How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

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Manx Cat
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How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Manx Cat » 3 Mar 2012, 8:59am

Cos, I bonked good and proper on my last 200km ride. Got to the 150km part of it too. Quite disappointed.

No....Really disappointed. I had set off at 4am to get home by 4 or 5pm. I managed this easily last summer, with miles in my legs. At the 140km point, I could feel my leggies getting heavier and heavier and my mind set was starting to change.... Instead of - Im going to do this... the Mantra changed to - I hope I can get up that slight incline.

Breakfast 2 hot eggs (boiled that is, and they were biggies, first double yolker of the season in one of them)
2 Bagels, toasted, no butter but LOADS of homemade marmalade sloshed all over. 2x pots tea

Cycled 50 miles (hilly and with a strong head wind - force 7)

Second breakfast, as my loop returned me home.

Repeated breakfast, cept no eggs this time. Plus 2 x pots of tea.

Next part of cycle, down south of island to Sound, then up Sloc road, this part was hilly. When I got to the approx 90 mile part of the ride, I was unable to hold my head up properly - a sure sign with me of a bonk approaching. I had to walk up the 3 mile hill - I never walk this usually. Its a sit and grind away hill, about 14% over 3-4 miles.

Got to top, and could hardly hold the bike let alone ride her. Phoned hubby for rescue.

After rest of 20 minutes, I was able to cycle down hill to Foxdale where we agreed to meet and me be picked up - staggered into the shop there and ate a fortune of chocolate, a bag of crisps (50g one) and 2 x teas.

Felt a whole lot better. At not one point did i have any pain in my legs, either before, during or after ride. It was just a case of not enought scoff.

Last summer I completed the route in 10 hours with just a few mars bars in my saddle bag.

What is the usual kinda drill for a ride like this, I really did think 4 bagesl half a jar of marmalade and 2 boiled extra large eggs would have been enough for the entire day, obviously it wasnt .


MC

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Mick F
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Mick F » 3 Mar 2012, 9:14am

Strange things, metabolisms!

I set off from Edinburgh to Pitlochry a few years ago, fully loaded 80odd miles. No breakfast, no lunch, just a bar of peanut brittle. Next day, I made it to Inverness - 90miles - similarly.

A couple of days ago, I did a VERY hilly 85miles down in West Cornwall, bacon butty and a cuppa for breakfast, lunch in Mevagissey of tuna mayo baked spud and a pot of tea. I carried on and a couple of handfuls of mixed nuts mid afternoon and made it to the pub at 6ish for a couple of beers. I was tired, but fine.

Other times, I've bonked despite eating well. Most memorable was arriving in Carlisle from Edinburgh and I collapsed under a tree all wobbly and weird and in tears. :oops: I scoffed a bar of chocolate, and suddenly felt fine!

A year or so back, I nearly fell off in Tavistock despite only having ridden 30miles. I think I passed out for a second, next thing I was just missing a hedge! No probs, but it shook me up.

Mrs Mick F is always getting on to me to take a cereal bar or something with me. I should pay more attention to her, as I don't often bother on day rides.

I don't understand why sometimes I can exist on nothing, and other times I am starving hungry and desperate for food. 'tis a mystery to me.
Mick F. Cornwall

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby [XAP]Bob » 3 Mar 2012, 9:17am

My 160 miler took me 12 hours.

Mountain of potatoes the night before.
Can't recall breakfast, but probably just cereal.
en route I carried 7 sushi rolls (I'm allergic to wheat) but only eat 3; 5 Mars bars; 2 or 3 packs of haribo. Also 3 liters of water, topped up with another litre or so after 130 miles.
Normal (large) dinner after.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Mick F
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Mick F » 3 Mar 2012, 9:23am

[XAP]Bob wrote:My 160 miler took me 12 hours.
That's a great ride! Longest for me is 113miles Cheddar to Gunnislake.

I rode from Fareham (where I was based in the RN) to Brighton and back a couple of times in the '80s. Can't remember the breakfasts, but I had lunchs in Brighton and a beer or two, then rode back. 108miles took me about 8hours including the lunchs. Nothing else en route except a water bottle.
Mick F. Cornwall

snibgo
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby snibgo » 3 Mar 2012, 9:25am

Isn't marmalade almost entirely sugar? I'd expect it to be good for a quick burst, but not good for going all day.

So that leaves 4 bagels and 2 eggs for a long day of hard riding. That doesn't sound like much to me. I do nothing like your distance or exertion, but I reckon I eat about twice as much as usual when touring. That's what I need to sustain myself. For a single day of hard riding: I suppose it depends on how much my "reserve tank" contains.

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philg
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby philg » 3 Mar 2012, 9:29am

You need more food in cold weather than for a hot summer ride, in my case a lot more

For last weekends fairly easy Audax (200k) this is what I managed:

Breakfast 2 Toast & 3 weetabix
Start 2 Bananas, Tea & Biscuit
50km Tea & Tuna Bap
100km Fish Pie & 1 Beer
150km Tea & Pastie
182km Flapjack
204km Soup

Mind you I'm a lardy 90kg - other can waft round on a gel bar and 1 water bottle :)

EDIT: And if you believe the figures on myfitnesspal, I was still in calorie deficit for the ride!!!

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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Vorpal » 3 Mar 2012, 10:22am

I never used to bonk. However many miles I went; however tired I got, I could still keep going. But I bonked once when I was pregnant, and I have ever since been susceptible to it. There seem to be all sorts of things that can affect it. It's not just food intake.

-Medical or physical condition
when I have a cold, or am recovering from something
when I haven't had enough sleep, or am otherwise tired
on top of other long rides, or extreme exercise, without sufficient recovery time

-training condition
bonking is more likely early in the season when I am not yet used to longer rides

Other things like wind and cold can contribute. Food intake, as you noted, is key. I might have eaten a bowl of porridge instead of one of the bagels. After breakfast, I tend to snack aproximately every 1 or 1-1/2 hours, and have a bigger meal every 3 hours or so. If I listen, my body usually tells me what I need.

TBH, when I'm doing longer rides, I find it almost impossible to eat enough to completely recover the calories I burn. However much training I do beforehand, if I tour, or ride a multiple-day ride, I lose weight. Therefore, I eat what and when I can.

I now carry some snacks, a sports drink (or powder to add to water), and an emergency banana. The quickest way for me to get myself going again is a banana and a sports drink, which are usually enough to get me a few miles to a pub, or someplace I can have a recovery stop. Once I've got a decent meal in me, I'm usually okay.

Most of the time, it seems to be some combination of things. A couple of years ago, I bonked on a 50 ish mile ride. I hadn't had enough sleep because my littlest had been up in the night (he was 10 months old at the time), the temperature was around freezing, and my longest ride in the preceding few weeks had been about 30 miles. I ate a good breakfast, and stopped for a couple of snacks, but I bonked at 38ish miles. I was with a couple of clubmates, and one of them pushed me up a couple of hills (okay, slight inclines) between the bonk and the next village. We stopped for a pub lunch, I put on an extra layer, and I was fine after that, though I went home from the pub (12 miles) when I had planned on riding further. And I took it easy going home.
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PW
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby PW » 3 Mar 2012, 10:26am

Only time I've bonked when supposedly fuelled up is if I've been eating chocolate. It always does it so I leave the stuff alone if I'm going riding. Long rides I take a Soreen malt loaf in the barbag. Rocket fuel! :wink:
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

reohn2
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby reohn2 » 3 Mar 2012, 10:39am

PW wrote:Only time I've bonked when supposedly fuelled up is if I've been eating chocolate. It always does it so I leave the stuff alone if I'm going riding.

Spot on!
Drop the chocs and the marmalade like a hot brick.
Muesli,fruit,mainly bananas,nuts and pulses,homemade muesli bars(no sugar)potatoes,beans,a little cheese,vegetable soup with bread,coffee,tea,drink lots of water.
I may treat myself to a cake mid to late afternoon.
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I cycle therefore I am.

LollyKat
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby LollyKat » 3 Mar 2012, 10:50am

Manx Cat wrote:... I really did think 4 bagels half a jar of marmalade and 2 boiled extra large eggs would have been enough for the entire day, obviously it wasnt .

It wouldn't be nearly enough for me!!!

I don't generally eat big meals and find it quite difficult to have a big enough breakfast to set me up for a long ride. Porridge is the best - try this recipe for cinnamon and raisin porridge which goes down easily. Half quantity is enough for me - I think honey is better for sweetening, and as a Scot I add a little salt.

After that I make myself snack on fresh fruit, fig rolls, nuts and raisins and home-made crunchy bars. This recipe from reohn2 is brilliant. A lot of people swear by malt loaf but although I like it it gives me awful indigestion, so I've had to give it up. I'm a tourer rather than an audax rider so stop for lunch - eggs, beans and chips with a glass of milk runs counter to modern recommendations but it sets me up a treat. There may also be a tea stop with a good hunk of fruit or carrot cake. I make sure I always have some chocolate and a packet of Dextrosol for emergencies. I don't bother with sport drinks but use diluted fruit juices.

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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Mar 2012, 11:18am

Manx Cat wrote: ... my mind set was starting to change.... Instead of - Im going to do this... the Mantra changed to - I hope I can get up that slight incline. ....
"Regular readers" will know I'm always saying there's as much going on inside a rider's head as there is in their legs.

...a sure sign with me of a bonk approaching. ...


Whenever relatively inexperienced riders ask for advice on planning a long ride, I suggest getting some long rides in as the preparation for a long ride, partly so they can get to know how their body works. You are literally many, many miles past that stage, but you also need to use that experience. At the first sign of the man with the hammer approaching, then the thing to do is to get something down you to get the blood/ sugar level back up PDQ. (Before anybody jumps on me, I'm not saying wait to that point before eating, quite the contrary.)

I don't think you have mentioned what you drink, because this can be very important as well: even if you are not obviously sweating, both your blood/ sugar level and your water level are gradually and imperceptibly dropping all the time. It's when either or both drop below the line that the trouble starts. (The importance of hydration has only been properly recognised relatively recently, and I've had more crises from that angle than not eating enough.)

What you drink can have an effect. I like grapefruit and I find the bitter element thirst quenching but it took me a while to realise it was bad news on a long ride. On one occasion, two of us on a big ride bought and glugged a tetra pack each of orange juice from a village post office without much choice of drinks. Within a couple of miles, we were both suffering a really bad patch. Once upon a time you could knock on somebody's door and ask for a bottle filling with water, probably not so easy these days. Bottled water from filling station shops or supermarkets is perhaps an extravagence, but well-worth the price on a long ride, especially if it makes the difference between continuing and packing. There are all sorts of energy drinks which serve a dual purpose here; I've little experience but they are worth investigating.

It's also always worth being alert to the possibility of some sort of medial cause which only shows itself after a lot of effort.

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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby iandriver » 3 Mar 2012, 11:21am

50 miles seems a fairway to me between meals. I find little and often is better. Serial bars and dried fruit as I ride. I'd never do more than 25 without snaking .More like a handful of something every 10.
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Nettled Shin
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Nettled Shin » 3 Mar 2012, 11:23am

What are the symptoms of dehydration to look out for? I imagine that can make you feel funny. I hear the heart has to work harder as your blood becomes thicker.

philg wrote:You need more food in cold weather than for a hot summer ride, in my case a lot more

If you usually sweat when cycling, is it not the case that your body is doing less work shedding heat in cooler weather?

PW wrote:Only time I've bonked when supposedly fuelled up is if I've been eating chocolate

Is this because sugary things cause insulin spikes, and you end up with lower blood sugar than before you ate?

thirdcrank
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Mar 2012, 11:27am

Nettled Shin wrote:What are the symptoms of dehydration to look out for? ...
I was developing quite bad headaches during a ride, as well as a general rotten feeling.

Ayesha
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Re: How much do you eat - on a LONG ride

Postby Ayesha » 3 Mar 2012, 12:21pm

Nutritional requirement recommendations were taken out of the Audax UK handbook years ago because different folks need different requirements.

One can do the physics and sum up all the Joules required to complete the ride, or one can be really scientific and look at VO2 Max and FTP. The latter is advisable.

The fitter you are, the less CHO loading you will need because the ride intensity will be a lower proportion of your capability if you have a high VO2 Max and HIGH FTP. You will be shifting fats rather than CHO.

Fittnes can be defined as 'the ability to transport O2 and fuel to the working muscles'. i.e. well built circulation. To build good circulation requires exercising muscles and lungs, so the three develop hand-in-hand.

A fit person could be likened to a small car with a powerful engine, and an unfit person likened to a large car with a small engine.
And, you won't get much power out of the engine if the fuel pipe to the carburettor is too small....

In the bike race world, its W/kg or power/weight ratio.
When VO2 max, FTP and W/kg are large numbers, a 200 km Audax will be a 'stroll in the park' and not much CHO will need to be consumed beforehand.

To get a high numbers requires a lot of HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. Muscles and the circulatory system need to be stressed to force them to develop.

Remember,, Muscle, blood capillaries and lung alveoli can deteriorate at three times the rate you can build them.


With all this said, Velocio stated "Eat before you are hungry, and drink before you are thirsty". :D