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  1. #1
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    pre-ride nutrition & fast starts

    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?

    Thanks, Karen.
    wolfpackcycles
    skiffrun: Enjoy the ride. Ride for the enjoyment.

  2. #2
    Senior Member WCroadie's Avatar
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    I am no expert but I would suggest you eat more. Here's what I usually eat, tuesdays and thursdays I do trainng races, I will eat tuna on wheat, a piece of fruit/veggies and maybe a granola bar for lunch. Then sometimes around 3-3:30 I will eat a granola bar or PB on wheat or yogurt with granola. Rides start at 6. These are fast and hard rides.

    For saturdays when not racing I usually ride 65 miles or so. I will eat 3 multigrain waffles with syrup or 3 pieces of french toast with syrup. I will sometimes eat a cliff bar of use hammer gel during the saturday rides with water.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    there's a bike in the pit ohmyspokes's Avatar
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    My after work rides vary in intensity- from mellow spins to training crits, but I eat pretty much the same way pre-ride every day: lunch at 11:30 is something like noodles or rice + beans / veggies, followed by a cup of coffee, around 1:30 I have some yogurt, then something like a clif nectar bar around 3:00. If it's going to be a longer ride (more than two hours), I'll bring along some fig newmans or a granola bar to eat on the road.

    Don't forget to have something asap after your rides. That is the first step to make sure you are fueled enough for the next time out.

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    If I'm going to do a hard ride afterwork, I usually try to eat something with some carbs before the ride, a gu pack, a piece of fruit, or a couple of cookies. If you haven't eaten since lunch you're not going to have the fuel to do a hard ride.

  5. #5
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    thanks. i do realize after yesterday, that i've got to eat something later in the day before the ride.

    as to my other question about hanging on when the starts are always fast...get there early for pre-ride warmup of 20min or so? or is there anything i can do during the week for training that will help this?

    thanks
    wolfpackcycles
    skiffrun: Enjoy the ride. Ride for the enjoyment.

  6. #6
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    Ride to the ride.
    Bring the pain.

  7. #7
    S.D.M.F. BlessedHellride's Avatar
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    You can try to spin a higher than normal cadence in the beginning to warm up your legs. Find the gear that allows you to spin at 100 - 110 and stay at their speed.
    "you can never get too low when you're so damn high, on the blessed hellride"

  8. #8
    Little Pony obra3's Avatar
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    i usually eat something 30 min.-1 hr. before riding- something very light like a granola bar. immediately (i.e. 5 min. before start) before a race start i'll usually down some gel. for longer rides (beyond 60 miles, i'll usually carry two granola bars in addition to my gel flask and sometimes even a hunk of beef jerky)- you need protein on the longer ones.

    it's really tough- everyone's need for warmup is different. i feel like garbage for 30 min. if i don't warmup. if you don't want to get there early- some techniques that kinda work are take a hot shower right before or use a warming embrocation. they both increase blood flow. they definitely will not work as well as a good warmup but it's better than nothing.

    as spokes said, eat something immediately after your ride, preferably within 30 min.
    as for training? make sure you spin out before your end your rides to flush out the lactic acid. part of warmup is the process of flushing residual lactic acid from previous rides. the less there is in your system when you start, the better. this is a technique that definitely works- during stage races, often there's a TT in the morning and a crit in the afternoon. it's critical to flush legs after the tt- makes for a much better race later in the day. same concept could apply here.
    Last edited by obra3; 05-10-07 at 09:22 AM.
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