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Old 03-24-10, 07:41 AM   #1
DanRH
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Not feeling so great lately on the bike

Hey All,

I posted this on the 50 plus forum first but I thought I'd share it with my tandem friends....

I'm 56 and I ride 3-5 double's a year, somewhere around 7-8,000 miles a year. Last year I did five double (four of them being quite hard). I ride the AIDS ride every year from SF to LA for the last 14 years. I never really take off during the winter since I'm in a great riding area (SF Bay Area). Since the beginning of the year, there are times when I feel like I'm bonking. No power to the legs and for a while a racing heart. I had it checked out and even had a 24 hour Holter heart rate monitor. The doctors findings were "clinically unremarkable". I made sure I hit some steep hills (which I try not to avoid...ever). Oh, my preferred type of riding is road, almost 90% of the time on my fixie. I don't do doubles on the fixie (except Solvang). I ride 100-150 miles a week on average spread out over 3-4 rides.

So, what I've noticed is that on longer rides, after I've had lunch, I feel 100% better. Is it that simple? When I start out in the morning, I eat the typical oatmeal, hard boiled egg and banana. I have a good diet regimen but admittedly I'm a little overweight at 190 (I'm 5'9").

Any advice would be appreciated.

I started feeling not so great lately on the bike
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Old 03-24-10, 07:56 AM   #2
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Could be over training which can be caused by always riding hard and not taking enough rest or easy days.
This happened to me over a year ago and still recovering.
Of course it could be any number of medical problems, so I would see a doctor and get everything checked out, including thyroid.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:05 AM   #3
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Could be over training which can be caused by always riding hard and not taking enough rest or easy days.
This happened to me over a year ago and still recovering.
Of course it could be any number of medical problems, so I would see a doctor and get everything checked out, including thyroid.
Thanks. I did get it checked out. The doc did say my heart was skipping a bit but said the medicine for that would be worse than the symptom.
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Old 03-24-10, 08:17 AM   #4
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3-4 rides a week isn't a big deal, you should be getting plenty of rest in between. Assuming there is nothing mdically wrong, I suggest you should look closer into your nutrition. You may need a few more calories pre-ride or in the early parts of the ride. Remember, you need to be ingesting somewhere between 250-300 calories/hr from the start. You don't want to be starting a ride like a double century behind the 8-ball. Most of the double centuries don't even have lunch until after the 100 mile mark. What are you eating on the bike? Are you relying on the food stations on the doubles or are you bringing your own food (something like Spiz or SE)? Depending on the ride you're doing, some of the food on the doubles is marginal. If you are doing the harder doubles, like Devil Mtn and Terrible Two, most of them have decent nutrition along with the less decent stuff at their food stations.
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Old 03-24-10, 09:25 AM   #5
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After re-reading your post I would agree 100 - 150 miles per week over 3-4 days is not overdoing it.
Maybe it is just a matter of not enough fuel.
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Old 03-24-10, 09:31 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I also posted under training & nutrition and that is what they're saying. Duh! Thanks!
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Old 03-24-10, 09:46 AM   #7
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Turns out if you want to lose weight, the wrong way to go about it is failing to eat enough before exercising. Be sure to eat enough to get you through the ride. To lose weight, watch what you eat afterwards. Especially at the end of the day, when there's no exercise coming.
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Old 03-24-10, 06:38 PM   #8
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If you do start eating more, be careful about too many calories. That can be just as bad as too few. Remember when you start doing double centuries you are starting to venture into the longer rides and when you're out on the bike that long your stomach can start to slow, and if you eat too much completely stop digesting. The more strenuous the effort the less digesting your stomach will be doing. That's why foods like Spiz and SE are so popular for longer distance rides. It makes it easy to get the appropriate calories at the appropriate rate. You can do the same thing with "real" food but it is more difficult.
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Old 03-24-10, 11:23 PM   #9
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If you do start eating more, be careful about too many calories. That can be just as bad as too few. Remember when you start doing double centuries you are starting to venture into the longer rides and when you're out on the bike that long your stomach can start to slow, and if you eat too much completely stop digesting. The more strenuous the effort the less digesting your stomach will be doing. That's why foods like Spiz and SE are so popular for longer distance rides. It makes it easy to get the appropriate calories at the appropriate rate. You can do the same thing with "real" food but it is more difficult.
Thanks. Thing is, I've finished 27 doubles so far, but now I'm feeling the effects of this always feeling like i'm bonking. We'll see Saturday. Number 28 if I finish.
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Old 03-25-10, 08:16 AM   #10
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Only 23 more and you'll be a hall of famer. One thing you may want to look at is your protein intake. Over the years I've had different nutritional issues. I feel that as you age, (mature, whatever :-)) your body changes and your nutritional needs change as well. I used to use Sustained Energy exclusively and started having similar issues as you're describing. I finally hit on the protein thing. My body needs protein. I then switched to Perpetuem and finally to Spiz. During RAAM I use Boost with protein or Ensure. Unfortunately they are kind of hard to carry on a dble unless you have your own sag. Good luck on Solvang this weekend. I'd be there except I have a class on Saturday. Of course, the weather is going to be great, that's why I can't ride it. :-) If there was a storm blowing in with hail and waterspouts I'd be able to go.
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Old 03-25-10, 11:21 AM   #11
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Only 23 more and you'll be a hall of famer. One thing you may want to look at is your protein intake. Over the years I've had different nutritional issues. I feel that as you age, (mature, whatever :-)) your body changes and your nutritional needs change as well. I used to use Sustained Energy exclusively and started having similar issues as you're describing. I finally hit on the protein thing. My body needs protein. I then switched to Perpetuem and finally to Spiz. During RAAM I use Boost with protein or Ensure. Unfortunately they are kind of hard to carry on a dble unless you have your own sag. Good luck on Solvang this weekend. I'd be there except I have a class on Saturday. Of course, the weather is going to be great, that's why I can't ride it. :-) If there was a storm blowing in with hail and waterspouts I'd be able to go.
Any idea where I can get Spiz that is not on-line? In Northern California?
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Old 03-25-10, 01:00 PM   #12
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Or do this: Hie thyself to thy local homebrew supplier. Buy at least 5 lbs. of maltodextrin. In a large container, mix a couple pounds of malto with flavored whey protein (I use Optimum Nutrition) in a 4-7 malto:1 whey ratio. Sustained Energy is 7:1, except that SE uses soy protein. Accelerade is the same thing with whey and a 4:1 ratio. Spiz is the same thing with a 4.7:1 ratio, except that Spiz has a little fat in it. You can buy flavored whey protein in just about any supplements store. Might find maltodextrin there, too - you'll have to call around.

I've tried mixing with both soy and whey and find I digest the whey mix better, and it doesn't effect performance either way. You can mix your own recovery drink with malto, whey, and some extra sugar. I take about 15g of whey just before every meal, too. BTW, I'm about 10 years older than you, and I find the protein a definite need, just like homeyba says.

I mix 1 pint of malto/soy powder with water in a 24 oz. water bottle. That's ~750 cal., or enough for 3-4 hours. My other bottle(s) are plain water.
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Old 03-25-10, 08:16 PM   #13
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You can certainly make your own home brew as Carbonfiberboy suggests. I've tried a few of them and have a really hard time with the taste. I have the same issue with SE and Perpetuem. They all taste like doo doo. I've tried mixing it with different flavors of hammer gel and other things and can handle it for about 300-350miles before the gag reflex totally takes over and I can't eat it any more. Chocolate Spiz I can handle all the way across America if I have to. If Boost or Ensure came in a powdered form I'd be all over it for doubles and beyond. Spiz is located in Fallbrook CA. The owner is often at the Solvang Century. He's a big supporter of that charity. I think he goes to a few other rides as well but I can't remember which ones. He's phone # 1-800 548-4447 Try that.
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Old 03-25-10, 08:42 PM   #14
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If Spiz is as good as Ensure, I might have to try it. My semi-annual 50# of malto arrives tomorrow. It's pretty cheap.

On really long rides (longer than a double) I can only stomach about 1/2 my calories from my mix, so I go to pop tarts, sandwiches, pies, bars, all the convenience stuff. Plus I don't ride supported, so I only want to carry a certain amount of powder with me.

An aside about actual tandeming: One of the things that's enabling us to ride as a team is that we can both drink my malto mix, and have never barfed it up! As opposed to other things we've tried. Stoker has a more delicate stomach than mine, and I thought I was delicate. So it's a great thing for a team to agree on a nutrition plan. The only other thing she's found she can eat is organic Fig Newman's, but I bet she'd be fine with Ensure, too.
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Old 03-25-10, 09:41 PM   #15
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You can certainly make your own home brew as Carbonfiberboy suggests. I've tried a few of them and have a really hard time with the taste. I have the same issue with SE and Perpetuem. They all taste like doo doo. I've tried mixing it with different flavors of hammer gel and other things and can handle it for about 300-350miles before the gag reflex totally takes over and I can't eat it any more. Chocolate Spiz I can handle all the way across America if I have to. If Boost or Ensure came in a powdered form I'd be all over it for doubles and beyond. Spiz is located in Fallbrook CA. The owner is often at the Solvang Century. He's a big supporter of that charity. I think he goes to a few other rides as well but I can't remember which ones. He's phone # 1-800 548-4447 Try that.
Fallbrook, that's interesting because I live not too far from there and it's also where I go on a group ride led by Pete Penseyres who is still the RAAM record holder. I have heard him mention using Spiz on some of his RAAM events.
At how many miles does something like this help? I normally don't do over 100 at a time and usually find peanut and/or almond butter & jelly sandwiches do the trick.
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Old 03-25-10, 09:44 PM   #16
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Spiz works as well for me as Ensure or Boost. I used them all on the last two RAAMs I did. The Ensure and Boost are just more convenient because you don't have to mix it. My stoker on RAAM also used the same fuel as I, so you are correct it is much easier if both the captain and stoker are on the same page food wise. Often times it is difficult though because everyone is so different in their nutrition needs. The nice thing about RAAM and the other ultra races I do is that I have a vehicle with food at the ready for me 24/7. :-) When I do unsupported rides/races I have my stoker carry the heavy food so I don't have to carry it, I wouldn't want to be slowed down by the extra weight.....
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Old 03-25-10, 09:54 PM   #17
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Fallbrook, that's interesting because I live not too far from there and it's also where I go on a group ride led by Pete Penseyres who is still the RAAM record holder. I have heard him mention using Spiz on some of his RAAM events.
At how many miles does something like this help? I normally don't do over 100 at a time and usually find peanut and/or almond butter & jelly sandwiches do the trick.
I'm sure Pete knows the owner of Spiz since they've been collaborating for many years. You could use it on a century ride but it's probably overkill. It depends on your time on the bike and the effort you are expending. If you are racing that century it would probably be beneficial, if you're just cruising stick with your PB&J. It's a lot cheaper.
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Old 03-29-10, 02:54 PM   #18
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Well, I rode and completed the Solvang Double on my fixie and with all your advice, I did just fine. I used Perpertuem (yummy caffe latte flavor) and ate often. My problem of no energy went away. Hey, you learn something everyday. Thanks to all!

BTW, I ran into Rick and Anna (sprinter) at RS 1 in Sisquoc. They of course left me in their dust!
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Old 03-29-10, 03:06 PM   #19
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Awesome! Glad you had a great ride. It was a beautiful day too! What more could you ask for? Perpertuem is good stuff and it has the protein that you need in it. I don't use it too much anymore because I hate the taste. No matter how long you do this stuff there is always more to learn!
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Old 03-29-10, 03:44 PM   #20
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Dan,
That's really great news. Maybe I got to get me some of that thar Perpertuem. I'm too old to benefit from HGH or Steroids.
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Old 03-30-10, 08:47 PM   #21
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[BTW, I ran into Rick and Anna (sprinter) at RS 1 in Sisquoc. They of course left me in their dust!]


Hi Dan, That's only because we had 29 more gears than you! Great day on the bike with awesome weather and lot's of friends.
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