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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
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    10

    50 miles...is that all?

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    Question...

    I've been running into issues after hitting the 50-mile mark of my longer weekend rides. Usually these rides are 65-70 miles in length but my body shuts down at about 50 miles. I feel great through out the ride ...I can keep up and feel fairly good on the hills...it's when I hit a certain time frame I have nothing left!

    Is this an endurance thing? I feel like I'm in fairly good shape.. I ride 3-4 times a week, twice during the week in our local training rides. Which are 33-38 miles at 19.5/20 mph average.

    Or is it my nutrition? Yesterday, I drank two bottles of water and a bottle of gatorade in four hours, ate a Snickers bar at the rest stop and ate two Clif blocks every hour. But, still limped home by myself for the last 7 miles. Interestingly, I was starved when I got home...could it be I didn't have enough calories the days before the ride?

    If anyone has had this problem or any advice..I would love to hear about it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    145
    You could always try some carb loading on the days leading up to your long rides. I'm sure you're in great shape, but your body is definitely trying to tell you something. Do you try to ride at the same pace for 70 miles that you do at 35 miles? Have you tried backing down your pace a bit for the longer rides so you don't burn out more energy than you are replenishing?
    “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”
    - Emily Dickinson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    Just a thought here, but...are you maybe starting out too strong and then fizzle out at the 50-mile mark because you're just gassed? That is what I've been told I do...a LOT...and it does make sense. I tend to go out a bit too strong, and then I'm always left wondering why I feel so gassed, halfway through the ride. Perhaps slow your pace down for the first half of the ride, so that you have something left in the tank for the rest of it. It doesn't seem like nutrition is your problem...based on what you took in, it seems like it would be plenty of calories to sustain you for a 4-hour ride. Personally, I couldn't handle eating 2 Clif bars every hour...they're just too dense. I can tolerate 1 Clif bar...but I cut it up into 1/3rd's and I'll have a piece every 20 miles or so...in addition to sipping on whatever is in my bottle (usually either Heed or diluted G2). I also usually carry some kind of chew (Clif Shot Bloks, Honey Stinger Chews, Powerbar Gelblasts, Luna Moons, etc.) and will take in 1-3 chews at each rest stop (we generally stop 2, maybe 3 times...depending on mileage).

    ETA - Oops...sorry, I misread the OP's comment regarding Clif BLOCKS...I thought it said Clif BARS. My apologies.
    Last edited by nscrbug; 05-16-2010 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Renton, Wa
    Posts
    434
    Maybe it's the amount of sugar you're taking in - so you get an energy spike and then get tired when it starts to dip. I might suggest instead of Gatorade try something like a protein drink, like Perpetuem, and instead of a Snickers bar maybe a banana or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or maybe have those things in addition to what you are already eating. I usually have my water bottle (which I can often refill), and a bottle with Perpetuem.

    It doesn't sound like you're eating very many calories on the actual ride though. A snickers bar is what, 250 calories? And those shot blocks are nothing. On long rides I bring a banana, a clif bar, and then in between I'm downing Gu packets, which I think are around about 100 calories each. Gu is sugary, however. You're probably burning 3,000+ calories in those rides. I'm usually hungry at the tail end of a ride and then I eat a Clif Builder's bar as soon as I'm done (about 250 calories, 20 grams of protein). Then when I get home I make a smoothie, and shortly after eat a real meal. I'll probably start adding another snack of some kind here too when I'm doing 70+ miles.

    -Jessica
    Last edited by XMcShiftersonX; 05-16-2010 at 10:45 AM.
    "Namaste, B*tches!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Like Jessica, I too am thinking you should try a more substantial fuel too- try a hefty peanut butter & jelly sandwich (or two smaller ones) on multi-grain bread and a couple of bananas, maybe some fig newtons...dole it out to yourself during the ride, not all at once. Personally, if I used Gatorade, I'd mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with water and keep drinking all through the ride....but that's just me.
    You haven't told us how old you are...? Is hot weather a factor here?
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    10
    These are great suggestions! I'm going to try pb&j and fig newtons on my next long ride.

    BTW...I'm 42 years old. The weather here has changed...yesterday it was around 85 degrees...with humidity that made it feel like 90 degrees by the time I rolled back in to the parking lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    1mor,
    heat and humidity can really take a toll. I'm 56 and I rode the other day only 20 miles but 85F and sunny, no breeze, high humidity, and some steep hills. I really got wiped out. In fact, I had to rest the next day- i think i got some mild heat stroke.
    Usually I can do 30 or 50 miles and feel ok. I don't think it would have bothered me quite so much a couple years ago, but i do notice the heat effects me a little more now than it used to even though I'm in pretty good shape. I'm trying to listen to my body more these days and not push beyond where I would start feeling ill. But then, you are younger than I!

    50 miles at 85-90F?.... I would have been ready to throw in the towel at that point too! I think you did great!
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Renton, Wa
    Posts
    434
    Yeah heat definitely kicks your metabolism up, you were probably burning a lot of calories, maybe even more than 3,000 - because I would say on a long ride with mild weather you're probably burning that. Let us know how the different snacks helped... I'm curious to see if that's all you needed!
    "Namaste, B*tches!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    I would caution you not to start eating lots of different foods on the bike that you're not used to, especially if it's hot and humid. You could wind up with stomach problems. Try new foods gradually.

    Personally I can't eat anything when it's hot out. I do almost all my long rides on nothing but gatorade, water and gu. So I don't know that too much sugar/not enough protein is your problem.

    I think not enough calories is the more likely culprit. Gatorade is 100 calories per 20 oz. water bottle. Clif bloks are 100 calories for three bloks, so you're only getting 66 calories from them if you're eating 2 per hour. So I would increase the total number of calories during the ride.

    I like Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook for advice on what/how much to eat before, during and after long rides.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,061
    Personally, I can't get in enough food on long rides. I carry two 24 oz bottles with Cytomax. I stop hourly to EAT (muffins, bananas, Garmin rice cakes or crackers with PB). I carry jelly bellys and gu for when I start feeling "crummy" which means I'm out of energy.

    I don't know how many ounces of liquid you drank, but it may not have been enough. Is it 8-12 oz an hour? Anyone?
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I need protein any time I'm over four hours or so, and unlike running, my stomach can tolerate most anything on the bike. Tuna salad sandwiches are high on my list - just about any convenient store has them.

    I think maybe your needs on the bike are related to what your diet is like the rest of the time. Most people don't seem to have an issue with getting enough protein on the bike (judging from what my companions usually eat and what's offered on organized rides). But going only by what you read in the papers, "most people" eat tons of protein every day. I only know what I eat, and that I really have to work to get 50 grams of protein a day without resorting to protein powders.

    It doesn't sound like you drank enough either, but that wouldn't cause the post-ride depletion you're talking about.

    I can't drink premix Gatorade or anything with HFCS when I'm exerting myself, either. That stuff just messes with my stomach and my ability to absorb real food.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    For certain a ride of that length under higher temp./humidity, I need to start off with a somewhat bigger breakfast. Give myself up to 1 hr. to digest before cycling off.

    I eat real food (small sandwich, fig newtons/figs, non-messy fruit, trail mix, etc.) and drink water. Natural fruit juices help me along the way. When I have a muffin, I eat parts of it along the way, if I can do it. Sometimes I'm hungry enough.

    I want to have real (preferably reasonably healthy) food so that I can adapt no matter where I'm biking....'cause when we get to Europe..I have no interest running around trying to find sports-oriented food. (It's probably more expensive than I care to think.)
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    35
    I did a 43 mile ride recently and had a similar experience. First warm day with humidity. I had my Camelbak which I sucked dry, a water bottle with G2 and was drinking my husband's Camelbak. Ate oatmeal with bananas and mil before the ride. I think where I messed up was a day or two before the ride. I did not drink a lot of water and did not eat that great. I am trying to do better a couple of days before the ride and then trying the Gu. Hang in there. You will find what works for you.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
    Posts
    508
    For me, it's not the miles, it's the time. If I'm riding on the road, I take some Hammergel and a packet of Luna Moons, an energy/protein bar and a banana. I may not eat it all, but I do take in some gel every half hr or so, just a squirt. After about 1.5 hrs, i will stop for the bar or banana, and a couple Moons. After another 1~1.5 hours, I will stop again and have what I did not eat before, either the bar or the banana. If I am on my mountain bike ride, and am not near any store, I will take a sandwich, either a PBJ or (don't laugh) corned beef on rye or similar if the ride is more than about 2.5 hours. For shorter MTB rides, I will take the banana/bar/gel/Moon combo. I like to stop somewhere quiet on the MTB and rest for a short while and enjoy my lunch; I'm not out to hammerfest myself silly on the road or in the dirt; I want to enjoy the time and the refuel just makes me feel better.

    But each person is different, what I can tolerate on the ride (corned beef) may not sit well with someone else. I've seen people take out an orange, which might sound refreshing, but if I ate it I would have instant heartburn that would last the rest of the ride.
    Tzvia- rollin' slow...
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Quote Originally Posted by tzvia View Post
    But each person is different, what I can tolerate on the ride (corned beef) may not sit well with someone else. I've seen people take out an orange, which might sound refreshing, but if I ate it I would have instant heartburn that would last the rest of the ride.
    OMG corned beef!! I would be on my knees on the side of the road...

    The first long ride I did was a little over 60 miles on the C&O Canal towpath (Harpers Ferry to DC, for those familiar with it). We stopped at White's Ferry for lunch and I had a turkey sandwich, which was the lightest thing on the menu. My friend had a cheesesteak. I couldn't even watch him eat it.

 

 

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