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All Lycra’d up (photo); DZNuts; Weight almost back to normal.

Thursday, August 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

August
30
2012
For someone who never wears tight clothing, donning this skin tight lycra is a strange feeling. It kind of reminds me of when I put on my sister's dress when I was 7 years old. I really wish I didn't tell you that.

For someone who never wears tight clothing, donning this skin tight lycra is a strange feeling. It kind of reminds me of when I put on my sister’s dress when I was 7 years old. I really wish I didn’t tell you that.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I’m doing the 42-mile Epic Ride at Santos this weekend. The prospect of doing 42 miles (all off-road) in the heat and humidity got me thinking about comfort, and the wisdom (or lack thereof) of attempting that ride wearing my usual riding clothing: baggy Fox Sargent MTB shorts and a loose-fitting wicking sleeveless shirt.

When I rode on Tuesday morning, even after just eight miles my shorts were soaked in sweat, heavy and uncomfortable. The thought of doing more than five times that distance in wet shorts pushed me into territory I’ve been resisting for a long time: Lycra.

I’ve got the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Inrcool Bib Short (XL) and the Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite LTD Jersey (L). For reference, I weigh 175 pounds and am six feet tall. I’ve got big legs, and so the “Large” bib shorts were simply too small. If you’ve spent any serious time in the squat rack, I would definitely go a size larger on the bib shorts over what’s recommended in Pearl Izumi’s sizing chart. The “Large” jersey fits me perfectly.

It’s definitely a strange feeling wearing skin-tight clothing. It’s just not my usual style. I have to say, however, that the Lycra is extremely cool and comfortable (I put a bag over my head and did a ride around the ‘hood yesterday afternoon). I have no doubt that when I’m doing the Epic Ride this weekend I will be really glad that I put comfort over my personal tastes in fashion.

I also heard from my friend Jeff B., who is a fellow mountain biker and a regular on the XC racing scene in his region. He highly recommended a chamois cream called DZNuts to help protect against chaffing and discomfort on the long ride. Thanks, Jeff!

So after the nearly two weeks of basically doing nothing and eating like crap, my scale weight on Monday morning was 180.2 pounds–five pounds higher than normal. I’m pleased to say that it looks like most of that was water weight, as this morning I’m back down to 175.8 pounds. I expect my weight will drop a little more before this Sunday’s weekly measurements. I do, however, think I put on a little fat during those couple of weeks. We’ll see on Sunday morning.

That two weeks off really hurt my athletic performance. My cardio and stamina are way off, and this morning my legs are still feeling fatigued and even slightly sore from Tuesday’s mere 8 miles on the trails. I’ve also done two 14 mile indoor cardio sessions this week, but those were low intensity aerobic sessions. I have to admit that I’m concerned that my legs and cardio are not going to be up to snuff in time for the Epic Ride this weekend, but I’m doing everything I can to prepare. Diet this week has been 100% clean, I’ve been going to bed very early and I’ve trained every day. Even if I’m not at 100%, I’m looking forward to the Epic and I will complete it.

John Stone Fitness Comments

11 Responses to “All Lycra’d up (photo); DZNuts; Weight almost back to normal.”
  1. John, it’s been a puzzle to me from the start how you can weigh as little as 175 lbs. You’re exactly my height and have WAY more muscle mass, yet I still outweigh you by 5 lbs. Were you by chance holding a large helium balloon while standing on the scales??

    Regarding the lycra duds, I never could figure out why so many mountain bikers insist on wearing loose fitting clothes. All they do is contain sweat and prevent it from evaporating, thereby increasing your discomfort and adversely affecting your performance. MTB racers wear lycra for good reason.

    Don’t worry about completing that Epic Ride. If even I can go 61.5 miles at Santos without any difficulty, a mere 42 miles should be a walk in the park for you. As long as you keep your speed at your threshold level, where you’re not building up lactic acid or increasing your oxygen debt, you should be able to ride a hundred miles or more without tiring out.

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    • What you said in your first paragraph illustrates why scale weight is meaningless. My body fat percentage is currently around 7.4%, which means my body composition is 12.95 pounds of fat and 162.05 pounds of lean mass. I don’t know what your body fat percentage is (and I won’t presume to guess after only one meeting!), but for the sake of argument let’s say it’s 17%: that would mean your body composition is 30.6 pounds of fat and 149.4 pounds of lean mass. 13 pounds of additional lean mass combined with a low body fat percentage (which makes the muscle show and look “cut”) is a huge visual difference.

      As for that Epic ride, I’m going to have to fight my natural urge, which is to constantly push myself. When I set my current mtb distance record of 37 miles, I rode very hard. Of course I’ll be riding this weekend with Mike Simmons (who, as you know, is very fast) and I don’t want to slow him down!

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      • How do I figure out what my fat percentage is? Just the thought that I might be carrying 30+ lbs of fat around makes me ill.

        I know just what you mean about having a natural urge to push yourself. Whenever I develop an interest in something, my tendency is to take it to extremes. In my late teens I was spending four to six hours a day training for a game I’d become obsessed with. My parents became so concerned about my state of mind that they actually urged me to see a psychiatrist. LOL

        You and Mike have fun at Santos. It’s entirely possible that we’ll cross paths at some point.

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        • The most accurate tests, such as DXA or the “dunk” test will cost you a few bucks and a trip to have the test done. For regular at home testing the most accurate method is a a 7 or 9 site pinch test using a body fat caliper. For more information on how I measure my body composition (and the specific devices I use to do that), check out any of my Sunday blogs.

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        • Huh??? I simply answered the man’s question and gave some examples. I specifically mentioned that I didn’t know his actual body fat percentage, and so I picked a body fat percentage that is fairly common to better illustrate my point. I most certainly was not “trying to be insulting” with my reply, and have no idea how you came to that conclusion.

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          • I don’t if that guy was having a bad day or just drunk, but there was nothing insulting with your reply JOhn. When I read it the first thing I thought was that I finally understand it! Ignore that Wayne guy and keep the good advice coming.

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  2. John, I would try out that DZ nuts if you have any kind of allergy before you go on a long ride. I’ve used several and something that is a common ingredient in most of them irritates my skin once I start to sweat which as you might guess is not pleasant. I never wear my sergeant shorts in the heat, they are too thick and long. You might try the Ranger or Ventilator, much lighter, better wicking, and the liner is made out of mesh. It looks like Fox discontinued the Ranger for 2013 as its not in their new lineup but i bet you can find them on closeout all over the internet.
    http://shop.foxhead.com/store/products/Shorts/detail/Fox-Ventilator-Short-/32793/cat70013;jsessionid=BD1E8BCFCF86404509E0BF5519385675?categoryNavIds=cat20008%3Acat20134%3Acat70013

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    • I’ll be trying the DZ out on a ride before the long ride, so if there is any problem I should know about it in advance. That said, I’ve never had sensitive skin. Lisa, on the other hand, has very sensitive skin. We can’t even wash our laundry together because she has to use some “free and clear” crap that can’t even make a dent in my sweaty clothes.

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  3. Lycra is good, I use lycra shorts/bibs with paddings on every ride and so does most of the XC riders I know around here, on rides longer than 3 hours the chamois cream is also good to use. Good look on Epic your ride!

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