Sunday, June 5, 2011
Nutrition - details, details...
WARNING this post contains references to common bodily functions that may offend the sensibilities of those who like to pretend they don't have those functions.....
Stop and think about the effort and energy Randy needs to produce to ride 3000 miles in 10 days. That energy, thousands of calories per day, has to come from somewhere and eating that much is a real challenge (see The Science of Sport and Westerterp et al (1989) Study on food intake and energy expenditure during extreme sustained excercise: the Tour de France).
If Randy does not drink enough, he will dehydrate which is a Bad Thing (TM) affecting his ability to ride and think . (See the hyperbolic Sports Science episode on Dehydration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mve0mVu5y5A.) This is a particular concern during the desert crossing in the first third of the race.
So how does the Crew make sure Randy eats and drinks enough? The answer is the Nutrition Log. The Log is basically a spreadsheet (though we are using pencil and paper for reliability's sake) with columns for:
Race Time - RAAM time = EDT and is kept in 24 hr notation (1330 = 1:30 PM)
Race Mile - Miles into the race
Time Off - time spent off the bike in minutes
Comments - Temp, weather, Randy's state of mind, whatever
Electrolytes - How much consumed in 0z
Liquid food - in oz
Water - in oz
Solid food - by type, standard sizes
Calories - estimated from qty and food type, totaled at end of shift
Potty - what goes in must come out; if it doesn't, there's a problem brewing
Weight - helps track hydration and gross caloric intake
Every time Randy asks for food or drink, the Nutritionist on duty in the Follow Van fills out a line in the Log to record what when/where he asked for nutrition, what he asked for, how much. By recording these elements, the Crew can watch for trends and work to keep Randy properly feed and hydrated.
Thus you can see that keeping Randy operating at peak efficiency requires attention to detail and will require reminding/telling him that he needs to eat or drink. Hopefully he'll figure out his other needs.
Posted by LAH at 6/05/2011