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  1. #1
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    Eating and Cadence

    Two questions completely unrelated to each other in this case. The first is mainly dealing with good ride snacks (both before and during). Right now Iím just eating a granola bar every hour or so Iím on the bike, with one before the ride as well. I guess Iím just looking for suggestions regarding good ďboostsĒ that donít involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.

    The second question Iíve heard a little bit on, but nothing really concrete. For about 2 months Iíve been spinning at about 90-100RPMís but recently Iíve been trying to push larger gears at about 70-80RPM to achieve the same speeds. I canít exactly pinpoint a dramatic change, but I do tend to have more energy after spinning less. After the ride however, my legs are absolutely dead at the lower cadence but not so when riding at a higher cadence. Is this more of a personal thing, or should I be looking to ride at an optimal cadence?

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama

    I guess Iím just looking for suggestions regarding good ďboostsĒ that donít involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.
    Personally, I like Grandma's (or is it Mother's) Cookies - esp chocolate chip. A banana? Different strokes for different folks. Experiment to find what helps you most.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
    The second question Iíve heard a little bit on, but nothing really concrete. For about 2 months Iíve been spinning at about 90-100RPMís but recently Iíve been trying to push larger gears at about 70-80RPM to achieve the same speeds. I canít exactly pinpoint a dramatic change, but I do tend to have more energy after spinning less. After the ride however, my legs are absolutely dead at the lower cadence but not so when riding at a higher cadence. Is this more of a personal thing, or should I be looking to ride at an optimal cadence?
    Faster cadence = more cardio workout. Just makes sense.

    Lower cadence with more strength involved will wear out your muscles (and some say your knees). Yes, cadence is a personal thing. Find what works best for you and go with it.

    Personally, I do much better with the 90-100 cadence. There is no one "correct" way.

    In any event, have fun.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
    The first is mainly dealing with good ride snacks (both before and during). Right now Iím just eating a granola bar every hour or so Iím on the bike, with one before the ride as well. I guess Iím just looking for suggestions regarding good ďboostsĒ that donít involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.
    I eat a peanut butter sandwich or fruit before my rides (~35-40 miles). I take one or two Powerbar Power Gels with me because I need a little boost to get home some days.

    The second question Iíve heard a little bit on, but nothing really concrete. For about 2 months Iíve been spinning at about 90-100RPMís but recently Iíve been trying to push larger gears at about 70-80RPM to achieve the same speeds. I canít exactly pinpoint a dramatic change, but I do tend to have more energy after spinning less. After the ride however, my legs are absolutely dead at the lower cadence but not so when riding at a higher cadence. Is this more of a personal thing, or should I be looking to ride at an optimal cadence?
    Some days I'm comfortable at 85-100 rpm and other days I ride at 70-85.
    Just go with what feels right.
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    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    I guess Iím just looking for suggestions regarding good ďboostsĒ that donít involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Personally, I like Grandma's (or is it Mother's) Cookies - esp chocolate chip. A banana? Different strokes for different folks. Experiment to find what helps you most.
    "grandma's" cookies? mcfood
    Processed factory food with a million weird ingredients.
    If it's just the last five miles it seems like you could just cool down.
    I like to carry a banana or apple, or something non messy and healthy.

    FXjohn

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
    Two questions completely unrelated to each other in this case. The first is mainly dealing with good ride snacks (both before and during). Right now I’m just eating a granola bar every hour or so I’m on the bike, with one before the ride as well. I guess I’m just looking for suggestions regarding good “boosts” that don’t involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.

    The second question I’ve heard a little bit on, but nothing really concrete. For about 2 months I’ve been spinning at about 90-100RPM’s but recently I’ve been trying to push larger gears at about 70-80RPM to achieve the same speeds. I can’t exactly pinpoint a dramatic change, but I do tend to have more energy after spinning less. After the ride however, my legs are absolutely dead at the lower cadence but not so when riding at a higher cadence. Is this more of a personal thing, or should I be looking to ride at an optimal cadence?
    1) I think you need to experiment with your food to find something that works for you. You may want to try fruit as an alternative to the power bar things. I will bring a bag of grapes with me sometimes and it will help boost my energy. You can also bring apple slices, strawberries, etc. Maybe that will help?

    2) Riding at lower gears will increase speed, and at the same time, it will help conserve your energy. If you're trying to go faster at higher gears, your legs will tend to be pretty tired- you're using your muscles way more than if you'd stuck with the lower gears. That's pretty normal and to be expected of someone doing what you're doing. You'll want to find an optimal cadence to ride with, and it will be different for higher gears vs. lower gears.

    My advice, if you want to go faster with your spinning, stick with developing your spin in the lower gears. In the higher gears, you just want to concentrate on maintaining speed and power. I'm thinking that over the winter and spring months, you'll want to work on developing yiour power- after you've finished working on endurance and base building, the next step for you will be intervals, which will help you build even more speed, and then you'll be ready to add in power drills. If you get started on this now, you could be ready by early May.

    Koffee

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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    "grandma's" cookies? mcfood
    Processed factory food with a million weird ingredients.
    If it's just the last five miles it seems like you could just cool down.
    I like to carry a banana or apple, or something non messy and healthy.

    FXjohn
    Hey, one cookie isn't going to kill me, you or even him.

    He asked for suggestions, and I gave him mine. (I also suggested a banana, but perhaps you missed that).

    Feel free to offer your own suggestions, but please don't criticize what I suggest.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-08-03 at 09:06 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I like the suggestion of sugary foods. I used to carry a snickers but the caramel always made my mouth sticky and I was constantly licking my lips (I looked like a dog who had just eaten peanut butter). I went out again today with an apple and a granola bar and it was a lot better than just the granola bar I had been carrying before. I ate the apple at about 1:15 and then the granola bar before the last 5 miles (itís a 2 mile hill at 9% so easing up isnít really an option.)

    Anyways, I tried to spin at about 80-90RPMís today and it felt like a nice balance between what I have tried previously. Excuse my lack of knowledge on the subject Koffee, but what exactly are intervals? Increasing the speed as if you were taking a pull? And ready for what next may

  8. #8
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    Intervals are time periods in your workout where you incorporate a specific amount of increased work, followed by a specific amount of increased rest. For instance, if I ride for 60 minutes, I can do intervals of 3 minutes, where I do 1 minute of effort at a high heart rate- say... (FOR INSTANCE, NOT THE STANDARD BY ANY MEANS) 90% maximum heart rate, followed by 2 minutes of recovery at say... (FOR INSTANCE, NOT THE STANDARD BY ANY MEANS) 75% maximum heart rate= 3 minutes total in that interval.

    You can structure your interval any way that makes sense, but be sure that the intervals are productive and don't compromise the overall training session or your overall periodization program.

    For something like this, it is always most helpful to work with a heart rate monitor, but if you don't have one, you can go by rate of perceived exertion (RPE), but by using RPE, it is definitely less accurate, and difficult to quantify, which means you can't see if you have any results as quickly as if you used a monitor.

    As far as what you'll be ready for next May, I meant ready for the next riding season, whether it be recreationally or competitively.

    Koffee

  9. #9
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    I tend to stick to a banana every 60 to 90 minutes on a long ride. Plus I carry a couple packets of GU for emergencies. If I eat anything really dense, like granola bars, I don't last as long. I think the bananas work because they are easy to digest, so less of my body's attention is diverted to my stomach. I can't do PowerBars, they are like eating plastic, and some of the more "natural" looking items taste like sawdust and honey. I will sometimes have a Clif Bar before a ride, but make sure that anything you eat gets washed down with LOTS of water.

    As for cadence, you will do your knees a huge favor by sticking to a higher cadence. You may expend a little more energy to go the same distance at the same speed, but you will put far less strain on your knees, both skeletally and connective tissue wise. If you watch LAnce ride (I hate to always use him aas an example, but...), you will notice that he pedals at a higher cadence than most other pro riders, although some of them are adopting his style, including Ulrich, who used to mash really huge gears. The other benefit of spinning, is that you will tend to have a lower avg HR. By keeping yourself in what we SPinning instructors call the Endurance Energy Zone (65%-75% of MHR), more of the calories you burn will be from stored fat, as opposed to muscle glycogen. The average person has much more of the first, so you continue to develop a good aerobic base, and on those occasions when you push your pace and your HR up towards your AT, you gradually train your body to move that threshold up, basically becoming a more efficient and powerful engine.

    DEMON

  10. #10
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFloppyLlama
    Two questions completely unrelated to each other in this case. The first is mainly dealing with good ride snacks (both before and during). Right now Iím just eating a granola bar every hour or so Iím on the bike, with one before the ride as well. I guess Iím just looking for suggestions regarding good ďboostsĒ that donít involve the power bar things. I'm usually riding about 2 hours (~45miles) a day and tend to run out of energy in the last 5 miles if I don't eat anything.

    If you are running out in the last 5 miles, you don't need to eat much. Just a little. Here are some suggestions

    Bananas - these are great and cheap. No fat, biodegradeable wrapper. Snappy yellow color. Carbos and electrolytes.
    Oranges - see bananas above.
    Peanut Butter and Jelly - make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, wrap it and stick it in yer jersey pocket.
    Dried Fruit - raisins, prunes, apricots, dates, there are all sorts of things.

    Granola bars have a fair bit of fat in them. Just recently I got a rice crispies bar at a convenience store during a ride - they are mainly rice crispies and marshmellows and reasonably low in fat. Tasted good but kinda sweet.

    They also have those cereal bars out now that are supposed to mimic a bowl of cereal and milk. You might give them a try.

    Oh, Fig Newtons are good and they have a large number of flavers now - apple, strawberry and so on.

    Of course, if you want to do it right, you can eat a pecan pancake with maple syrup but I think you are asking about something that will fit in your jersey pocket. I remember riding with a friend and we were out early Sunday morning and it was cold and wet. We rode about 50 miles. We had had breakfast but after 50 miles it was long gone. We stopped at a diner and we had these bugs plastered on our faces. The truckers thought that was a hoot! Anyrate we each had coffee and one large pecan pancake with syrup. It was MARVELOUS. It was almost like the thing was directly injected into my bloodstream. What a buzz! We did the last 15 miles at around 25 mph.

    The second question Iíve heard a little bit on, but nothing really concrete. For about 2 months Iíve been spinning at about 90-100RPMís but recently Iíve been trying to push larger gears at about 70-80RPM to achieve the same speeds. I canít exactly pinpoint a dramatic change, but I do tend to have more energy after spinning less. After the ride however, my legs are absolutely dead at the lower cadence but not so when riding at a higher cadence. Is this more of a personal thing, or should I be looking to ride at an optimal cadence?
    Well, riding at a lower cadence seems to put more stress on everything. And the notion of whether it is better to push a big gear at 80 rpm or spin at 100 in a smaller gear seems to come and go on a fad basis. Pushing a big gear hurts my knees so I spin. Some guys like Gregg Lemond were famous for pushing big gears and other guys like Lance Armstrong are famous for spinning. Now I for one am not going to say that Lemond or Armstrong don't know what they are doing. So I guess both work. Do what works best for you.

    I

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lonestar1's Avatar
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    I pretty much agree with just about everything already posted. I tend to stick with bananas, fig newtons, etc. Sometimes I'll even make my own mix of dried apricots/raisins. I do like some flavors of Clif bars but I've decided that power gels aren't worth the price. I just use honey. For me, it's just as effective &
    much cheaper.

    I'd say stick with the higher cadence using easier gears. I think you'll enjoy
    the ride much better.
    "...You ask me what I like about
    Texas? Well I'd tell ya', but we could
    be here...all night long."

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    I've done well by trying to eat a little bit often on long rides. For me, that means eating something (half a power bar (I like the "gold" ones), a couple of fig newtons, or a banana) every 20 minutes or so. If I wait an hour and then eat a lot, it bothers my stomach more.

  13. #13
    Senior Member keithnordstrom's Avatar
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    bananas and fig newtons rock, gu are also good (dark chocolate flavor). pretzels can be a good thing, too, especially if you tend to sweat salt like me.

    i spin happily at 100 rpm unless i'm going hard. for some reason i need to drop to about 80 when i'm hammering, otherwise i slow down due to lack of concentration lol.

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