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  1. #1
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Whats a good breakfast before a race/event?

    I'm entering my first event this Saturday (30 miles). Any suggestions on a pre-game meal? And why are the smilie icons only available for a new thread?
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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    When doing a reply, hit the "go advanced" button.


    As for eating, if it's a long ride I'm going to stoke up with good complex carbs in a bowl of oatmeal....and while it's all going to be burned...throw in some complex fats like bacon. Dont forget to take a complex dump before you get out there.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Thanks, Old School! I'll try to make the dump a top priority.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    If you can't eat 3 hours before the start of the ride then skip breakfast. I found this idea hard to believe until I actually tried it one century. I had a great ride that day. I did the same thing this past weekend at the 104 mile Mountains of Misery Century. I eat a gel about 10 minutes before the start of the ride and then drink one bottle of my sport drink, about 250 cal worth, every hour. On long century rides it gets a bit more specific than that but generally I consume around 250 cal per hour for the length of the ride. That's it.

    Eating breakfast right before a ride is not a good idea from my experience.
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  5. #5
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Don't forget to load up on carbs the night before. Pre-race food is so individual, and many people don't eat anything within three hours of a hard ride or race, because digesting food requires energy and bloodflow. Others pack it in. PBJ is a very popular pre-ride breakfast, as it has carbs (use good multi-grain bread) and protein, but then again, some people don't want pre-ride protein, so they skip the 'P'. I've tried a variety of things, including the not eating route. What seems to matter, for me, is what I consume during the ride, as opposed to before. I think that's becauise muscles have plenty of glycogen stored from the night before, and what is important is to replace that as it is burned. Plus, the early part of a ride is usually at fat burning levels of effort. Right now, I'm in a 'no pre-ride food' phase, but I start sipping Sustained Energy (easily digestible carbs and protein) as soon as the ride starts.

    You have to try a few things and see what works best for you.
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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I eat a normal breakfast on race days or long rides. My normal breakfast is usually two frozen waffles, or a bowl of cereal, or toast and 2 eggs and always with coffee. If the race is more than 2 hours after eating breakfast I'll eat a banana and nutrition bar prior to the race after warming up. For a normal early AM training ride, that will not be intense for a while, it doesn't matter if I finish up eating then hop on the bike. I have a cast iron stomach and not had any issues with eating then riding except for the corned beef hash incident several years ago.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    What do you normally eat? I would stick with what you have been doing.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I am leaning toward the BikeWNC camp. I do not eat anything unless the event will be at least 3 hours after breakfast and then I eat lighter than normal.
    Last edited by Hermes; 06-01-11 at 02:14 PM.
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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, don't try something new the day of the 30 mile ride. Ditto with bike changes and adjustments.

    Experiment a bit - BEFORE the ride. We are all so different in how we digest food.

    For me, a good bowl of whole grain oatmeal, skim milk and some fruit. If I overload at all, I will be SO sorry, as all my energy goes towards digesting that food. And, I can't take heavy carbs. But YMMV. In fact, your mileage WILL vary. Learn what works for you ahead of time.

    I happen to be a person who can (and frequently does) do a 30 mile ride without breakfast or any nutrition at all, and still not feel hungry or weak. NOT recommended, however for longer than 30 mile rides (for me, that is). OTOH, my wife can't get out the door without breakfast.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-01-11 at 11:34 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    I generally eat 1.5 to 2 hours before an event.

  11. #11
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    Oatmeal, buttermilk, banana.

    I cannot, under any circumstances, ride on a breakfast of eggs. Don't know why, but my body just won't do it.

    If oatmeal is not available, I will eat toast, bread, bagels, jam, fruit, and possibly pancakes with maple syrup.
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  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Usually I'll have my normal breakfast of granola with yogurt, berries and a banana and a couple of cups of coffee. Sometimes I'll substitute oatmeal and occasionally I'll go for a traditional southern breakfast of bacon, eggs and grits.

    I only eat such a big breakfast if I can eat a couple of hours before I ride. Last weekend while camping, I had a bottle of Ensure Plus before riding 60+ miles each day, carrying a second bottle to drink at about the halfway point. That along with a flask of gel and minimal snacking at rest stops kept me going very well through the rides. I am going to go with the same routine most days next week on BRAG.
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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    What is gel?
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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    It's only a 30 mile ride. Just eat what you'd normally eat.

    Gel: http://www.hammernutrition.com/produ...er-gel.hg.html

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    Just eat what you normally would a couple of hours beforehand and top up on the ride with snacks.

    OR have a good Full English and possibly save the snacks till after.
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    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Watch too many carbs the night before as they can dehydrate you. Drink a LOT of water with them. Coffee also can dehydrate you so watch it.

    I''m in the "what works best for you is best" crowd. Me, I can eat about anything and be fine. If my brother touches a fruit he'll be in the bushes with TP all day...

    With gels, try them BEFORE(on a training ride). Some of them are very nasty-tasting. Accel with protein has a horrible taste to me...BUT it works.
    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 06-01-11 at 02:44 PM.

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    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    If you can't eat 3 hours before the start of the ride then skip breakfast. I found this idea hard to believe until I actually tried it one century. I had a great ride that day. I did the same thing this past weekend at the 104 mile Mountains of Misery Century. I eat a gel about 10 minutes before the start of the ride and then drink one bottle of my sport drink, about 250 cal worth, every hour. On long century rides it gets a bit more specific than that but generally I consume around 250 cal per hour for the length of the ride. That's it.

    Eating breakfast right before a ride is not a good idea from my experience.
    Never had any problems with that myself. Anything from granola to a couple breakfast sausage sandwiches works. But being a rando, I'm usually going further than a century, so I'm not hammering away right from the start.

    What I find to be FAR more important than breakfast is dinner the night before: lots of carbs. For me that's usually pasta of some variety, washed down with a nice microbrew.

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  18. #18
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Whatever you do, don't try something new the day of the 30 mile ride. Ditto with bike changes and adjustments.
    And don't shave your legs for the first time the night before the event.

    Craig in Indy

  19. #19
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    Never had any problems with that myself. Anything from granola to a couple breakfast sausage sandwiches works. But being a rando, I'm usually going further than a century, so I'm not hammering away right from the start.

    What I find to be FAR more important than breakfast is dinner the night before: lots of carbs. For me that's usually pasta of some variety, washed down with a nice microbrew.

    SP
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    Yeah, rando riding is different than a 5-7 hour effort on a century. If I were doing a long brevet I would just eat normal food as my pace wouldn't be all that fast. But, solid food does tend to slow me down at least temporarily and on a ride under 100 miles I try to stay away from it. (not that I do long brevets)

    I like carbs and a bit of protein the night before a long ride. I'm careful not to carbo bloat though. I just eat a good meal.
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  20. #20
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Well, I can eat about anything that agrees with my stomach right up to the starter's ***. I like pancakes/waffles and eggs---but light on the syrup. I did find that too much sugar at breakfast causes issues while riding. But then again I eat very little during a long ride. Maybe a banana and some peanut butter crackers. However, I did learn that I have to change my intake during longer rides on consecutive days---especially for a week or more. I can eat all I want and then some.
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  21. #21
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    What is gel?
    Gel is the sugary stuff like Gu brand
    I use Hammer Gel, but Gu works too.

    You are only riding 30 miles, a light breakfast would be a good idea. Even just a granola bar. Assuming you will finish the ride in about 2 hours, you should not need a lot of extra along the way - you body will store enough for that distance. Once you get out to beyond 50 miles things get different. You may also want to take a bottle of gatoraide and a bottle of straight water, if you do start to feel a little sluggish the carbs in the gatoraide should pick you up. Again, for only 30 miles you should not need anything as sophistcated as gel.
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    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    This morning I ate leftover Hamburger Helper cheesy enchilada and two small apples then rode a metric century. At the 6 mile mark I stopped for a carrot cake muffin. At 40 miles I stopped at McDonalds for a Big Mac meal.
    Just eat what you usually eat and don't make a big deal out of it.
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    This morning I ate leftover Hamburger Helper cheesy enchilada and two small apples then rode a metric century. At the 6 mile mark I stopped for a carrot cake muffin. At 40 miles I stopped at McDonalds for a Big Mac meal.
    Just eat what you usually eat and don't make a big deal out of it.
    I would say you consumed a lot more calories than you burned on a flat metric.
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    I am not to concered about the food as usually i wait about 2 hours after eating breakfast and taking a dump before i hit the road. If i leave earlier i just get up earlier. The most important thing for me is getting a full nights rest before any ride over 30 miles.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    When doing a reply, hit the "go advanced" button.


    As for eating, if it's a long ride I'm going to stoke up with good complex carbs in a bowl of oatmeal....and while it's all going to be burned...throw in some complex fats like bacon. Dont forget to take a complex dump before you get out there.
    For me, these two things are critical and linked. I get up and eat something right away so that peristalsis is stimulated. Works pretty much every time and relieves me of an unwanted nuisance during the ride.

    In fact, my standard pre-ride breakfast is pretty light - a bowl of granola and a banana. It's key to have some energy to burn, but I'm not going to fill up too much. Then I have regular snacks during the ride.

    But, as others have said, for 30 miles, none of this is really an issue.

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