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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 08-07-06, 10:11 AM   #1
madopal
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Post training ride headaches

Ok, maybe my Googling-fu isn't up to task, so sorry if this is a dupe, but I can't seem to find anything to help.

I'm training for my first century, but I'm a full time commuter. I ride 9 miles a day, twice a day, and I usually get my heart going. I don't have a HRM, but I know that I average 16-18 mph during those rides, and my resting pulse is about 52 bpm. I think I'm in pretty decent shape, but I don't have a lot of experience with really long rides. I've ridden most of my life, and I used to do fairly regular 30 mile weekend rides without incident.

Anyway, this weekend I did one of the longest rides I've ever done, 50 miles. I did it in just under 3 1/2 hours with a 15 minute stop at 25. I had a big dinner the night before of pasta to give me some energy, I had a good breakfast an hour before I rode, and during the ride I consumed 50 oz. of water, 24 oz. of sports drink, and a Clif Bar. I felt good but drained afterwards (had a pretty severe bonk that I think was the onset of heat stroke on my last 50 mile attempt a month and a half ago, so I was really careful this time). I weighed myself before and after, and I lost about a pound or so, so I may have been a little dehydrated. I did urinate immedately after the ride, though, and it wasn't overly yellow.

Since then, however, I've been getting these nasty headaches with ANY exertion. I walked about 2.5 miles the day after (leisurely) and my head was pounding. I avoided my commuting ride today to recover more, and my head started throbbing after running across the street to catch a bus. Is it possible I'm still deficient in sodium/potassium/whatever? Is it just possible that the exertion of riding longer (I have done sporadic rides of 30-40 miles before, but my previous long was 42) caused this?
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Old 08-07-06, 10:43 AM   #2
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You lost a pound of water but you still urinated at the end. Often times a sign of low electrolytes.

I don't know what kind of time frame you've got to get there. But you possibly need to dial in your on-bike nutrition better. I shoot for (and often fall short of) 32 oz of liquid per hour, as well as 300 calories per hour. These are number you need to tinker with. I also use Emergen-C as well as a little extra salt. This recipe works for me, but might be totally out of kilter with your needs/stomach.

Also, you probably need to work on your recovery meals if you're hurting days after.

Here are a lot of good articles which might help:
http://www.ultracycling.com/siteindex.html#training
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Old 08-07-06, 10:51 AM   #3
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Reading that link, I think I severely underestimated what I needed to be doing post-ride. My meals haven't been anywhere near that, and I waited quite a while to eat a meal right after. That could explain why the headaches set in later after the ride.

I'll have to plan that part better.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:14 PM   #4
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Waiting is not good. It's fairly easy to set a starting point. You don't need all the sports drinks, though they're not bad if they work for you. I get some of my post bike nutrition from Endurox. The rest I get from grapenuts, corn flakes, rice milk, plain bagels, bread, gatorade, pasta, rice, etc. All of these are high GI foods, which possibly/probably helps in the immediate 2 hour window. I shoot for 1g carb/lb body weight in that first 2 hours.

After that initial 2 hour window I try to eat a solid meal, something like a chicken sausage on a wheat roll, with a salad in a tortilla (tortilla: great way to add carbs to the diet). Some sources say to eat another 1g/lb body weight in the second hour. Personally I find it hard to maintain that level of carb intake.

After the 4 hour block, I focus more on balance, fruits, veggies, fish, chicken, seeds, nuts, and of course the occasional beer. After all, you have to keep it real.

It's a starting point. From there, find what works for you. I'm always evolving what I eat, trying new things, so the recipe is never static. Hopefully this helps. I'm interested to see if this works for you.
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Old 08-07-06, 10:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normZurawski
Waiting is not good. It's fairly easy to set a starting point. You don't need all the sports drinks, though they're not bad if they work for you. I get some of my post bike nutrition from Endurox. The rest I get from grapenuts, corn flakes, rice milk, plain bagels, bread, gatorade, pasta, rice, etc. All of these are high GI foods, which possibly/probably helps in the immediate 2 hour window. I shoot for 1g carb/lb body weight in that first 2 hours.
+1 on the endurox. I mix mine up in my water bottle (that had accelerade in it) right when I get back in the house, and drink it immediately. If I wait 20 minutes to shower, I notice the difference...
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Old 08-08-06, 01:07 AM   #6
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Get to the doctor now to rule out anything important. Don't go here for medical advice. It could be all sorts of things.
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Old 08-09-06, 12:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normZurawski
I shoot for (and often fall short of) 32 oz of liquid per hour, as well as 300 calories per hour.
I just read in Bicycling magazine (not my training bible, but it was an interesting article) that the body can only absorb 80-100 calories per hour during excercise. I am looking further into this, but I found it interesting information.

Not trying to start a war or anything, just making an observation.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:56 AM   #8
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Polonswim,

Read the article again and see if it mentions level of effort. I know the accepted absorption rate is much higher than that, with some levels going as high as 350-400. However, that goes down when level of effort goes up. They may have been referring to harder efforts, as opposed to longer rides. Also, those articles are submitted by independent people a lot of times, and ultimately anyone can write an article.
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Old 08-09-06, 03:08 PM   #9
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^ Yeah, I think 200-300 calaries an hour is the accepted standard.

Some people can absorb more, but they are gifted
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Old 08-09-06, 03:15 PM   #10
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How can you tell what's absorbed and what isn't? Do you just feel full sooner?
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Old 08-09-06, 06:14 PM   #11
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It will be harder and harder to eat if it's just sitting in your stomach. Eventualy you'll want to wretch.
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Old 08-09-06, 11:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normZurawski
Polonswim,

Read the article again and see if it mentions level of effort. I know the accepted absorption rate is much higher than that, with some levels going as high as 350-400. However, that goes down when level of effort goes up. They may have been referring to harder efforts, as opposed to longer rides. Also, those articles are submitted by independent people a lot of times, and ultimately anyone can write an article.
I stand corrected. The article I am referring to is on page 40 of the September issue of Bicycling magazine. Chris Carmichael says that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-60 GRAMS of carbohydrate per hour of exercise because the normal human being can only process about 1 gram/min.

Sorry guys. I was going off of memory and thought it said calories. It was grams.

My bad.

Don't think that I read the magazine because I think it is the authority on cycling, but it is an interesting article.
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Old 08-10-06, 06:59 AM   #13
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Weigh yourself after the ride. If you weigh the same or more, stop drinking, even if you feel thirsty. You are already adequately hydrated. If you take more fluids, you could experience brain swelling... a hallmark symptom of overhydration or hyponatremia.

Yeah, replace those electrolytes. Pickle juice. V-8 juice.
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Old 08-10-06, 07:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polonswim
I stand corrected. The article I am referring to is on page 40 of the September issue of Bicycling magazine. Chris Carmichael says that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-60 GRAMS of carbohydrate per hour of exercise because the normal human being can only process about 1 gram/min.
Ok, makes sense. When you add in the protein you get in some sports drinks, it ups the number of calories you can intake. What is the number? Can you include fat? What of doughnuts? Who knows. Every person is different and it takes a lot of experimenting to nail down what works for you.
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