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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 02-20-06, 02:12 AM   #1
roger89
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Dead legs, can't 'make' myself breath hard..

Hello ya all,

I did a ride 2 days back, a total or 120km of category 2 and 3 hill climbs. For the last 20 km I did terribly, my legs had no power, I can't seem to force myself to 'breath hard' so I can use my cardio or something. I was going at 10km/h avg for the last climb of the day. Sometimes even dropped to 8km/h. n The sun was shining directly on me(I live in a tropical weather). May I know what improvement here I need to do? Endurance? Intervals? need more food?

Was I exhausted?

What do I need to do next to hammer the 'upcoming' 100km+ rides without feeling dead?
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Old 02-20-06, 03:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger89
Hello ya all,

I did a ride 2 days back, a total or 120km of category 2 and 3 hill climbs. For the last 20 km I did terribly, my legs had no power, I can't seem to force myself to 'breath hard' so I can use my cardio or something. I was going at 10km/h avg for the last climb of the day. Sometimes even dropped to 8km/h. n The sun was shining directly on me(I live in a tropical weather). May I know what improvement here I need to do? Endurance? Intervals? need more food?

Was I exhausted?

What do I need to do next to hammer the 'upcoming' 100km+ rides without feeling dead?
Certainly not enough information here to make any kind of conclusive deduction.
Many things could be the root of your experience including dehydration, bonking (lack of available nutrition), virus, or lack of proper training.
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Old 02-20-06, 05:20 AM   #3
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Yeah, how about posting your last 4-weeks training-log for us? Also your meals during that time. And then what you ate on that ride.

Certainly sounds like a bonk to me though. If you didn't have enough strength-training, your legs would be sore and cramping, especially on climbs. Since they weren't, it's most likely a bonk. You'll want to eat about 1000-1500 calories on a ride like that.
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Old 02-20-06, 08:51 AM   #4
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I had enough water in my bottle. In the morning b4 the ride. I ate a bowl of oat cereals. Maybe 200 cal? During the ride I stopped at a road side stall for some rice. The cramps would set in if I pushed harder than what I was going at 10km/h.

Previously I didn't ride much on weekdays, only on weekends like say 80km for 3 hours. + a small criterium race on the next day(max heart rate pumping)-15km.

So how much do I need to eat b4 the ride and during? What I'm afraid is I overeat and while riding I might feel like vomiting..or simply feels like food coming out from your throat. I haerd from some people that too frequent powergel intake would make our bodies just 'use to it' thus having to feel no effect after eating it. Is it true?
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Old 02-20-06, 08:59 AM   #5
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More experience with strength training sounds about right.

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Old 02-20-06, 02:56 PM   #6
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Based on the limited information I would suggest that you were starting to bonk due to lack of nutrition for a 120-km ride. If you keep your food as natural as possible its less likely to cause you any digestive distress.

With breathing I've noticed recently that I'm not breathing hard enough either in most situations so what I'm doing is deliberately breathing deeply but slowly and getting into a rhythm with my pedalling. I still have to do this consciously but with enough practice it should become sub-conscious.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 02-20-06, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger89
I had enough water in my bottle. In the morning b4 the ride. I ate a bowl of oat cereals. Maybe 200 cal? During the ride I stopped at a road side stall for some rice. The cramps would set in if I pushed harder than what I was going at 10km/h.
Ok, cramps would tend to indicate muscle-fatigue and also lack of electrolytes. Some weight-training and sprints/intervals on the road would help. Drink an energy drink with electrolytes. Bikers will usually need at least 500mg sodium per hour of riding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roger89
Previously I didn't ride much on weekdays, only on weekends like say 80km for 3 hours. + a small criterium race on the next day(max heart rate pumping)-15km.
If you've only been riding these distances and suddenly increased it a lot on a single ride like you did, you really want to be careful about pacing. You may have started off too fast too soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roger89
So how much do I need to eat b4 the ride and during? What I'm afraid is I overeat and while riding I might feel like vomiting..or simply feels like food coming out from your throat. I haerd from some people that too frequent powergel intake would make our bodies just 'use to it' thus having to feel no effect after eating it. Is it true?
No, your body uses what's available depending upon intensity and fitness level. The more fit you are, the more fat you'll burn at a certain intensity. Pushing yourself too fast on a long endurance ride will burn up lower amounts of fat and require more eating. Eating before a ride gets you a jump-start on the glycogen-replenishment, about 250-500 calories should do. There's debate about eating too far in advanced of a ride and causing low blood-sugar due to the insulin-response. But studies shows that it doesn't affect performance in any way. That's because low blood-sugar after a meal is just a sign that the glucose has been sucked into your muscle-cells, which is where you want it anyway.

Then on the ride itself, take in 200-250 calories/hr. This is about the most your body can digest and absorb per hour, so there's no need to eat any more than that. It's still a losing battle because your exercise rate of 500-700 cal/hr will always be faster than what you can replace through eating. So your blood-sugar levels will steady decline as you ride, eventually leading to the bonk when you've got no stored glycogen left and not much coming in through digestion. If you have stomach upsets from solid-foods, take energy drinks and gels. I prefer the less-sweet stuff like Cytomax over off-the-shelf energy-drinks like Gatorade, which tastes way too sweet. Also make sure you drink about 550-750ml of water per hour, depending upon intensity and outdoor temperature. On your ride, you should've drunken about 4-6 bottles of water.

So you've got a couple of long-term and short-term factors ganging up on you. Some strength-training in the previous months would've helped. Along with riding a little slower with more food-intake and water and you would've been fine.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 02-21-06 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 02-20-06, 06:59 PM   #8
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When your food/water/nutrition is more perfectly balanced and you still have probs you may try eletrolyte capsules. I found Hammer e-caps helped me a bunch. I cramped up bad on a 100km when all other variables were good (food,water, training) and one e-cap per hour two weeks later on a faster century I suffered not one cramp. Might have been chance but for $20 for 100 caps a chance I'll take. I take one per hour during hotter weather when I'm riding 2+ hours.
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Old 02-20-06, 09:21 PM   #9
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At 700-800 calories/hour (or more) burn rate, that 200 calorie breakfast and 300-400 (estimate) calorie snack don't last very long.

To start with, I suggest you read up on cycling nutrition and eat more on your long rides.
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