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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 12-30-05, 10:03 AM   #1
bernmart
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Bonking and Leg Cramps

I recently rode 67 miles to celebrate my 67th birthday. This was twice as long as my longest ride to date, and it's clear that I screwed up re nutrition. I ate well the night before, but all I took with me was an apple and a banana. I drank lots of water (there were plenty of opportunities to refill my bottles), and the southern California weather was pleasant. But I nearly bonked during the last ten miles from, I suspect, lack of nutrition. And that night I had terrible leg cramps which kept me from sleeping.

Any advice re what food to take on a similar ride will be welcome, but I've found a couple of helpful resources about nutrition, including the book "Bike for Life." But I'm really concerned about how to prevent a recurrence of post-ride cramps of this severity. Help, please?

Happy New Year to all,

Bernie
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Old 12-30-05, 11:34 AM   #2
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Try not doubling your mileage all in one go. No matter what you eat, you'll get cramps doing things like that.

However, you should eat some food along the way other that two pieces of fruit. Try something you like that's high in carbohydrates.
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Old 12-30-05, 11:48 AM   #3
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i have this problem alot. especially when i go out on a ride thinking it will be short and i end up with twice the miles.

you need to eat enough before hand, sure, but you also have to eat during the ride. perferable before you get really hungry. enegry bars, clif bars, sports drinks are all good but sometimes that's just not enough. i would suggest you stop halfway for a good lunch, then ride back.
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Old 12-30-05, 11:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmart
I recently rode 67 miles to celebrate my 67th birthday. This was twice as long as my longest ride to date, and it's clear that I screwed up re nutrition. I ate well the night before, but all I took with me was an apple and a banana. I drank lots of water (there were plenty of opportunities to refill my bottles), and the southern California weather was pleasant. But I nearly bonked during the last ten miles from, I suspect, lack of nutrition. And that night I had terrible leg cramps which kept me from sleeping.

Any advice re what food to take on a similar ride will be welcome, but I've found a couple of helpful resources about nutrition, including the book "Bike for Life." But I'm really concerned about how to prevent a recurrence of post-ride cramps of this severity. Help, please?

Happy New Year to all,

Bernie
Most literature will tell you to gradually increase the distance so that your body will get accustomed to the demands placed on it. Bananas are easy to eat while riding or during a 5 minute rest period. Other than the energy bars, and Accelerade type drinks, for the longer rides, I always carry a supply of dried orange peels that have been treated with salt and sugar. I noticed you're from Pasadena, so you need to go to a Chinese store like the 99 Ranch Markets. In Hawaii there are specialty stores that sell "cracked seeds" and this is the the area you're looking for. Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel will have them too.

These orange peels will give you the sodium that you lose when sweating, even now when its cooler in So Calif. I think the current literature will tell you that when you lose that electrolyte balance, the muscles take a beating with lactic acid buildup. I don't know how this works but cramps are the results.

I take the salted orange peel and put a few pieces in my mouth, let it saturate and just let the salt digest. The orange peel will soften and you can chew on it and ingest that too. How often during a ride?
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Old 12-30-05, 12:47 PM   #5
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67 miles means over 3 hrs. for rides that long (geater than 1.5hrs ) you need to eat on the road as well. not just energy drink. energy bars, bananas, gels... actually that long you need to eat some real solid food not just gels...
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Old 12-30-05, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernmart
Any advice re what food to take on a similar ride will be welcome, but I've found a couple of helpful resources about nutrition, including the book "Bike for Life." But I'm really concerned about how to prevent a recurrence of post-ride cramps of this severity. Help, please?
Yep, what the Doc ordered. That banana & apple's maybe 100 calories total, not enough. Eating the night before just tops off your glycogen stores, about 2000-calories. You want a meal before the ride, about 500 calories to start off with some energy that will be finding its way in as you start to use up your stores. Then take in about 200-250 calories/hr. Eat a energy-bar/gel every half-hour or so.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-30-05 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-30-05, 02:49 PM   #7
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And I thought this thread was going to be about getting leg cramps while having sex....
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Old 12-30-05, 02:55 PM   #8
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Old 12-30-05, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
i have this problem alot. especially when i go out on a ride thinking it will be short and i end up with twice the miles.
For this reason I tend to carry one/two clif bars in my bento box on the bike and a handful of Emergen-C drink packets. I went for 60 mile ride in November, met two guys on the road and doubled back on my course for an end distance of 110. Wife wasn't happy, but I got the miles in so it's all good

BTW - cause I'm in Japan, I order those clif bars and emergen-c stuff through drugstore.com. I think they are the best prices on both clif bars and emergen-c things.

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