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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 12-19-05, 08:45 PM   #1
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How long are you riding that it necessitates eating?

I read a lot of posts about what you guys and gals are eating during a training ride, it is cold here (NJ) and my training rides are between 1.5 and 2 hrs. before my fingers and toes are too numb, but I never eat anything on a ride that short, am I doing something wrong? My performance does not drop noticeably and I don't bonk even during very intense near LT sessions for an hour and a half. Should I be doing more than water?
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Old 12-19-05, 09:41 PM   #2
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if you don't really feel like you need it, then no. Personally, after about 40 miles, I'm gonna bonk if I don't eat a cliff bar or something. I like to stop and eat at around 30 miles if I can so I know I won't bonk suddenly. I've done it before and I'm lucky I didn't pass out right on the bike and have a nasty crash.

You generally don't use as much water in the cold, but you still burn as many if not more calories, so the need for extra food is there on longer rides, even if you don't go through as much water.
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Old 12-19-05, 10:05 PM   #3
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I'm probably in the minority but, if I'm not going real hard, I can easily go 70 miles without eating and not bonk. I think it's something you have to build your way up to, though. Guess I have enough body fat to fuel me for a longish ride. Everyone is different. I don't have evidence to back it up, but I think as you get older, you gain better endurance and can go longer without the need to refuel.
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Old 12-19-05, 10:12 PM   #4
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I'm good for a couple hours with no problem. If I'm going to be on the bike more than 2 hours, I try to start nibbling at about 30 miles.

I hate bonking from not eating enough. It's so easy to avoid.

Off the bike, I eat constantly. I'm like an eating machine.

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Old 12-20-05, 01:49 AM   #5
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Life makes you eat, not just workouts. Personally I focus my eating around my exercise.

Cal in = cal out works perfectly in long term studies but in reality eating near the time you work out does more good. Take 2 people who do the same workout and eat the same total amount of calories. Both people eat the same breakfast, lunch and supper also they both workout right after work before supper. However, one eats an afternoon snack, drinks sport drink during his ride then eats supper after. The 2nd skips the afternoon snack and drinks water during his ride; but has some snacks while watching tv before bed. Both did the same work and ate the same calories, but will those calories equal the same changes in muscle gain and fat loss? No, person one will have better glycogen stores during his ride and will recover faster. Person 2, by the time he eats the snack, will have already refuelled his muscles and then his late-night snack will be converted to fat while he sleeps.

Furthermore, eating before during and after exercise can minimize post exercise Immunosuppression reducing the risk of exercise related upper respiratory infections.

It just makes sense… put gas in while you are using it, less the rest of the time. So all workout get some food… the shorter workouts are just more intense right?
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Old 12-20-05, 02:05 AM   #6
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This long ... Finished!! WooHoo!!

When I do 1.5 to 2 hour rides, I don't need to eat in the middle of them either. But I bring food to eat if I'm planning to be out there much longer than 2 hours.

So ... during the week, I rarely eat in the middle of a ride, but on the weekends when I ride metric centuries, imperial centuries, 200K brevets, 300K brevets, 400K brevets, 600K brevets, 1000K randonnees, and 1200K randonnees ... I eat.
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Old 12-20-05, 05:22 AM   #7
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You have a couple of thousand calories worth of fuel stored in your muscles, liver and bloodstream. I don't know how many calories you burn on average in one hour of training, but if it is close to my average of around 600 calories per hour, you should be able to go for over 2 hours before running out. Of course, your body will need to replenish the drained fuel storage after the ride, and make up for any loss of fluids and electrolytes.

But if you are training to be able to complete endurance rides (centuries, brevets, etc.) where you will need to eat during the ride, training and testing your digestive system may be almost as important as training the rest of your body. In that case it may be a good idea to practice eating even on "shorter" training rides.
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