Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fueling Choices for a Big Ride - Aaron West

On one of my early centuries, I mistakenly thought I could get away with having a big lunch midway through the ride, and nothing else. That was a learning experience. When I hit mile 95, I lost every last bit of energy. It was a major bonk. Those last few miles felt like another 100, with every hill feeling like a mountain.

Since that day, I have been determined to never let it happen again. On the other hand, the last thing I want to do is eat too much, and not benefit from all the calories burned on the bike. Through a lot of experimentation, I have developed a routine that allows me to stay properly fueled and fits with my tastes and preferences.

This post is about the stuff I like to eat before, during, and after a big ride. Like with anything, your mileage will vary (pun intended). My tastes may not be the same as yours, so I welcome feedback from others.

Breakfast Before the Ride

I like a good-sized breakfast that is high in carbs and protein, preferably at least two hours before I ride.

Eggs – I’ll usually go out of my way to eat an egg-based meal. It can be either a small omelette, or even a boiled egg or two. Eggs are great sources of protein.

Yogurt – I prefer yogurt to fruits, probably more because of the acidity content. I’ll usually have a container of a light yogurt.

Bagel – I love bagels, but pretty much the only time I’ll eat them is the breakfast before a ride. They are pure carbs and I’ve noticed a difference on the bike. A little bit of cream cheese is a must, but not something to overdo.

Coffee – This is a given. It probably doesn’t help with my fueling, but the caffeine is a must. My preference is a latte or cappuccino with almond milk.

I try to avoid heavy sugar-heavy dessert items. That means no donuts or muffins.

(Update: Some high-level riders have suggested a light breakfast since most riders will be pretty heavily carbloaded by the morning of the event.)

Immediately Before the Ride

I like to eat a little something light within an hour of the ride. I should have plenty of fuel in my body from the breakfast, but this seems to hold me over just a little further.

Bananas – I love me some bananas. I’ll have one or two before the ride. The carbs help with fuel, and the potassium can help prevent muscle cramps.

Clif Mini Bar – I’ll only eat this if bananas are not available. It is small enough (100 calories) to not weigh me down, tastes good, and has some helpful ingredients.

During the Ride

This is the area where I have experimented the most. I prefer my food to be portable, tasty, that is easy on the stomach. Fuels I have used in the past that I no longer use are Power Bars, regular Clif bars, energy gels, Honey Stingers, and countless more. I have moved on from these because they are either tough to eat while riding, messy, or both.

Clif Shot Bloks – This is the perfect bike fuel for me. For the last year, it is pretty much only thing I will carry on a long ride. The best part is I can eat it while on the bike. A pack of six bloks sits comfortably in my jersey pocket. I can open it with my teeth, and will squeeze out 2-3 bloks at a time. They taste good, can be digested easily, and are easy to measure. Since a full pack is 200 calories, I know that I need to eat at least one pack every two hours for minimum fueling.

Sports Drink – I know there are lots of options for this. I most commonly use Gatorade because it is easily accessible, but I can also use Skratch Labs, Powerade, or a home brew. On a long, difficult ride, I like to fill one bottle with ‘high test’ sports drink, or full Gatorade. The other bottle will have a diluted, light version, usually some Gatorade Low mixed with water. The full Gatorade can take a toll on my stomach, but I will rely on it for difficult riding (like climbs), and the lighter stuff for hydration and electrolytes.

A Meal – This is the tough part. I like to eat something substantial midway through a difficult, long ride. Last year on the Assault on Mount Mitchell, I tried having a Subway sandwich before the climbing began. That didn’t work too well because it took too long to eat, especially when my stomach was not settled. Usually I will try to eat some sort of substantial lunch-like whole food. I am still experimenting with this.

(Update: Some top riders suggest that you have solid foods early in the ride, then get to the gels and such toward the end.)

After the Ride

This is the tough part. If it is an organized ride, I don’t always have a choice. I have to eat what they feed me. Below are my ideal food types.

Protein drink – This is for immediately after the ride. Since usually I am mobile and cannot store my own, the drink varies by what is available. Ideally I will have some sort of drink that has between 15-25g of protein. A Muscle Milk or something like that will do the trick. Chocolate milk works too.

Something Mexican – I’m a sucker for Mexican food. Not only does it taste awesome, but it has a healthy mixture of different types of ingredients. This is my post-ride meal of choice if available because it usually has some grain, carbs, animal protein, and calcium (cheese!). I try to avoid anything fried.

Sub Sandwich – A whole wheat sub with veggies and meat is a good option. It is substantial enough to fill the hunger hole, while not being too heavy or unhealthy.

A lot of rides will serve stuff that is tasty, but not the best post-ride meal for me. I’m looking at you, pizza. Sometimes I’ll ‘suffer’ through it and eat what they offer, especially if I have raging hunger after an exhausting ride. On a few occasions, I have bailed on the post-ride meal and picked up a Subway or Chipotle on the road.

So what type of foods do you prefer?

Monday, March 25, 2013

8 Steps for an 8 Week Training Plan - Peter Kay

1.) Have an objective in mind; try to be specific in identifying your Focus. A certain finishing time is good, but a better way to approach the final leg of training is to concentrate on one or two aspects of the ride that may become an obstacle on event day. 

What is it that you need to work on most between now and the event? The Assaults are a rare blend of distance, climbing, and flat-out intensity. Though you can’t improve everything in two months, you can hone essential skills and improve a specific weakness or two. 

  2.) Count backwards from your goal date; starting with the Taper. How long does it take you to taper for a big event like the Assault on Mt. Mitchell? This can be anywhere between 4-10 days depending on your body, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. And remember, tapering IS NOT the same as “time off the bike” or a “recovery week.” Tapering is a lowering of duration and some intensity in order to be recovered and “fresh,” but includes enough of these to keep from becoming “wooden” or “stale.” 

 Read more: The Taper and One Week to Go... 

  3.) Plan a Recovery Week in the middle. Divide the time between now and the beginning of the taper in half, and place the middle of the recovery week at that point. You’ll need at least 6-7 days of easy rides/rest days to rebuild muscle and rejuvenate your determination. Include part or all of a weekend; don’t limit it to Mon-Fri. 

4.) For the remaining, undesignated days, create a Realistic & Achievable Weekly Schedule based on Time (rather than distance). Use your current pattern of rides, making only a few changes and additions. Most of your gains in the coming weeks should be made through focus rather than a sudden increase in volume (which can easily lead to burn-out and over-training). 

How many days can you expect to ride per week? How many hours on each of those days? Remember, regularity and frequency are key when preparing for an event like AoMM; riding every day a week for one hour is better than only riding one day a week for seven hours. Make any adjustments you may need with this in mind. 

5.) Give every ride a Purpose. Whether it’s a long endurance ride, a short easy spin, or an all-out intervalfest, before you click-in to the pedals, you should have a clear objective in mind for that day. This can help alleviate questions/doubts/stress about a ride, freeing your mind to enjoy the day. 

6.) Allow plenty of time to Recover between difficult rides and hard efforts. Muscles are stronger after they’ve built back up. A monotonously heavy workload will make no gains. Riding for an hour as hard as you can is less effective (in the long run) than doing three 20 minute intervals with 10-15 minutes of easy spinning in between each. After you catch your breath, or after a day of rest, you’ll be able to go faster and work harder when it’s time to do so again.

Dig a hole; climb back out.
Dig a hole; climb back out.
Dig a hole; climb back out,and when you’re done,
you’ll be on top.

Dig a hole within a hole,
and then keep digging. . .
and you’ll never get out.

7.) Be Flexible. Good training plans combine focus and flexibility. The majority of cyclists – we “mere humans” – are not able to adhere to an idealistic structure. These best laid schemes often go awry as weather, family life, and work obligations change. For that reason, it’s important to plan alternatives, and be mentally prepared to miss a few days here and there. 

As tempting as it is, one of the worst things cyclists do is try to “make up for” missing a ride by adding intensity or volume to their next ride. If it’s an important ride (intervals or intensity), then some adjustment to the plan may be needed. However, in most cases, missing a single day will not be detrimental, whereas doubling or intensifying rides in an attempt to “make up for” a day can tear down the muscles too much; burying you in the hole you’ve dug. 

Reevaluate your plan once or twice as you go along, and you’ll be able to make intelligent and more objective adjustments, but avoid revamping your schedule too often or attempting to adhere to the original plan at all costs. 

8.) Be Creative and Have Fun! When making your schedule, use an assortment of techniques to achieve your objective. There are many ways to target certain muscles or improve certain techniques. Use multiple recourses to create an assortment of interesting and fun workouts for the next several weeks. 

Remember, riding a bike is enjoyable. Achieving your goals is rewarding. The moment you begin to dread the bike is the moment your training plan is off-track. Sure, there are days that are physically challenging or mentally tough, but these should not be a source of anxiety. In keeping with the seventh step above, if you find yourself truly dreading the next ride regardless of its purpose, then either rest or. . . just go out and pedal around for fun. Explore a new neighborhood or ride up to the coffee shop or something like that. 

For me, building variety in workouts and exploring new routes help to keep my rides fresh, interesting, and enjoyable!

Peter Kay

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Reminders: Safety - Paul Thomas

As we resume our spring/summer full slate of weekly rides, and since we have experienced a few crashes already, I want to urge everyone to read the following reminders about SAFETY. Consider that the Spartanburg area rides often include packs of 20-30 riders ranging from elite/well-trained/experienced riders to beginners who haven't put in miles in several months.

Safety must be our top priority on every ride because none of us is above riding for all of us whenever we join a group ride.


• Learn to handle your bicycle in predictable ways. NO sudden movement left, right, or slowing. The key to good bicycle handling includes EXPERIENCE, which can be gained from observing experienced riders who are smooth, predictable, and effortless on the rides. 

• Bike fit, bike fit, bike fit. Yes, a proper bike fit will make you more efficient but most importantly a proper bike fit IMPROVES YOUR HANDLING. Seat too low (lots of this); seat to high; stem, hoods, and handlebars too high—all make you very unstable on the bicycle. A key to bike fit is you must be BALANCED over your bottom bracket so that you can remove one or both hands without the bicycle swerving. Most elite cyclists have a significant "drop" between their saddle height and stem (imagine a parallel and level line across the top of your saddle extending to above you stem and handlebars), which puts them in an aggressive but balanced position. Most of us aren't that young and supple (sigh), but we all should likely have some drop and should address up-turned stems, tilted up hoods and bars (on all three, don't). A "cramped" and upright rider is an unsafe rider.

• Ride two-abreast, do NOT overlap the wheel ahead, do NOT leave a huge gap between you and the wheel ahead, and ride slightly left or right of the wheel ahead (but do NOT position yourself in between the two riders ahead, especially pushing your front wheel into the space between them). We must all stay well inside the yellow line, especially not crossing the yellow line to advance or attack. If you can calmly advance right against the yellow line, alert those as you pass, and be calm about it. As you are dropping back after a pull, stay inside the yellow line and the pack must honor your need to be safe and GIVE SPACE.

• Close your rear wheel quick release into the V of your seat stay and chain stay—NOT pointing backward (which can "catch" a front wheel if the rider behind suddenly overlaps your rear wheel in a tense situation).

• Know your ability and "place." Don't know the route? Then why are you on the front? Know you can't pull through? Then why get in the advancing line of riders? Blowing up and swerving all over the road while other riders are advancing at a high pace is both unsafe and unfair (and like in high school, people are likely to talk about you behind your back, or to your face).

• Don't dart off the front, especially on hills, during a group ride and then force the pack to negotiate you slowing down, swerving, or looking back once they come back to you. It's unsafe, it's not what a group ride is.

• Learn to look over your shoulder without swerving. Learn to look over your shoulder without swerving. Learn to look over your shoulder without swerving. Learn to look over your shoulder without swerving. [And if you can't, don't.]

• When you are tired, or over your head in the pace or distance of the ride, you are dangerous to yourself and others. Alert the group you are tired, and ride in a safe spot near the back [ask someone to look after you, we really don't mind].

• Talk to alert other riders. Pass up ALL THE WAY from the back to front, or front to back. People taking pulls have a HUGE responsibility to know the route and watch the road, and then ALERT [point, talk, gently avoid the obstruction well ahead of the obstruction (note that being "cool" on the front isn't very cool)]. BUT all riders in the pack have an obligation to point, talk, and pay attention.

If you can't talk and ride safely, maintaining your place in the pack, then don't talk. It is also possible to talk to others without looking at them (my daughter and students always hated this, but I have learned it is possible).

• DON'T CREATE GAPS, especially toward the rear where new, tired, or struggling riders often sit. Don't create gaps at turns or stop signs (the front should accelerate CALMLY, and the back must maintain contact with the wheel in front of you). If can drink ONLY at stops, you need to learn how to drink on the fly; same with eating. All changes of direction and pace are problems for maintaining a pack and everyone must be committed to keeping the pack cohesive.

• Know how to cross RR tracks, descend climbs, take corners at speed, steer instead of leaning (sand in road, wet pavement), brake and ride in rain or wet roads, stand with riders behind, eat/drink while riding, take off/put on clothing while riding, etc.

• Bike maintenance. Yep, well maintained bicycle is a safe bicycle. Learn how to do the basics, but don't hesitate to ask for help keeping your bicycle in good shape—tires/tubes, chains, shifting adjustment, brake pads, pedal cleats (huge safety issue), CABLES for shifting especially (must be changed regularly).

Safety is about being good stewards of the pack and the road. If you aren't sure what is safe or not, just ask.

Paul Thomas, EdD, Associate Professor
Furman University
twitter: @plthomasEdD

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mitchell or Bust? - Aaron West

My singular goal for this early spring season was to conquer the Assault on Mount Mitchell. My hope was to reach a time goal of 6:30, which would beat my personal best from last year by 37 minutes. The way I was training, this sort of goal was not out of the question. 

Then it happened. The injury.

It first showed signs right after last year’s Bridge to Bridge, and continued for the months to follow. We think it probably occurred on one of the tougher climbs, maybe even Grandfather. I must have been out of the saddle at point, and gunned down on the pedals while in an awkward position. The result was soreness then, and a lot more pain and couch-sitting later.

There was one goal remaining to conquer in the season, Six Gap Century out of Dahlonega, GA, and I faced it with a severe hip injury, and barely able to move my leg outward. It was not my best performance, but I finished despite the pain and aggravation.

The next stage was finding out what it was. Over the winter I have discussed with a few different doctors, ordered two MRI scans, and finally got the diagnosis -- stress fracture of the femoral neck. I was forced on the couch for the majority of the offseason.

Recovery was slower than anyone expected. The doctors thought it could be close to 6 weeks. 12 weeks later and I was still on the couch. 

It has now been 15 weeks, and I was just recently given the green light to start riding again, albeit slowly. To my surprise, I found that I still have a little bit of fitness. The good news is that the hip has improved somewhat, although I have to deal with occasional soreness and cannot ramp up the mileage and intensity just yet. There could be lingering issues, and surgery at some point is not outside the realm of possibility.

What about Mitchell? Even when I was first diagnosed, I planned to continue with my registration. That said, I expected a month or two more to train. Now, with 9 weeks to go, the clock is ticking.

I’ve warned many cyclists not to take Mitchell lightly. In my opinion, it is the most difficult road ride in the southeast. I would recommend most people plan their training carefully over the offseason, and do as much riding and climbing as possible in the late winter and early spring before tapering for the main event. 

I don’t have that luxury, but as of today, I am still planning to do Mitchell. 

Some people will think this is a crazy decision. John Bryan made the decision long ago to ride from Spartanburg to the top of Mitchell. That was pretty crazy, yet he was successful.

After testing myself, I can tell that I have a chance at completing the event. The time goal is out the window. This year I won’t think about a finish time. I’ll stop and go as needed, and make sure I reach the top of the mountain with my body intact, however long it takes.

Because of the injury, my training plan will be drastically different from previous years. In the next several weeks, I’ll work on increasing the mileage while minimizing intensity. This is my base mileage. After that, assuming the hip remains healthy, I’ll get in some easy climbing. Again, not too much.

I plan to work up to a plain ol’ century ride, which will be the Tour de Cure on May 4th, just a few weeks before Mitchell. That will be the main test. I feel that with my carryover fitness and experience with climbing, that I can complete Mitchell if I can ride a century. It will most likely be the toughest challenge I’ve had to face, but it can be done. It is really up to my body and the progress of my recovery, but I am going to try.

Aaron West

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beginner's Guide for Cycling Efficiency - Paul Thomas

(This is a re-post from 2011, but it is a great article that is just as relevant today.)

This past weekend offered cyclists in the Upstate of SC another unseasonably warm and sunny weekend of riding, but the cost was high winds. Sunday, after a particularly challenging 38-mile ride in a stiff wind, one of the riders talked to me afterward about looking relaxed on the bicycle. I noted that I have been riding seriously for almost thirty years now so I am very relaxed on a bicycle. But remaining relaxed under the stress of high winds and a taxing pace can challenge even the best riders.

What, then, can beginning cyclists do to become efficient, and thus relaxed, cyclists--particularly when targeting a grueling event such as either of the Assaults?

• The most important element in cycling efficiency--riding relaxed--is proper bicycle fit and weight distribution. Many beginning riders are either too upright or leaning far too heavily on the bars. Proper weight distribution should center a rider. Also, many beginning riders are set-up initially with high stems (with a high stack height and the stem sloping upward) and with the hoods/ handlebars tilted upward as well. While this position is intuitively more comfortable at first, the positioning is destined to create squirrelly handling. Beginning riders should work toward a "flat" profile that has the rider "stretched out" as much as is feasible--depending on each rider's physique. A professional fit is important for getting relaxed on the bicycle.

• The next step is obvious--ride a great deal, particularly with groups. Nothing creates relaxed and efficient cycling as much as experience.

• When riding in groups, ride with the upper body relaxed. Concentrate on NOT clenching your hands on the hoods or bar. Many beginning riders expend a great deal of energy through tense upper body muscle groups, resulting in fatigue and poor bicycle handling.

• Monitor the size gear you are pushing. Many riders get bogged down pushing a bigger gear (large chain ring with the smaller cogs), hoping to maintain speed. All cyclists can learn what the optimal cadence is for you. Traditionally, cyclists should seek a gear you can turn over at 90-100 rpms, but I will confess here, that's never worked for me. I remain a lower cadence cyclist (~85 rpm). The key here is discovering and refining your pedaling efficiency.

• Concentrate on your breathing. Breathing is, obviously, something we do during intense exercise regardless, but many of us have inefficient habits, such as shallow breathing, that negatively impact performance. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I can attest that focusing on deep and proper breathing is a powerful relaxation technique in all aspects of life. Proper breathing while under stress on a ride pays positive dividends over the course of a long ride.

• Monitor your pack/group position. Many beginners sit on the back of packs--even a half-bicycle length or so off the back. Hanging on or off the back is guaranteed to get you dropped. The surges are magnified for the back, and surges are the greatest challenges for beginning riders. Position yourself in the middle or front 2/3 of the pack. Once in the heart of a pack, monitor the wind and find a spot that positions other riders on your side to block cross winds.

• Monitor transition situations--stop signs, turns, railroad crossings--and be sure not to hesitate, not to allow gaps to form as the front riders accelerate while the riders on the back decelerate for the sign, turn, or tracks. Again, if you are sitting in the middle, the transition is far less abrupt as it is on the back.

• Practice and monitor drinking, eating, and adjusting clothing. These are additional disruptions to normal riding that can create gaps beginning riders cannot afford. Skills must be developed on training rides.

• Monitor the pack dynamics. Look for strong and relaxed riders to sit on their wheels. But stronger riders often unconsciously allow gaps to form; for them closing the gap is no problem. But an inattentive beginning rider can get gapped and then dropped when other riders allow gaps to form. Beginning riders should watch and immediately go around gapping riders to keep in the main slipstream of the pack.

The relaxed and efficient rider is created through attention to detail and practice, practice, practice.

Paul Thomas, EdD, Associate Professor
Furman University
twitter: @plthomasEdD

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Game Plan For Success - Kevin Pearl

If someone were to give you a puzzle or test to solve at school or work, but failed to provide any instructions on how to complete it, chances are you would probably figure it out eventually. It sure would be easier and a more efficient problem solve if you had some directions. Well, attempting to complete a challenge with the magnitude of The Assault on Mt. Mitchell without some instructions is a very similar situation. You could probably show up and take off riding, and eventually end up at the top of Mt. Mitchell, but you will get there much easier and more efficiently with a proper game plan. Your game plan needs to be designed by you, for you. Some will set goals of finishing under a certain time limit, some will attempt to ride at a certain pace, some will want to simply finish, others will have other goals. It's important to determine your goal and prepare properly for it, with some disregard to what others plan for.

With nearly two months to go before The Assault ride, it's not too late to develop your game plan. Your game plan should include (but not be limited to) training, nutrition, travel, proper rest, and so on... In regards to training, it will be difficult to duplicate the amount of climbing that will be waiting for us at the foot of Mt. Mitchell, but it is a good idea to get the distance in a couple times and try to incorporate routes that have some significant climbs. Make a nutrition plan and test it on several long rides leading up to the day of The Assault, therefore you can make changes as needed. Plan your travel to and from the event to allow minimal stress. We all know how important it is to get good rest before a tough physical challenge, so get in early, get fueled up properly and get rested for an early start. 

Plan to have clothing for riding in various weather conditions. The weather can be an event all by itself. It may affect your experience, but it doesn't have to compromise your ride. Riding in wet weather in temps in the fifties or sixties is a huge difference from hot, humid, and in the eighties or nineties. Be prepared for both, then check it carefully the day before and you will be confident in how to dress. Proper rest also should include riding leading up to the Assault. Good common sense will tell you how much to ride in the weeks just before the event, just don't overdo it. Be rested, fresh, and strong when you roll up to the start line. 

Maybe the best advice I can offer is to write your plan down. If you put it in writing and physically look at it every day, it will be easier to stay on track. In the final week, as you prepare to travel, have a check list and check things off as they are completed. My game plan goal, since this is my first Assault on Mt. Mitchell, is simple: finish strong! I have designed my plan with an ultimate goal of completing the challenge. I am sure I will be tired at the end, but I do intend to finish strong with some left in the tank. Maybe next time I will shoot for a time limit, but that will be a whole different game plan. So what ultimate goal is your game plan designed for?

Kevin Pearl

Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Avoid Post-Ride Fatigue - Kelli Jennings

Post-ride fatigue is actually very common among endurance athletes.  In fact, many Pro or Olympic level endurance athletes are known to sleep 10 hours a night PLUS 2-3 hours in a nap during the day.  Why?  Not sure exactly.  It hasn’t been determined in research, nor has it been well studied.  There are hypothesis, though.  Some experts think that the cytokines released during long, intense training causes sleepiness afterwards – this does not occur with shorter exercise.  In fact, most shorter or easier training is invigorating…longer can cause sleepiness.  These are the same cytokines released by the body during a short illness such as a cold, which is why most people feel very sleepy when they are sick.  Bummer.

While there may not be a “magic bullet” to fix all of this, there are ways to optimize your fuel to give you the best chance of recovering well and staying energized after training and throughout the day.  And, maybe we can lessen the effect of those cytokines.  Here are my recommendations:

1)      Hydration: More hydration during your ride: Aim for 16-24 oz. per hour (at a minimum, 16 oz. per hour).  Dehydration is detrimental in many ways as it can cause nausea, fatigue, headaches, cravings, etc.  Additionally, stay on top of hydration day to day, aiming for 64-80 oz. fluid per day (in addition to what’s needed for training).

2)      Carbohydrates: Aim for 40+ grams of carbs per hour on the bike.  For these rides that are longer than 60 minutes, I recommend sports drink + 15-25 grams of additional carbs from a gel, ½ energy bar, energy chews, etc.

3)      Recovery: Your recovery shake needs to contain 30-60 grams carbohydrates, 10-30 grams protein, and fluid.  I also strongly recommend adding Medium Chain Triglycerides, from organic extra-virgin coconut oil, as they are an efficient energy source that’s used directly by the mitochondria (energy powerhouses) of the cells.  As a bonus, antioxidants and probiotics are helpful in recovery – the probiotics increase the absorption of the antioxidants which fight the extra free radicals created by exercise.  For a recipe, try this Recovery Smoothie and use plain yogurt in place of milk.  Try to consume your recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your ride.

4)      Supplements: It’s beneficial to most endurance athletes to supplement with a high-quality multivitamin.  One brand I like is the Rainbow Light Brand, and they have a multivitamin specific for men.  Since it sounds like this is an issue after long rides, and not fatigue in general, it doesn’t sound like an iron issue to me.  Also, being a male cyclist (as opposed to a female runner), you’re not in a high-risk group.

5)      Healthy Fats: Since omega-3s from fish oils slow the release of cytokines and thereby reduce their effects, hypothetically it’s possible that omega-3s may reduce this endurance-exercise-sleepiness issue – and, they’re healthy for you anyway, so it’s worth a try.  I generally recommend 1000 mg of DHA/EPA per day from supplements + 6 oz. fatty fish 2 times per week for ~1500-2000 mg of DHA/EPA per day.  Vegetarian sources of omega-3s may also help, but most research has used fish oil.

Kelli Jennings