It's "Well, see if I still want it later when it's eating time." For me, this is generally a pretty effective way of dismissing the craving instead of feeling overwhelmed like if certain foods were completely off limits. It's very flexible in that I let myself have anything (but not everything) I want during my window. I do still have to be conscious of eating only to satisfy hunger instead of eating for its own sake.

About 35 years ago when I was first starting to learn about lifting and body building, I read what was already then an old-school book (so probably written in the early 60's) that said something about weight and nutrition that has really stayed with me: "To gain weight, eat when you're not hungry. To maintain weight, eat only when you're hungry. To lose weight, stop eating while you're still hungry." Nothing in my experience as a fat slob, a lean runner/cyclist, or a relatively muscular powerlifter has contradicted that simple guidance. With that said, I've never been a competitive athlete fueling for top performance or extreme leanness, so I'm sure it breaks down when trying to push into any kind of elite territory - or when using PEDs.

I will likely do almost all of my training rides of 100 km and under while fasting. My reasons for doing this are:
  1. I've done it in the past and was able to do it without experiencing dizziness or other problems that would make it dangerous.
  2. It means greater calorie deficit and therefore burning fat.
  3. As I've noted elsewhere, I think that any suffering serves the end goal of HTFU. Riding fasted or in crap weather, or tired all contribute to the ability to just keep going - which will be an important ability when facing the Haleakala-specific difficulties that I can't directly train for.
Training rides above 100 km will include some fuel past the 5-6 hour mark. Fuel at that point is to allow me to keep the intensity from just completely collapsing. I have done 160 km with no fuel in the past as an experiment (at a bodyweight of ~185 lbs), and while it felt OK at the time, the recovery was so long and difficult that I think the last hour or even two was probably of very little training benefit.
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Old 09-25-19, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
Personally, I think it's hype. I think that setting strict eating windows is a valuable tool for managing caloric intake for some people, but it's not a cure-all. I also think that it's not for everybody - I can go a day or even two without food and feel basically OK, but if my wife tried it I'd be dead or divorced by 3:00 PM on the first day..
A good balanced view of IF IMO.
Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
"To gain weight, eat when you're not hungry. To maintain weight, eat only when you're hungry. To lose weight, stop eating while you're still hungry."
I like that a lot.
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Old 09-30-19, 01:00 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
That doesn't sound like it is going to work. Are you sure the spacing matches? A 26" frameset is likely 135 spacing at the rear but a 700c single/fixed wheel is likely 130. Maybe a shop will be able to do it by removing spacers since the hub probably is only one size and uses spacers to fit either size. It also probably doesn't have cable stays.
It fit by removing one spacer and re-dishing the wheel. You're right about the cable stays, but that was addressed with some clips and a hanger. I picked up the bike and went for a shakedown ride with Dan yesterday and I am triple happy with it:
  1. My favorite bike gets a new lease on life.
  2. Everything works nicely and the changes make it way more comfortable to ride.
  3. It looks like I'll be able to sell the Gios frameset and Sputnik wheels for a bit more than the bill for doing the conversion, so I end up with more space in the basement, a workable bike, and a bit of money in my pocket.
With that done, I've made arrangements to get out for a hard training ride every Sunday morning. I'll score some power meter pedals soon and will start measuring and tracking my output as I continue cutting.
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Old 09-30-19, 01:07 PM
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Old 10-06-19, 05:33 PM
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I tried riding Haleakala on Rouvy today, starting at the switchbacks. I didn't even make it up one mile! The grade in Rouvy was at 12% but I don't remember it being that steep. Also the higher grade started on my trainer before it appeared on screen so I wasn't quite ready for it.

I think I'll do some other hill training before I attempt this again on Rouvy.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:32 AM
  #81  
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I finally got out for a dedicated training ride - I consider this a "pre-baseline", where my real baseline ride will be once I'm set up with a power meter & computer (hopefully before the snow flies).

I went for a very flat 63 km ride, because I felt like that would be enough to be taxing but not overextend and risk getting myself into some kind of trouble. It was cool at about 15C, wind was 20-25 kph with gusts up to 38, and it was raining a bit when I left (just light rain). I went early morning, and had a tea with milk & sugar before I left - no other calories before or during the ride. I meant to bring a water bottle, but forgot it. I figured that I could stop for water if I really needed it, but also thought that for just 60k I could do without it - and I also believe that riding fasted and a bit dehydrated is good for teaching myself to just push through suffering. I did need to urinate on my return home, so although my mouth and lips were quite dry, I don't believe that I pushed too hard by going without water.

The bulk of the ride was along the shore of Lake Ontario, but I live near the Don Valley and did dip down there on the way back. All of my training rides will finish with a ride up Pottery Road, which is a short and relatively steep climb (just under 40m of climb at about 10%). Total climbing over the whole ride as reported by Runtastic was just under 700m, which has to be pure bull. There's just no way. Google Maps says more like 100m, which to me seems way closer. Getting home to look at the details of the ride, I learned that Runtastic has been purchased by Adidas, and it's pure garbage now. I started using it about 5 years ago because my brother and brother in law were using it and they had some routes to share with me. It served my needs fine as a casual user, but with the eradication of the web interface, it's basically worthless for any kind of analysis. I'll switch to Strava and connect my bike computer to it once I have one.

Anyhow, my thinking in terms of trying to get fit and prepare for the big ride is to just focus on constant pressure on the pedals, regardless of speed or conditions. At this point, I can't really manage that. This was my first real ride in years on something like a road bike - and it ended up being about as much as I can do right now. When I got home, I couldn't get my leg over the bike to dismount, ended up spending a bit of time straddling the bike and resting my chest on the bars before figuring out a way to get it out from under me. I went in and drank a liter of water and felt better, after my second liter and another tea I was basically OK. I still managed a 23h fast, which was tough - but I've set a tough goal for myself and it's past time to get serious about it.

From 253 lbs at start, I'm down to 235 now. Another 15 and there are a bunch of shirts in my closet that I can put back into service - I hope to get there by Christmas.

Last edited by Syscrush; 10-07-19 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:35 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I tried riding Haleakala on Rouvy today, starting at the switchbacks. I didn't even make it up one mile! The grade in Rouvy was at 12% but I don't remember it being that steep. Also the higher grade started on my trainer before it appeared on screen so I wasn't quite ready for it.
12% doesn't jibe with my own experience there or this chart:
https://veloviewer.com/segments/638944

EDIT: Actually, looking closer, there are some kicks to that 10%+ range there on the switchbacks. If you turn on "Gradient" markers in that page, you can see them - they're all like 10-50 meters, but they are there.

Last edited by Syscrush; 10-07-19 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:52 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
12% doesn't jibe with my own experience there or this chart:
https://veloviewer.com/segments/638944

EDIT: Actually, looking closer, there are some kicks to that 10%+ range there on the switchbacks. If you turn on "Gradient" markers in that page, you can see them - they're all like 10-50 meters, but they are there.
At the hairpins the grades are steep on the actual ride. It just seemed too steep when I was on the bike and I couldn't turn the pedals anymore. RidewithGPS doesn't show it being that steep either.

It was only a short distance on Rouvy, but the simulation made it feel even harder that it is, plus I started in the middle of the uphill, not that there is any flat anywhere on the ride.
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Old 10-20-19, 09:46 AM
  #84  
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Hill Hunting

For today's Sunday training ride, I decided to keep it short but intense, so it was just 20k, but with 10 repeats of a short nearby hill that averages 5% but has stretches steeper than that.

My target climbing pace for Haleakala is 10 kph, and it would appear that right now I'm able to maintain that on a similar/steeper road for about 5 minutes - so with a modest 70x improvement I should be right in the ballpark.
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