Ok guys, I have a question or two pertaining to pre-ride nutrition and ride starts. It might have been better suited to the Road forum, but I figured you racer guys could offer some insight.
I do group rides on Tuesday’s and/or Wednesday’s and on Saturday’s. Pre-ride info: yesterday, for the group ride, which starts at 6pm, I had a lunch of a chicken sandwich and baked potato around 11:30-12pm. Nothing else the remainder of the day. This is usually how I eat before the Tues/Weds rides – lunch meal then nothing else until after the ride. The Saturday rides are in the morning and I usually have a peanut butter & honey sandwich pre-ride for breakfast, probably an hour to hour and a half pre-ride.
So, start the ride and it seems guys always just start out at a really fast pace from the get-go and I have a problem hanging on for the first 5mi or so because this Tues/Weds ride is slightly hilly to begin with. By fast, I mean they’re going 20+/-mph from the start. I don’t have too many problems hanging with them later on, but initially, I suck. I usually get spit out the back because my legs absolutely kill me initially…I don’t really have any problems with cardio, it’s just my legs. After getting warmed up, my legs usually feel fine.
Other than getting to the ride earlier and doing a warm-up for 20min or so, is there anything else I can do, maybe during the week, to help me hang on during the initial onslaught? I usually have the same problem on my Saturday rides as well except these rides are extremely flat (some rollers or “ant hills” during the first 2+/-mi), maybe 6-700ft of climbing vs 15-1800ft. I just can’t seem to figure out how to hang on the first 5 or so miles. If I could do this, then I wouldn’t have any problems hanging the rest of the ride with an 18-20mph average. As it is, I just can’t do it initially and end up being slower, 16-18mph.
Also, on this ride yesterday, I guess due to not eating prior to the start, about 40min in, first I gotta pee really bad, so I had to stop, the guys I were with went on, as no one stops. Second, I got dizzy and all of a sudden just felt extremely hungry – so, I turned around to go back because I knew I was done for the day. All that I could think about was getting back and eating. Food. I. Want. Some. Food! I even seriously contemplated stopping and waiting on my riding buddy to come back through and have him come back with the car to get me.
I felt really, really bad. I know that feeling was due, most likely, to a lack of food prior to riding. I have time in the afternoon before the ride to eat something but I usually don’t. This is the first time this has happened in a long time. It was also really humid and warm and I was completely soaked when I got back. I only drank ½ a bottle of HEED too.
So, what would you recommend I eat 3hr or so before these weekday rides and what can I do, as far as training, to hang on with my guys during the first 5mi or so till my legs get warmed up?