What is Pedaling Squares?
Pedaling Squares Through a MAMIL’s Life was intended to be a podcast about two of my favorite things: Bikes and Beer. Someday soon we will get back to my love of beer. Suffice it to say that coordinating breweries, brewmasters, and nearby Strava Segments was harder than I realized. When I have more time on my hands I will get back to those projects. My first episode was a COVID-inspired attempt to get things rolling without the benefit of actual brewmasters:
Between a pandemic and opening a law firm, my podcasting aspirations took a back seat to earning a living and riding my bike. So I am back, with a slightly new approach to podcasting. Pedaling Squares will continue to be about one of my two favorite things: riding a bike.
More broadly, the Channel will be about endurance sports, from a Masters (er, middle-aged) Athlete’s perspective. My focus will be that of a MAMIL. For the uninitiated, a MAMIL is a “middle-aged man in lycra.” The Channel is intended to have a broad audience of endurance athletes, mostly middle-aged, but I will not be able to resist the pull of the bike. So I apologize in advance for that likely drift. Perhaps a better way to characterize the channel is podcasting for an audience of master-aged cyclists that has broader application to most endurance athletes.
So with that introduction out of the way, my first video of 2022 tackles a topic that is on most athletes’ minds in January of any year: the dreaded weight gain over the holidays. For the less-monastic among us, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year presented a well-earned opportunity to spend time with loved ones that usually involved delicious food and an extra beer or two, or more… Those extra calories lead to extra pounds. Over the years I have learned to accept this reality rather than fret about it. They call it an offseason for a reason. I, for one, don’t make a living racing a bike and I suspect you don’t either. So, you got to live a little – within reason.
Cycling is a sport replete with eating disorders at its highest level. And maybe calling them eating disorders is a bit of a stretch. Guys and gals who get paid to ride are acutely aware of a Mathematical Reality: extra pounds means lower power-to-weight ratios and lower power-to-weight ratios can mean slower times. So strict dieting is a reality for those in the rarified air of professional cycling. But that does not mean nutrition is not important for the rest of us – especially those of us who are chasing podiums and leaderboards on Strava! Your power-to-weight ratio is a very real reality to any cyclist going uphill. For runners, swimmers, and any other athlete in a timed event, also known as a race, pre-race and race day nutrition is important. All of this brings me to my first guest on Pedaling Squares, Dawn Weatherwax.
Dawn Weatherwax, RD, CSSD, LD, ATC, CSCS, MET 1
Dawn is my Nutritionist, so let me plug her from experience. Dawn a Licensed Dietitian with a specialty in Sports Nutrition and Founder of Sports Nutrition 2Go. She is also a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, which is the premier professional sports nutrition credential in the United States. She is the author of Three Books: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sports Nutrition, Sports Nutrition Guide for Young Athletes, and The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents. And, she is a frequent presenter on Nutrition at a local and national level.
In this interview, we tackle “hack” diets and their limitations for endurance athletes. And from a master’s athlete’s perspective, we talk about the importance of calculating one’s actual resting metabolic rate. Many websites use a logarithm with assumptions about one’s age. While a given logarithm may be accurate based on ages 15 to 35 years old, a significant amount of variability in the population starts to set in after 40, 50, 60, and so on. This is especially the case in lifelong athletes. Many of the canned logarithms may be underestimating your resting metabolic rate. Dawn has the hardware to calculate an actual, not assumed resting metabolic rate – the rate one is consuming most of his or her calories. Strava, Garmin Connect, Wahoo, and Training Peaks can tell you what you burned during a given workout – that is the easy part. Relying on a website to calculate how many calories you are burning while at work and asleep can end up being an exercise (pun intended) in guesswork. We also discussed the importance of measuring fat and lean muscle tissue and the effect of age on both and more.
Dawn brings a wealth of experience to the discussion. My only limitation was Dawn’s time. She promised to come back for more, so if you have ideas for future points of discussion please leave them in the comment section.
So, please wake up your Smart Trainer or Treadmill and have a listen to my conversation with Dawn:
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