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  1. #26
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    As you can see from the conflicting personal anecdotes, it depends on you. You're going to need to experiment and find out what works for you. Also, what is your purpose in riding and how does this effect it?

    For me, my objectives are performance oriented. I can ride hard (race, training, whatever) for up to 2-1/2 hours without eating prior utilizing my blood glycogen stores (I suppose I could last longer if I went slower, but I haven't tried it). In fact, I have found that if I eat closer than 3-hours to my start, I can bonk badly. (Haven't figured out a physiological explanation, but I figure it has something to do with: eating "turns on" my digestive "engine" and convinces my body to get its energy needs from there. If I don't keep it coming, my body begins to shut down thinking I don't have any more.)

    If I know I will be riding longer than that, I will take food with me and start eating it after the first hour. I aim for about 200-400kcals/hr--any more and it sits in my stomach and makes me feel poor. This equates to 2-3 gels (110kcals/ea). This is entirely inadequate for my cycling energy needs (900-1,000kcals/hr). Hence, why I can bonk if my system relies entirely on energy from what I eat. As opposed to relying on what I have stored (blood glycogen, at stores, or muscle stores).

  2. #27
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Pros are seeking to maximise their performance. Most of them couldn't be less interested in losing .
    I agree that losing weight is not a racer's main objective (unless they are "overweight" by their own standards at the beginning of the season).

    I don't think, however, that losing weight and improving performance are mutually exclusive.

    The OP should consult with a certified dietitian. The best that he can hope to get out of these posts are opinions based upon anedoctal experiences.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
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  3. #28
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    What works for me is a light breakfast an hour before a ride. Not a problem for me since my commute starts with an hour train ride. Long after work rides require a sizeable lunch of about 400 cal three to four hours before the ride. I have found that riding with an empty stomach is preferred, but riding while hungry isn't. I got fat for many reasons, one of them being not knowing the difference between an empty stomach and real hunger.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  4. #29
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChargerDawg View Post
    For me, I can go 2 hours on an empty stomach without a problem. Beyond that, the rest of the day is terrible if I do not eat before the ride. Listen to your body, but the theme is pretty consistent from reading the responses of others.
    I agree with you. I think 1-1.5 hours is my limit based on what I think I've experienced in the past. It's good to know that basically people are saying similar.

  5. #30
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat94 View Post
    Like many other things "it depends", but it is something that you can train your body to do better (utilize stored fat).

    I don't have endurance cycling experience to relate (yet), but as a beginning runner last year it was fascinating for me to see how my body changed in its utilization of energy sources.

    At the start of my longer (i.e > 10K) running about this time last year, I needed to fuel before hand and fairly frequently during my long runs. I typically followed the recommendations of clif/Gu and was consuming about 100 calories of fuel 15 - 20 minutes before the run and then about every 45 minutes (approximately 3.75 - 4 miles for me) during the run. If I didn't do this, I would bonk very quickly around the 1 hour (5 mile) mark.

    Slowly, my body became better at using stored fats - the metabolism actually gets better at using the energy stores.

    By the end of summer/early fall, I had moved my weekday runs - averaging about 1 hour - to early morning before breakfast and I was used to just getting up, dressing in my running gear and stepping out the door. I never had problems on those 1 hour runs with energy at that point.

    By November, I was at the point that 90 minute runs no longer needed extra fuel at all.

    Longer than that and I will add fuel before/during the run. I also will fuel before and during a race as I am going harder during the race than during normal training runs, but for typical workouts I don't worry about fuel much at all any more.

    Ted
    Interesting, and another person replied with similar thoughts. So you are saying you experienced that you can train your body over a period of time to use energy from different stores?

  6. #31
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    This was my mind-set last season. I wanted to ride every day. I'm 56 so I don't know how well this relates but I believe one of the reasons I craved sugar was to replenish glycogen. My problem was that I overdosed and switched off the leptin feedback. 100 calories from a banana ASAP probably gave me 90% of the benefits of 1000 calories of cheesecake 10 hours later. (I rode mainly in early mornings and craved in the evenings.) Another mistake I made was riding at medium intensity all the time. I wasn't recovering fully enough to be able to go really hard like once a week. I would think that the discipline to take 2 hours most days for a ride you could do in an hour would be tough.
    Good thoughts, thanks for sharing. I know in reality I won't be able to ride (commute, etc) everyday. I coach, etc. and just won't be able to. Due to this my schedule will build in some rest days and will allow me to recover if I make a mistake and don't time things up right. And I will say if I'm feeling run down I'll just go for a walk instead.

    I often let my mental outlook drive if I have eaten/recovered correctly. If I just 100% dread getting on the bike it is usually because I'm depleted in some way.

  7. #32
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    As you can see from the conflicting personal anecdotes, it depends on you. You're going to need to experiment and find out what works for you. Also, what is your purpose in riding and how does this effect it?

    For me, my objectives are performance oriented. I can ride hard (race, training, whatever) for up to 2-1/2 hours without eating prior utilizing my blood glycogen stores (I suppose I could last longer if I went slower, but I haven't tried it). In fact, I have found that if I eat closer than 3-hours to my start, I can bonk badly. (Haven't figured out a physiological explanation, but I figure it has something to do with: eating "turns on" my digestive "engine" and convinces my body to get its energy needs from there. If I don't keep it coming, my body begins to shut down thinking I don't have any more.)

    If I know I will be riding longer than that, I will take food with me and start eating it after the first hour. I aim for about 200-400kcals/hr--any more and it sits in my stomach and makes me feel poor. This equates to 2-3 gels (110kcals/ea). This is entirely inadequate for my cycling energy needs (900-1,000kcals/hr). Hence, why I can bonk if my system relies entirely on energy from what I eat. As opposed to relying on what I have stored (blood glycogen, at stores, or muscle stores).
    My primary purpose for riding is weight loss. Secondary is the clearing of the mind that occurs when I'm on the bike and the positive outlook I have because I'm exercising and doing something about my weight issue. If I work on the primary purpose the secondary and so forth takes care of themselves.

    With my primary purpose in mind I try to get all I can out of each ride, with that evening (if I am commuting) or the next day in mind. Usually (if I'm not commuting) I know it is rare to be able to get out two days in a row so I just kill it on the present ride.

    My actual goal is when I pull into my driveway I want to have difficulties getting off the bike and have to lay in the front yard for a minute before I walk into the house. It may be right or wrong but I feel like I did "just right" if I'm in a bit of pain.

  8. #33
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    I agree that losing weight is not a racer's main objective (unless they are "overweight" by their own standards at the beginning of the season).

    I don't think, however, that losing weight and improving performance are mutually exclusive.

    The OP should consult with a certified dietitian. The best that he can hope to get out of these posts are opinions based upon anedoctal experiences.
    I will agree with that. Good advice.

  9. #34
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    What works for me is a light breakfast an hour before a ride. Not a problem for me since my commute starts with an hour train ride. Long after work rides require a sizeable lunch of about 400 cal three to four hours before the ride. I have found that riding with an empty stomach is preferred, but riding while hungry isn't. I got fat for many reasons, one of them being not knowing the difference between an empty stomach and real hunger.
    Good separation of "empty stomach" and "hungry". I like that.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Jason300's Avatar
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    Personally if the ride is less than 90 mins I don't bother eating anything. I just take a bottle of water.

    If the ride is longer than 90 minutes I will eat 300-500 calories (low fiber) 1 - 3 hours before the ride. I will also consume 200-300 calories per hour on the bike in the form of cytomax in a bottle and powerbars.

    My goal is primarily weight loss.
    Last edited by Jason300; 05-10-13 at 10:49 AM. Reason: dded goal comment
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  11. #36
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    I almost always ride first thing in the moring when I get up. The only thing I consume is a big glass of water.

    If you look a little deeper into nutrition, you'll find that most foods (even simple ones) take a while to digest (over 1 hr, and most take longer than that). Most of the calories you'll be using on a 2-3 hour ride will come from foods you've consumed for a previous meal and already digested (the preivous day) or from stored body fat that the body will consume after the availalbe 'free' calories are 'spent'. Balance this with your conditioning - if you ain't in shape, if you're muscles/cardio system are not in shape to go the planned distance at a speed you want to go, then no amount to excess calories is gonna help you.

    FWIW - I used to mountain climb, and we always tried consuming big dinners before beadtime, then only small breakfasts before starting out for the day. We'd snack during the day, but we'd be moving for hours-on-end and were in really good shape (a lot better than I am today ).

  12. #37
    Senior Member tiger187126's Avatar
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    so i ate a big, unhealthy lunch and went out and did my personal best for mileage, but i went out a second time before dinner and did almost the same mileage and definitely crapped out early. fruit gives me a pretty good quick pick-me-up and i think i'm going to get nuts that i can snack on.

    i'm trying out paleo so i'm sure the carbs in my crappy cheat foods helps gives me a boost, but i'm going to have to up my protein to compensate.

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