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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    144

    I think I've forgotten how to fuel properly.

    I ride a lot.
    I ride long distances.
    I ride short, hard distances.
    I usually don't eat anything during a ride less than 2 hours long.
    I feel fine.
    When I get into riding 3 plus hours, I forget how to fuel.
    I'm too worried about too much sugar, too much fat, reading labels, soy lecithin, GMO, paleo, yo-yo.
    I'm still trying to lose my last 15 pounds.

    Two weeks ago, I rode a 125 mile road ride in 92 degrees. Total, I think I consumed 2 bananas, 1 Honey Stinger Waffle, 1/2 bagel, and 1 1/2 PB&J sandwiches. I fell apart roughly 30 miles from the end. I didn't consume anything for the last 25 miles or so.

    In general, I average 17-20mph on long rides. I tend to start out too hard, too fast, and bottom out.

    This is become a trend. I'm getting too caught up in, well, everything, that I forget how to fuel. Does anyone have any suggestions... a fail safe routine... a reality check?
    2009 Blue RD-1/White Selle Italia Max Flite Gel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    564
    I find a timer helps. Set to every 15 minutes.

    On every 15, sip some calories.
    On every 30, also take a bite and chew something. Blocks, PB&J, rice bar, Clif bar, whatever.
    When you feel like it, stop and get off the bike, stretch, and take a few bites.

    -- gnat!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    144
    I don't increase calories outside the ride. I generally eat as I normally would after a long ride, which is pretty balanced.

    I have a "denser" breakfast pre-long ride, consisting of oatmeal and a little PB. I carry with me Shot Blocks, gels, and a banana at least. I try to eat everything I bring with me, but my mind starts to do the math, wondering how much sugar I've consumed, how much fat, etc. so I end up skipping some nutrition.

    It's probably a mental barrier more than anything.

    Does anyone use a guide of how many calories they're taking in per hour? I know this is subjective - just looking for a baseline.

    I'm also thinking I need to get a metabolic test done, to determine exactly how many calories I'm burning both resting and riding. I think that would help me get a clue of what I should be taking in.
    2009 Blue RD-1/White Selle Italia Max Flite Gel

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Unless you have a health problem that requires you to avoid certain foods, I think you should just eat. Focus on what sits well in your stomach and digests well during a ride. Other than that, forget about everything else and just eat.

    Chris Horner likes Snickers bars and Little Debbie brownies during rides. He's been quite successful over a long career as a pro. And he's always smiling.

    Just eat what feels good for you.

    Personally I have trouble with solid food on hot days, so I generally stick with gels and Gatorade. If I do eat solid food it needs to be very simple -- a tomato sandwich, a Nutri-Grain bar, a banana. Nothing more complex than that, or I'll feel sick. Not too much protein or fat, because that sits like lead in my stomach. But that's me.

    I generally plan for ~300 calories per hour for rides longer than 90 minutes. I base that on recommendations from Nancy Clark's writings.

    In the summer I make sure at least half the gels I consume are Power Gels because they have more sodium, and I've found that I feel better with more sodium when the weather is hot. Otherwise I like Gu vanilla gels because I prefer their taste and consistency. I alternate bottles of Gatorade with bottles of plain water. I also keep a couple of packages of Jelly Belly sports beans in my top tube bag because they're easy to eat while riding -- I can only eat the gels while I'm stopped. I will usually stop after every 15-20 miles of riding, which at my pace is 1-1.5 hours.

    So before a ride I figure out how many gel packets and sports beans packets I will need given the number of miles I plan to ride, and then I add 1-3 more just to be safe, and I pack them in my seat bag/top tube bag/pockets so they will be ready during the ride.

    I also aim to drink one bottle per hour. If I reach a rest stop and realize I haven't met that goal, I will drink extra at the stop to catch up.

    But this is what works for me. Figure out what you like to eat and drink, plan for 200-300 calories per hour, and implement the plan. Plan rest stops at appropriate times or write reminders to eat and drink on your cue sheet if necessary. If you start to "fall apart," stop and eat something. Don't ignore it and keep riding for another hour or more.


    Good luck.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the fact that you fell apart 30 miles before the end may have more to do with your conditioning than your fueling. Was 125 miles or 92 degree heat normal for you? Or were those two things out of the ordinary? If you weren't regularly riding those distances or in that kind of heat, both could have been as much a factor as your intake.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    This might be helpful... how much to eat during exercise, from Nancy Clark's blog on active.com:

    http://community.active.com/blogs/Na...se-what-to-eat

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I would need more protein than that. A LOT more. Protein is where you really find out what your stomach can tolerate, but I do fine with egg salad sandwiches which are available nearly everywhere (as long as you don't think too hard about what's in them ) or as Muirenn suggested, if you boil eggs and leave them in their shells you can carry them in your pocket until you need them. Or you could try Perpetuem, or since I don't do soy or whey protein, when I'm running over three hours, I'll mix my own combination of HEED and Garden of Life protein powder. But it sounds like you just need more calories, more than anything.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: I think I've forgotten how to fuel properly.

    Ditto, I went from 200 to 140 and then started riding and my weight has been creeping up. It was easier when I wasn't trying to do distance rides. Distant for me, that is :-)
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    2013 Electra Verse

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    130
    I think that mostly the weight loss comes from the kitchen and the exercise is a bonus, don't eat your caloric deficit from exercise, because that is the point of exercise, and as it as been said, endurance exercise is hard to use for calorie deficit because you need to eat to fuel real endurance, consider high intensity exercise more often, consider dropping endurance rides to occasional only, I also don't especially buy into under eating stalling weight loss, people who under eat are underweight, track every actual calorie eaten because THAT is an eye opener, every bite, every drink, everything, I am your height, I have been 200 pounds and to lose weight I have to cut calories to 1200 to lose weight without daily exercise of at least 500 calories burned (estimate, polar f60 or garmin 500/910). I always do a minimum of @3500 calories burned of exercise every week, in summer I am more likely to use @5000, I do not lose weight over summer. In summer, I eat to ride (swim/run) in winter I exercise to eat, I still have 15 pounds as I am at about 137 and have a lot of body fat still left. Eating to ride is a very tricky math problem. Lots of rec riders carry weight. Because we think we can eat like TDF riders LOL.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I agree. If you are worried that you are not losing weight when fueling for riding, then you are not fueling enough for riding. It is a tricky balance. When I first started riding, I had to lose a small amount of weight. It came off in about 9 months (yes, it takes me that long to lose 15-20 lbs.) without doing anything but riding, going to step classes 2x a week, and eating my regular diet, which at that time probably was healthy, but a little carb heavy. I find my weight loss comes from small tweaks to my eating and adding in other types of exercise.
    All I know is that when I am doing longer rides (+30 miles), I get very hungry and I know now exactly when and what I need to ingest, so my riding doesn't go to crap. I don't wait until I feel crappy, like I can't finish a hilly 40 mile ride to eat the Shot Blocks anymore...
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