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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
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    487

    How many calories do you need to replace on a long ride?

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    I wound up riding 60 miles on my ride last week. As per usual the ride was longer than I had planned because I got lost four times. Just so you all know . . . I have maps, it's just that I can never find the turnoffs I am supposed to take. One of the times I got lost was because the trail was under water. If there were detour signs I didn't see them so I guessed where to go and headed out in the general direction.

    I need to lose about 15 pounds. If I burned 2300 calories on that ride, how many calories do I need to replace?

    I know I need to stop and replenish myself. How many miles into the ride should I do that? How much should I eat? How many calories should I eat? Below is what I brought along to eat:
    - I made a snack bag of almonds, raisins, pecans, and sunflower seeds.
    - an orange, an apple and a banana. The banana was a gift from a another cyclists who told me that I looked like I needed it.
    - An egg salad sandwich
    - And of course, I had to stop and have a dish of Sebastian's famous ice cream -- which I should not have done, but after getting lost four times. I deserved a treat!

    I know I need to do something because after I finished all my food I was bonked and barely made the last 9 miles home.

    I drink a lot of liquid when I ride. That's normal for me as I will drink around 10-12 cups of water a day when I an not riding just because I am thirsty. I haven't had any problems from drinking that much except for going to bathroom a lot.

    I cannot ride one handed so stopping and getting off the bike to eat/drink is an absolute must for me. I don't need any more broken bones or concussions.

    One would think I would know all this stuff by now. I wish I did!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    There is some debate, but it is thought that most people's digestive systems can only process about 150-300 calories per hour, so eating more than that when exercising will simply give you digestive woes.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    I wound up riding 60 miles on my ride last week. As per usual the ride was longer than I had planned because I got lost four times. Just so you all know . . . I have maps, it's just that I can never find the turnoffs I am supposed to take. One of the times I got lost was because the trail was under water. If there were detour signs I didn't see them so I guessed where to go and headed out in the general direction.

    I need to lose about 15 pounds. If I burned 2300 calories on that ride, how many calories do I need to replace?

    I know I need to stop and replenish myself. How many miles into the ride should I do that? How much should I eat? How many calories should I eat? Below is what I brought along to eat:
    - I made a snack bag of almonds, raisins, pecans, and sunflower seeds.
    - an orange, an apple and a banana. The banana was a gift from a another cyclists who told me that I looked like I needed it.
    - An egg salad sandwich
    - And of course, I had to stop and have a dish of Sebastian's famous ice cream -- which I should not have done, but after getting lost four times. I deserved a treat!

    I know I need to do something because after I finished all my food I was bonked and barely made the last 9 miles home.

    I drink a lot of liquid when I ride. That's normal for me as I will drink around 10-12 cups of water a day when I an not riding just because I am thirsty. I haven't had any problems from drinking that much except for going to bathroom a lot.

    I cannot ride one handed so stopping and getting off the bike to eat/drink is an absolute must for me. I don't need any more broken bones or concussions.

    One would think I would know all this stuff by now. I wish I did!
    Don't feel too bad. Getting nutrition right is a real process of trial and error, and, I think, doubly so if you're trying to lose weight.

    A couple things jump out at me: That's a lot of food while you're riding. I'm like a Boy Scout and bring extra, but that's a lot. And some of it is pretty heavy, so I wonder if you felt terrible in part because you're diverting a lot of energy back into your digestive system while you're trying to get home. I once ate a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and got back on the bike about 10-15 minutes after finishing my lunch. Never again, I tell you. I was surprised I made it back without puking.

    That's also a lot of water. (I drink tons while I ride, especially now that I'm living in a desert, so no need to justify that!) You go through what you go through. Just make sure you're also replenishing electrolytes if you sweat a lot. (Nuun, Skratch, Clif's thing...heck, even Gatorade or Powerade, even though they really only contain sugar and sodium.)

    What do you eat before and after you ride? What you eat even the day before a long ride can play a part. A light dinner the night before followed by even a normal breakfast that morning can leave me feeling underfueled, no matter what I bring with me.

    Like I mentioned above, for me, what makes the biggest difference is what I eat before I ride. I need a mix of protein, fat and carbs, about half an hour to an hour before I head out the door, plus the time in the car. (Do not eat a salad (even with tuna) and go out riding with people who are much faster. It will end badly.) What I eat on the ride is largely gravy. Metaphorical gravy, of course. (I'm waiting for someone to make a gravy-flavored gel. Urgh.) I have a hard time eating anything more food-like than a Clif bar on rides, and even more so when it's hot, but... I do blocks, beans and bars. If I'm doing anything more than 40 miles, I like having somewhere to stop for lunch (and a rest-and-digest period) planned in, or having beef jerky with me.

    When and how often are pretty individual. I used the rail-trail system extensively, and on most of my rides, I figured out where to stop based on road crossings. (I can't ride one-handed either.) You could do it that way, or time-wise, say, and snack every half-hour.

    I'm a little concerned about the egg salad sandwich from a food safety standpoint, though!
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    Everyone is different, but that does seem like a lot of food. I also carefully plan my pre-ride dinner and breakfast for long rides (above 40 miles). My breakfast always includes 2 eggs, fruit, and a whole wheat bagel, or a slice of toast. On rides, I eat Lara Bars and supplement with Shot Blocks. That's all. If my energy is lagging, a Shot Block really helps me on long rides. If there's a lunch stop, I find it hard to eat, so I choose carefully. If I bring a lunch. it's a whole wheat bagel with almond butter and sometimes jelly.
    I often am ravenous after a long ride. I eat a carb/protein snack within an hour, and then try to wait until dinner. I usually can't, so I do snack a bit more on salty and healthy carbs; cheese and crackers usually does it.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    You said you did 60 miles, but how long did it take? We did a 26 mile ride yesterday in just about two hours and all I had was about a half a bottle of Gu Brew and water, no solid food. If we had been planning a longer ride, I would have started eating at about the 90 minute mark. On a long ride I try to eat a little bit every 30 minutes. I have a Bento box by my handlebars with food just dumped into it, usually Jelly Bellies, that I can easily grab while riding. That sounds like a lot of food to me. That's about how much solid food I would eat while doing a 200K, which would take between 10 and 11 hours including a meal stop

    I think hours spent riding is just as important as the miles. On my mountain bike a four hour ride is only 24 miles or so, but I need the same amount of food as a 4 hour road ride.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Hmmm just a thought - have you had your blood sugar checked recently? Increased thirst and urination can be signs that you are developing diabetes. That could also explain some of your intake vs energy problems - if your body isn't properly accessing what you are eating.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    LOL . . . it took me a long time! I won't say how long. I only average 10-12 mph. Then getting lost is so frustrating that I tend to take a lot of looonnnnggg breaks!
    It's a really hilly, curvy ride and there are couple of hills I don't even bother to try to ride up. I will just get too tired for the rest of the ride. But I do love the ride. I ride out to my Dad's grave at Ft. Snelling. I am going to ride it one more time this summer on the anniversary of his passing. I know I won't get lost so it will be interesting if my time improves.

    Also, on a few of the trails there are quite a few stop signs. And believe me if you go through them it's very possible you can get a $150 ticket. The cops will ticket a clipped rider that doesn't put one foot on the ground to stop.

    BTW . . . I didn't do much better on the MS150. It took me nearly 6 hours to ride the 75 miles.

    We did ride the Dakota Trail one day which is almost completely flat. Even on a trail like that I only averaged 13 mph and it seems I was going so fast. Ugh.

    I have been thinking about going clip less, but right now I don't have an income and it seems really expensive to go that way. I am also very scare of another crash.

    Sometimes I think I am tired before I even start out. I don't seem to be able to get to sleep very well nor sleep through the night. I get up at 5:00 a.m. two or three days a week to take care of my grandson. I am done at 4:00 and get home around 4:30 and then it seems I can't fall asleep until almost midnight. . Believe me, at 63 years old, I get tired, but I love being with him.
    Last edited by kajero; 08-04-2014 at 06:14 AM.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,823
    For eating and drinking, I highly recommend Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guide Book. She covers it all in a fast-to-read format.

    http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/books/sportsnutrition.asp

    I generally aim for 200-300 calories per hour during a ride, with a bigger-than-usual breakfast and dinner before a long ride. Lately I find that a snack (130-calorie cereal bar) is helpful about 15 minutes before I start to ride. I drink 1 20-oz. bottle per hour, alternating between Gatorade and water. During the summer I include one or two packets of high-sodium gel (Power Gel) as part of my food during the ride. Many regular sports gels and chews, and some drinks like Gatorade, actually do not have very much sodium in them. I'm not able to tolerate much real food during a ride, just cereal bars (Nutri-Grain bars), crackers and occasionally a tomato sandwich. However real foods take longer to digest and get into your blood stream, wheareas the gels and chews take effect more quickly so I feel less hungry.
    Last edited by ny biker; 08-04-2014 at 06:57 AM.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    I second the Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition book. It is excellent and will provide you with some good guidelines.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Kajero, I probably ride just as slow on such a distance with hills. Not clear how much breakfast you had, but for 60 miles (100 km., tell yourself that instead. ), I tend to have a bigger breakfast and finish brekkie at least 1.5 hrs. before I start cycling.

    I have never been able nor wanted to eat / drink while riding. And I have been cycling for last 23 consecutive years. I need to stop, even if only for 15 min. to eat and drink. Not worry about whether or not I'm going to fall or swallow something correctly while cycling. I need to completely relax to eat and digest properly.

    So it would be at least stopping 1-2 times before lunch like meal. And that meal needs to be for me, 1 hr. stop. Thereafter might be 1-2 more stops with eating/ washroom. No, I don't eat every hr. during such distance of a ride. That's just me.

    I would have had a sandwich equivalent or hey small veggie sushi roll, 1 fruit and drink for the largest meal. Snacks would be other small fruit, a granola bar, a handful of nuts, natural fruit juice, etc. I don't eat gels, drink sports drinks, etc.

    Maybe next time bring the same amount food but make it different, but don't feel obligated to eat it all. Better to have some handy (lighter?) food instead of underestimating by not enough food. I've been on rides where we rode for long stretches in rural areas and no stores. Pretty scary.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-04-2014 at 10:14 AM.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    257
    Well, just to underline the "everyone is different" theme, I generally have a peanut butter and honey sandwich with coffee as my pre-ride meal. Then I take two water bottles with Heed if it is under 3 hours and Perpetuum if the ride is longer. I limit on the bike snacking--it tends to make me feel sluggish. I'll take a gel along for emergencies and sometimes the club stops at a bakery that is too good to pass up--that's not really a nutritional requirement, but yum.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    Oh dear, it looks like I can add my poor eating habits to my getting lost adventures. That way I can be really frustrated!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Yeah, intensity is really key to how much you need to eat during a ride. I might eat that much on a hilly century. Are you sure you bonked, or was it something else? What were your symptoms? I always suspect hyponatremia since I'm so very prone to it myself, and since it doesn't sound like you got much sodium outside of your sandwich. Remember you need to replace at least 500 mg sodium per liter of water, and along the lines of "everyone's different," that's a minimum, some people lose much more, especially if they're not heat acclimated.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,099
    I would get some blood work done, Kajero. You should not be that tired. I am only 2 years younger than you, I get up at 4:45 2X a week to go to boot camp, and then I go to work for 5-9 hours. I do need to sleep later (but not by much, always up by 6:15 or so) on the other days. You can't be your best if you aren't sleeping. No wonder you are tired. There's lots of reasons for sleep problems; get a check up and if everything comes back all clear, do some reading on sleep hygiene. A lot of sleep disturbance comes from not being able to slow our brains down; my prescription to my clients is meditation on a regular basis.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    Thank you for the advice, Crankin. I have had the doctor's check my blood and thyroid. I got a Lyme disease tick bite two years ago but they can't tell if it is Lyme disease. They can't find anything else. I think I know what causes me not to sleep; I just need to address it. Once I do that I expect I will sleep well and not be so tired. I just can't seem to motivate myself to follow my guidelines. I think I may start soon. You people are so darn helpful I don't want to let you to down. If you are going to spend time helping me out I need to thank you by taking, no USING, your advice.

    I do get tired though when I play with my grandson for 8 hours. And I do mean I play with him! And the kid never takes a nap! If you want, you look at my photos on my webpage and you see it. I will need to give you the password so please let me know.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

 

 

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