Just getting into the long-distance stuff. I'm a Cat 4, been racing a couple of years. There is potential for me to develop as a racer, but I can also see that my strength lies in long, steady efforts.
To that end, I've started up with some long rides. I just completed a 450 km single-day effort (Vancouver, BC to Kelowna, BC -- not 450 km, but I got lost in the dark in the Fraser Valley!). My most egregious error, other than bonking on the Coquihalla, was in oversaturating my gut with sports drinks.
Training with my racing pals, the longest we go is maybe 5 to 6 hours, and so consume, at most, 5 or 6 bottles. Going 16 hours yesterday, and with a good 10 to 12 bottles in me (about 3 bottles gatorade and 3 bottles Heed, 3 to 5 water), my gut simply shut down in the last 100 km. It was tight, knotted up, and I was very nauseous. I couldn't put anything down there.
Now I'm wondering if this is simply due to the folly of the effort, or if I made an error in my consumption. In other words, with only a 270 km ride in my build-up, was I remiss in training? Or, did I get nauseous from too much sports-drink? I am inclined to conclude the latter. the rest of the calories came from Clif bars, cookies, and bananas. Perhaps, also, my gut simply could not handle the wealth of calories I was pouring in.
I had the impression, though, if I had simply used water, with some electrolyte tablets (like Hammer nutrition supplies), and had used exclusively Clif bars and bananas, or figs -- that I would have been fine.
Sorry if this is rambling mess. Any ideas are appreciated. Just don't flame the newb!