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  1. #1
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Long Distance Nutrition Questions

    This may or may not be the appropriate forum for this (not sure if its here or Nutrition..), but considering its specific about long distance riding, I'd try throwing it out here.

    Some of you may remember from my other post that I wanted to get into doing some distance cycling (mainly brevets or radonnees). Well, I've finally got some gear to do a leisurely longer distance ride to test my endurance, but if I'm going to be in the saddle for 3-4 hours I probably need to think about some basic nutrition needs.

    I know I could probably train without a lot of this knowledge at the moment, but I figure its best to to get into habits as you start them, as so you get used to using such methods.

    I went pouring over Machka's and Ultracycling's sites to look over nutritional info, but its all spread out over many articles without specificity that I'm looking for. Using a few calculators and assumptions, I gathered the following considering I weigh around 130lbs:

    1. In an hour I burn around 500-625 calories.
    2. In an hour I need to take in around 40 Carbs.
    3. Since I dont know my target sweat rate, I'll just try downing a 20ish ounces every hour.

    Now, I realize this isnt an exact science, but I'm trying to find a relative starting point to see how it runs when I try going out for a long jot in a few weeks. Most likely I'll be getting some HEED (cant stand gatorade..) and downing granola bars. No reason for granola bars except thats what I usually eat minutes before I sprint off to work, so I'm just used to them, and I like them. Here comes the questions..

    a) Most things I read says you get by with far less calories than you burn on even very long distance rides. Why is this? Is it because that the body can only absorb a certain amount of calories in a given amount of time? At my eating and drinking rate I should be taking in around 380 an hour (granted I eat 1 granola per hour and my appropriate amount of heed). I'm assuming this would be sufficiently adequate? If not, how are you supposed to shove in the extra calories without getting nauseous (its a lot of extra food after all..).

    b) How do electrolytes fit into all of this? At the rate I should be drinking and eating granola I should be getting around 341mg of Sodium and around 156mg of Potassium per hour, which is close to the rate I'd be losing it considering I was sweating at around 1 liter/hour. Is enough? Or should I consider getting something like Endurolytes to supplement it with a pill or two an hour (ie, is it livable to be slightly under, or is it incredibly bad to get too many electrolytes?)

    I cant think of any other questions, but this is long enough for now. Thanks in advanced!

    Edit: Question c) Is there any side effects of taking in too many carbs? What I'm going to be eating is fairly simple, but I may be taking in around 70-75 carbs an hour, which is definitely more than I need.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  2. #2
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    I have since switched to liquid fuels for all my rides whatever the distance. It's taken me months to dial in my current fueling strategy and here's what works for me. I'm convinced that food other than a banana takes away from your performance because your body is forced to digest rather than work for your legs. Heed is great and has an electrolyte profile, but supplementing this with a couple more Endurolytes an hour will finish off your electrolyte needs.

    Add Perpetuem + Hammergel to the mix for long rides. I was able to finish a century with one bottle of this mixure = 5 servings of hammergel + 7 scoops of perpetuem in one bottle. Add three Endurolyte pills an hour and it went well. One more per hour when it got hot.

    For someone 130 lbs, I'd guess you should take in 200-220 calories an hour. I mix my bottle to about 250 calories and hour and I'm 154 lbs. Endurance sports is always a negative caloric exercise. Your body cannot assimilate enough calories to what you are expending. Any more than 220-230 for you would be too many calories causing stomach distress. But you'll have to experiment for your body type.

    Also, remember that today's performance is based on previous days training, rest and glycogen stores. What you eat today affects tomorrow's ride. Of course, I'm a big Hammer Nutrition fan, but you can adapt these concepts to whatever fueling you're used to.

    Here's some more articles to take a look at:
    Proper Caloric Intake During Endurance Events
    http://www.hammernut.com/za/HNT?PAGE...RTICLE.ID=1275

    Electrolyte Replenishment
    http://www.hammernut.com/za/HNT?PAGE...RTICLE.ID=1274

    Replacing What You Lose or What You Can Assimilate
    http://www.hammernut.com/za/HNT?PAGE...RTICLE.ID=4521

    The Pre Race Meal
    http://www.hammernut.com/za/HNT?PAGE...RTICLE.ID=1279

  3. #3
    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    I know that my body is different than most, as I have never been bothered by any brand or type of food that I put into my body during a ride, but here is some information.

    I only use the Endurolyte pills when it is really hot outside, (95+) otherwise I just mix Accelerate, Cytomax or Hammer Perpetuum into a water bottle and drink plenty. I also carry a camelback for plain water (maybe SmartWater if it is hot as it has additional electrolytes), just to mix it up and give myself a backup in case of any problems on the road. I can recoup the salt on breaks, during lunch, later that evening, or even the following day without any negative reaction.

    I try to eat often, but I mostly concentrate on stuffing carbs into my stomach in the days before the event and eating a breakfast bar and banana before I start the ride. I will carry several packs of goo (1 between each rest stop + 1 backup that has caffiene) and a couple clif bars for variety. I also have a bento box that I will put trail mix (dried fruit and nuts) or a mixture of Clif Bloks, Sport Beans, and Sharkies for quick easy munchables. The rest stops always have tons of cool food to eat, PBJ, oranges, bananas, fig newtons, and other goodies. I'll gladly pay the registration fees to have access to this food while on the road.

    A riding buddy has a calorie counter that he feels is reliable and at 190 lbs and 6 feet tall, he burns about 12000 calories during a standard double century, and more if there is excessive hills, heat, or wind. I do not think that I could consume 12000 calories in one day if I was just sitting and eating, so I know that I will never keep up with the amount I am using while riding.

    I hope that this helps you out!
    Women think they're so clever because they can fake an orgasm for the sake of a relationship, but men can fake a whole relationship for the sake of an orgasm.

  4. #4
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    Neist:

    I have been riding long distances for about 18 years and have worked out a good nutrition schedule.

    This schedule works for my body and might not work for yours.

    I exclusively use the e-caps products and here is my regiment:

    Endurolytes: In hot weather 3-6 caplets per hour
    Anti fatigue caps: 1 per hour
    Race caps: 1 every 3 hours
    Sustained energy: 2 scoops (233 calories) in a 24 ounce water bottle. The average human body can efficently digest up to 300 calories per hour and about 20-24 ounces of liquid per hour
    Hammer Bar: when hungry, also 233 calories
    Hammer gel with caffeine, as needed and usually 5 minutes before a long climb

    On long rides I try to stay away from simple cabrohydrates like sugar, sucrose and fructose. Also you can see that I do mostly liquid nutrition.

    If you would to talk, please drop me a pm and we can work things out.
    Tibikefor2

  5. #5
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    tibike, have you ever tried the ATP 100?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Hm... good suggestions everyone!

    I'm thinking about 1 scoop of Perpetuem + 1 Granola + 1 scoop of powdered Endurolyte per hour. I'm not entirely sure if the pure liquid diet would make my stomach real happy, because I know I'd get snacky somewhere down the road and would need something to chew on. That would give me:

    270 Calories
    265mg Sodium
    103mg Potassium
    52g Carbs

    According to Hammer's articles, and considering I was sweating around a liter an hour, that would be approximately the right amount of Sodium, with only slightly higher more Calories and carbs than what I would require, which seems okay with me if I can take a break occasionally and munch on something (I aint going to be racing after all.. I can take a break ). If nothing else.. its a starting point..

    I have a question for everyone too, though I'm not sure if anyone can answer it. I'm probably going to mix up a concentrated amount of Perpetuem in one bottle and carry the rest of my fluid (regular water) in my Camelbak. I know some people dont like them, but it has room for cargo and all that, and I hate attachments on my bike, generally speaking.

    Anywho, heres the question. How do you know how much water you've been drinking if your sipping from a Camelbak? Its not like you can just tell how much you've used up by looking at the bottle. Could I just guesstimate the overall length that I'd be riding before a refill and fill it up with that much water? If I did that then, I'd be at risk for drinking it too fast or not fast enough, so I'm not sure..
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  7. #7
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neist
    Anywho, heres the question. How do you know how much water you've been drinking if your sipping from a Camelbak? Its not like you can just tell how much you've used up by looking at the bottle. Could I just guesstimate the overall length that I'd be riding before a refill and fill it up with that much water? If I did that then, I'd be at risk for drinking it too fast or not fast enough, so I'm not sure..
    when i was doing camelbak, i'd take a couple gulp every twenty minutes. i guess one way to measure would be to take a gulp and spit it back into a water bottle to see how many would fill it. then take that many gulps during one hour.

  8. #8
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
    tibike, have you ever tried the ATP 100?
    Never had the opportunity to use the ATP 100, have been tempted
    Tibikefor2

  9. #9
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tibikefor2
    Never had the opportunity to use the ATP 100, have been tempted
    i just ordered some. i'll let you know if there's a difference.

  10. #10
    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    With the camelback, I am trying to make sure that I have fluids in my mouth within seconds no matter what conditions I am riding in. I am also not worrying about measuring the amount of water I drink, that takes too much energy. I am sure that you know your body, but when I am thirsty on a ride my brain does not think 'only have 1.5 oz so that I do not go over my allotted liquid for the hour'...

    I also do not think that distance people will give you grief for using a camelback, it is really only the racers that have issues with them. If the held a race across Death Valley, I can guarantee that many of them would put on a camelback for the event.
    Women think they're so clever because they can fake an orgasm for the sake of a relationship, but men can fake a whole relationship for the sake of an orgasm.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskymacadam
    I have since switched to liquid fuels for all my rides whatever the distance. It's taken me months to dial in my current fueling strategy and here's what works for me. I'm convinced that food other than a banana takes away from your performance because your body is forced to digest rather than work for your legs.
    I also get most of my calories from liquid - accelerade in my case. I'll add half a clif bar now and then, some fruit, or a few newtons, but that's mostly to help keep my stomach settled.

    I've found a significant difference on how strong I feel after 60-75 miles when I do this.

    On the camelback question, I can estimate how much I've drank by reaching back and squeezing it, but I usually don't bother. How much water I drink depends on the temp, how hard I'm riding, how much solid food I'm eating, phase of the moon, etc. Over time, I've gotten pretty good at estimating how much I need to stay properly hydrated.
    Eric

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  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    This is what works for me ... and several other people I know ....

    1) If you've been eating normally in the weeks before a ride, you will have approx. 2000 calories in storage to draw from. This is why most people can go out for a couple hour ride without eating anything and still be fine. This is also why a few people can ride whole centuries on a bottle of Gatorade and a granola bar. When you've been riding for a long time and are fit, your body knows how to efficiently tap into those 2000 calories. However, from my observations and from the comments of others, new cyclists seem to have more difficulty with this ... just something to keep in mind.

    2) Now suppose you down a large cinnamon roll, or bagal, or large bowl of cereal, or whatever, for breakfast (500-800 calories) ... that's great ... that'll keep you going out there for a while!! We'll add 500 calories to the 2000 you have in storage to equal 2500 calories to draw from.

    3) Now you start the ride. The recommended amount to eat per hour on a long distance ride is 250-300 calories per hour, depending on your size, and the amount of effort you are putting in ... and also how efficiently your body uses the stored calories. Those 250-300 calories can come from solid food of any sort you like, or from liquid nutrition like Ensure or Sustained Energy, or from a sports drink like HEED or Gatorade, or whatever.

    4) So .... you are burning about 500 calories per hour and let's say you are consuming 250 calories per hour. In the first hour you draw the additional 250 calories you need to make up the 500 calories from your reserve of 2500 calories, leaving you with a reserve of 2250 calories. This could continue for about the next 10 hours ..... but usually somewhere around 6-8 hours (depending on your size, how much you've really been eating, and how much effort you are putting in) you'll start to feel quite hungry ... or possibly a bit weak.

    5) I find that about every 6-8 hours on a long ride, I need to put away a minimum of 500 calories and preferably more ... like around 1000+ calories. This is the time I will sit down and pack away chicken burgers and fries, or plates of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast. NOTE: If you choose to do this (and many, many randonneurs do), you will get your electrolytes in the salt you put on your eggs, and which is on your fries, etc. ALSO NOTE: It could take time to get to the point where you can eat a whole meal like this ... you may need to train your stomach.

    6) Ideally, you should plan to ride a little bit slower after a large meal so that you can digest it. After an hour or so, you should be able to roar down the road again ... and in fact, you may discover that you've got a sudden incredible burst of energy!

    Up here in Canada, it is rare to need electrolyte pills. I usually get what I need in the food I eat, but it is not a bad idea to carry a few pills with you just in case.


    And I'll add one more thing .... if you plan to limit your rides to those offered in the US only, you'll be fine with supplement products like Sustained Energy etc. BUT if you plan to ride events in other parts of the world (like the PBP in 2007, for example), you'll want to get some practice in eating real food because supplement products are not offered in other countries (and are banned in some) ... instead, they'll feed you real food.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I doubt there's anyway advise anyone on something as individual as to what and when to eat and drink.

    Everyone on just about any ride, selects their own riding pace and have their own "tastes".

    That doesn't mean there aren't any "nutrition rules" that can be applied to everyone.

    For instance, I can think of a few "rules" that apply to everyone all of the time.

    1. The faster you want to go, the more important it is for your fuel to be easily digestible and absorbable. Racers can't eat hambrugers, tourists can.

    2. The hotter it is, the more improtant the fluid/to/food ratio becomes. Get behind on fluids in hot weather - and you're done for the day.......

    3. The longer the distance you are riding, the more likely you will have digestive problems. Everyone needs to have "backup foods" or other plans to survive if their "chosen foods" fail to digest or cause sickness.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    What I really like this topic is that everyone brings little tidbits of information in that I need to consider. Overall everyone has been very helpful. More or less I just had questions on what absolute nutritional needs I needed during a long event (in components, not finished products), but theres all sorts of issues coming up that I didnt think about.

    Machka - Thats interesting way at looking at it. So on longer events you probably need to stop and eat a meal sometime during the day (mmm.. I love peanutbutter sandwiches). I dont think I could down a hamburger considering I dont like them much anyway during normal circumstances, but still knowing ways to incorporate real food in is always helpful!

    I really dont want to go on a liquid diet, but mostly when I was looking around wanted a good alternative to Gatorade to help me out (if I drink plain water I honestly dont think I can get the calories I need in). I will most certainly want to eat normal food at the rest stops. I just need something to keep me going on the bike because most regular food will be hard to just snack on the bike while I'm riding.

    Also, if a lot of Hammer products are banned in a lot of foreign countries, what sort of non Gatorade alternatives are out there? Generally speaking I'm talking about a non sugar based drink. Or do a lot of people in other countries just eat lots of high calorie foods and drink straight water?
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neist
    Machka - Thats interesting way at looking at it. So on longer events you probably need to stop and eat a meal sometime during the day (mmm.. I love peanutbutter sandwiches). I dont think I could down a hamburger considering I dont like them much anyway during normal circumstances, but still knowing ways to incorporate real food in is always helpful!
    I know I need to eat at least one meal on a 200K, two on a 300K, and so on. Hamburgers aren't my favorite, but chicken burgers are!! I also like things like perogies and french toast.



    Quote Originally Posted by Neist
    I really dont want to go on a liquid diet, but mostly when I was looking around wanted a good alternative to Gatorade to help me out (if I drink plain water I honestly dont think I can get the calories I need in). I will most certainly want to eat normal food at the rest stops. I just need something to keep me going on the bike because most regular food will be hard to just snack on the bike while I'm riding.
    Check out HEED for a Gatorade alternative. As for snacking on regular food while on the bike, it's not that difficult. Get yourself a Bento bag. Those things will hold cookies, pastries, salted almonds, cheezies, beef jerky, and all sorts of delicious alternatives to the usual energy bar. They'll hold energy bars too, of course. My Bento bag revolutionized the way I eat on the bicycle and made it so much easier to nibble, which makes digesting foods so much easier.


    Quote Originally Posted by Neist
    Also, if a lot of Hammer products are banned in a lot of foreign countries, what sort of non Gatorade alternatives are out there? Generally speaking I'm talking about a non sugar based drink. Or do a lot of people in other countries just eat lots of high calorie foods and drink straight water?
    HEED and Hammergel are OK in other countries (such as Canada) because they just contain "normal" ingredients such as would be found in other food products, so you're OK if you go with them. They also contain maltodextrin which is better than simple sugars.

    As for other beverages, on my rides I have HEED and water in my bottles on the bicycle. Then at my control/food stops I drink any one of the following choices:

    1) 100% pure orange juice. This is an excellent choice because it provides you with Vitamin C which you'll discover you both need and crave on very long rides. My inital reaction to the thought of drinking something like this was that it would be hard on the stomach, but if I drink it when I'm craving it, it's OK ... in fact I feel like I've arrived at an oasis in the desert!

    BTW - that's a very key point ........ if you CRAVE a certain food on a long ride, if at all possible find and eat that food. You are craving it because your body needs an ingredient in that food. Your body is smart, it knows what it needs ... and it will send the message to your brain, your brain will run through a list of foods you've encountered before and pick one with that ingredient, and you'll start craving it. For example, if you crave chicken, you need protein. If you crave potato chips, you need salt. If you crave oranges, you need Vit. C. and so on. Pay attention to the cravings!!
    Oh, but just one note ... if for some reason you start craving hot peppers or something ultra-spicy, you might want to resist that craving. I never crave stuff like that on my rides, but apparently some people do.

    2) Nestea Iced Tea. This product is made from real tea so it gives you a tiny boost of caffeine, it has sugar, so it gives you a little boost of energy that way, it has potassium which is one of the electrolytes ..... and tea tends to be very easy on the stomach. If you are feeling a little unsettled, this is a good choice. Take a bit of a rest, or ride slowly, and sip your tea ... it might help you to feel better.

    3) Coke. This one is all about energy. When I don't want to drink coffee or hot tea on my rides (and I'm finding I don't drink nearly as much coffee and hot tea on my rides as I used to), coke is a good choice. I have discovered though that it can be a little bit hard on the stomach so you might want to chose it when your digestive system is functioning normally.

    4) Orange pop. I'm not sure why, but this one seems to go down very well on hot days, and it is nice for a bit of variety.

  16. #16
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka




    BTW - that's a very key point ........ if you CRAVE a certain food on a long ride, if at all possible find and eat that food. You are craving it because your body needs an ingredient in that food.

    Worked for me on the 400k. I was doing Gu, HEED, and Perpetuem. After lunch I really wanted Combos, Pepsi, and Twizzlers. I thought I'd vomit - but it went down smooth and got me home....

  17. #17
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    i tend to stay away from all that gu stuff and such. i just eat a lot of fig newtons, bananas, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. and turkey sandwiches.

    but i guess the gels and all are good for long distance cycling as they are lighter and easier to eat whilst riding. my food choices come from years of long distance mountain running. in cycling you may well need to do the goos and all. but i get tired of them quick and then tend not to take in enough calories. i think you need to take what your going to want to eat.
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  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    Worked for me on the 400k. I was doing Gu, HEED, and Perpetuem. After lunch I really wanted Combos, Pepsi, and Twizzlers. I thought I'd vomit - but it went down smooth and got me home....
    It's amazing what you can eat .... provided you crave it! Pregnant women apparently go through a very similar sort of thing. They have all sorts of odd cravings, and can stomach the things they crave just fine even though the choices might be very strange ... but other times the most "normal" food can cause digestive upsets.

    I firmly believe that the body knows what it needs, especially under situations where it is under greater stress, and that we need to listen to what it is telling us.


    This is one reason why I rarely carry very many energy bars with me anymore, and why when I do, I don't carry two the same. Once I eat one, I rarely want another one like it ... and if I have a craving for something out in the middle of nowhere, it's possible maybe one of the variety of my energy bars might come close to meeting that craving.


    I've also noticed that I rarely crave anything sweet ... I think the reason for that is because I'm getting ample sweet stuff in my energy drink and any energy bars I happen to eat. I mentioned my three most common cravings: chicken, potato chips, and oranges. Fruit is probably the sweetest thing I crave and I'll usually crave oranges, orange juice, bananas, canned fruit, and applesauce. On the Great Southern Randonnee, I was craving oranges so badly (but couldn't find any) that I started developing cravings for any foods that even looked a bit orange. When I finished that ride, the very first thing I ate was a massive orange!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I
    'm looking for. Using a few calculators and assumptions, I gathered the following considering I weigh around 130lbs:

    1. In an hour I burn around 500-625 calories.
    2. In an hour I need to take in around 40 Carbs.
    3. Since I dont know my target sweat rate, I'll just try downing a 20ish ounces every hour.
    I really doubt those figures. At 130lbs, it's doubtful you can burn much over 500cals/hour for more than 2 or 3 hours, unless you are already very highly trained. Fluid requirements always change with each situation.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I

    I really doubt those figures. At 130lbs, it's doubtful you can burn much over 500cals/hour for more than 2 or 3 hours, unless you are already very highly trained. Fluid requirements always change with each situation.
    I used it with a calculator online that determines calorie burning by speed traveling and weight. Obviously it doesnt have determining factors such as gearing or wind or hills, but the upper end of that calorie burning was only at 14-16mph, which I can sustain pretty easily at my gearing on flats.

    Now maybe my gearing (which is a high spin gearing, not high muscle) allows for more ease in speeds than muscle and I will actually burn less. Or maybe my fitness level exceeds the calculator (which is possible, I guess. I havent done much exercise in a while, but I'm only at like 8% body fat).

    But thats just what the calculator said. Not saying its right, but it was something decent to start testing things off of, since I had no idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

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    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Lots of good info here. I was glad to see that some folks ate real food on long hauls. I can only eat so many cliff bars and Gu. I will be riding my first really long(185 miles/300k) ride soon and need to learn the nutrional aspect. How many calories will a 6 ft.,175lbs male expend on a trip like this. I'm in good shape, ride about 5,000 miles/year, climb, ski and paddle as well. According to Machka I will need 2 meals plus. I'm thinking 3-4 sandwiches, nuts, fruit(dried? or fresh?), a few cliffs bar, gu, (and some of those energy foods/drinks: Heed and perp etc). What about foods high in veg fat like olives. I love olives. What about cheese, good or bad?
    Another Q Do you (those that carry food) carry all of your food or make stops along the way. I guess this will matter where you ride.
    Thanks folks for any answers, Charlie

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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    How many calories will a 6 ft.,175lbs male expend on a trip like this.
    I'm in good shape, ride about 5,000 miles/year, climb, ski and paddle as well. According to Machka I will need 2 meals plus. I'm thinking 3-4 sandwiches, nuts, fruit(dried? or fresh?), a few cliffs bar, gu, (and some of those energy foods/drinks: Heed and perp etc). What about foods high in veg fat like olives. I love olives. What about cheese, good or bad?
    Another Q Do you (those that carry food) carry all of your food or make stops along the way. I guess this will matter where you ride.
    Personally, I don't do a lot of diet planning as the amount of calories that you will need depends on the conditions of the route (hills, wind, solo'ing vs. riding peloton, etc.) One advantage of using some or a lot of 'real food' is that you are free to live off the land. So bring whatever you're comfortable with carrying on your bike and plan to stock up at checkpoints and convenience stores along the way.

    With this said, it is also good to both check in with your RBA and with fellow riders to see what you can expect by way checkpoint supplies. Different brevets will have different levels of support. The Boston Brevet series has a full host of fruit, fig newtons and chips at each checkpoint, along with water, V8 and Gatorade. The Berkshire series, a few hundred miles over, uses a lot of unmanned checkpoints, and you will have to make do with convenience store food. Your RBA should also be able to provide advice on the frequency of convenience stores along the route, and it's also a good idea to ask other route veterans about the presence or absence of supplies on various segments. Expect to go 30 or 40 miles without seeing a store; and bring food that will last you that distance; but feel free to stop somewhere for lunch or a coffee.

    On my last 600k, I stopped by a farmstand in rural Vermont and consumed half a cantaloupe while sitting by the roadside using just a plastic spoon and my fingers. My face was a mess, but the entire experience was totally excellent.

    btw, you mentioned cheese. I brought a smell wedge of cheddar on my 300K and found that while I like cheese as a natural energy food for hiking, it just doesn't mix well with Gatorade, energy gels and Clif bars. I was feeling queasy everytime I had a bit of it, and have left it off my cycling diet. Normally, I pack a mix of fruit, nuts, clif bars, clif shots and Hammer gel. I stock up on Fig Newtons, chips and more fruit along the route. I'll usually get one 6" sub somewhere, and have half of it for lunch and the other half later on for dinner. I try to have something solid for my stomach to work on and process while I'm cycling. The liquid gel stuff is great, but I start getting queasy if I ride too far with a stomach that's just been processing liquids. It likes to have something solid to work on.
    Last edited by spokenword; 07-10-06 at 12:16 PM.

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    HR monitors with calorie counters "can" be pretty accurate. I'm not saying they work better than careful calculations, just that in some cases, when setup correctly, a monitor can work well.

    My point about any "cal per hour" stat, is that most people cannot sustain intensity for as long as think they can. I think Machka's been way off on her estimates of caloric expenditures as well. She can probably go 2 or 3 hours tops, then falls below 400.

    When you start getting off of a bicycle ten minute or more for every hour you ride, you'll find you're not really buring as much you think you are. Coasting some of the time won't keep your metabolism up.

    I've been doing this kind of stuff for years, and can barely keep up any intensity for much over 5-7 hours tops. When I was younger, maybe 12-14 hours.

    Only elite RAAM riders or Ironmen and Ultrarunners can maintain high cal expenditures for over 12 hours.
    Well, obviously pro riders are way "outthere" for up to 7-8 hours.....

    How many people in this forum think they can maintain a 500 cal per hour for over 5 hours? How big are you? How old are you? What are some of your greatest long distance athletic accomplishments?

    Thanks

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie
    What about foods high in veg fat like olives. I love olives. What about cheese, good or bad?
    There is no need to consume any fat while cycling. Fat used for the muscles comes from the fat deposits thoughout the body and most of us hae a virtually unlimited supply.

    If you like to eat olives or cheese, and they don't bother your stomach on a long ride, then go for it. But it's not necessary.

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    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    The thing is I'm not really too sure Richard. I used to do cross country running, so I'm not 'too' out of shape. I'm only about 130lbs at maybe 7-8% body fat. Just had my 23 bday this june. I think most of my trouble is going to be restretching my lungs boundaries to see how hard I can push again.

    I did a test run today to see how my eating habits worked. it was about 26-30 miles (guesstimate from car distances, I have no computer). The only part that horribly shocked me is that I should of chosen an easier route. o.O Theres a lake thats around 13-14 miles from my apartment, and I thought I'd go for it. Well all went there getting there, and I averaged a comfortable 13-14mph, which is about what I wanted to aim for.

    The trip back on the other hand.. that was HELL. At least 1000-1500ft climbing of hills (guesstimate on climbing, but the hills uphills spanned for at least a half mile, and were at 200ft a hill) for 10 miles and the wind turned and I was fighting a 15 mph headwind. That might be okay for some people... but I'm just working back into shape. I thought I was going to die. At least its a good training route...

    But the eating habits went great! I dont think I coudl live off granola, but its something good I can nibble on. It went down pretty good for the first half bar or so, and then it started to get a little bland. Something else, has anyone tried the 'plain' flavor of Perpetuem or HEED? What does it taste like?

    Warm orange flavored HEED was "okay", but I bet after a few hours it would start to taste like vomit. Maybe the lemon lime is better. Ugh..

    Edit: I checked the milage, it was nearly exactly 26 miles. I found a really bad topographic map, but theres too many hills to count on the one I'm using. I'm going to jet to the campuses geology library and see if they have a map of the area. I think its around 1000ft each way though.
    Last edited by Neist; 07-10-06 at 12:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by soze
    I would use something in addition to the U-lock. Like a guy named Tony with a baseball bat.

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