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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 03-04-07, 10:33 AM   #1
Halfast
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Nagging question about biking vs running eating

I just cannot understand all the discussion about the requirements of eating on a long bike ride. In this context I mean 3-4 hours. I was a low 2:40 marathoner running 13 full ones and all kind of halves and 10Ks. I NEVER ATE ANYTHING on any run some which lasted about 3 hours. I DID drink lots of Gatoraid.

We as runners depended on our training to allow us to store enough fuel to get us through 26 miles. I never "Hit the Wall", or in bikers terms "Bonked".

Now I can understand really long stuff (running and biking) ya gotta eat. But for the shorter stuff I just do not understand all the psyc. unless it is generated by commercial interests.
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Old 03-04-07, 10:58 AM   #2
Richard Cranium
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Well, you're talkin' about a wide-range of rider types and ride scenarios. Lumping all 3-4 hour rides into a single category doesn't accurately reflect the wide-range of caloric expenditures among disparate types of riders.

The nature of bicycling can require caloric expenditures that rapidly outstrip glycogen contributions making the supplementation of caloric requirements even more effective than that of those "racing" a marathon. (dietary sugars can help keep serum glucose stable during near all-out efforts)

The same benefits are not so well recognized due to the steady-state nature of a marathon runner's "caloric draw-down."

If you ran a marathon as a mix of mile-repeats and 10k tempo runs, you surely would benefit from supplementing your glycogen/glucose levels in between harder efforts.
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Old 03-04-07, 11:15 AM   #3
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Richard,

Really great explanation. Thanks. I am an old runner but fairly new rider. This was driving me nuts every time I thought about it. And yes I do eat when riding 3 hours, and that is the big difference between running and riding for me. I could NEVER eat then run, but eating and riding is easy.

Thanks again, now I am a little wiser!!
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Old 03-04-07, 11:31 AM   #4
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A 3 to 4 hour bike ride is really not a long ride. Most accomplished cyclists can do this with minimal nutrition.

How can you say that didn't eat anything if you drank a lot of Gatorade? Gatorade contains plenty of carbohydrates (half those of soda). I expect if you took in only water and electrolytes on you marathon, you might have had a harder time.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:20 PM   #5
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You don't have to take really long rides to get into Glycogen issues. An hour may be long enough. Check out Sports Nutrition for Endurance Atletes by Ryan. An excellent source for the current understanding.

Al
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Old 03-04-07, 07:54 PM   #6
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Everybody is different. Some people "bonk" after riding an hour; I've ridden over 100 miles on nothing but water. Depends on what you eat before and after too.
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