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  1. #1
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Nutrition for 20-30m rides

    First time posting in T&N - I know some of this has been covered before, but searching didn't quite cut it for me.

    I've been back riding again for just over year or so, most of my rides are ~1.5h in the 20-30m range about 3 times a week. I've tended to push myself fairly hard, always climbing and pushing my speed in the flats - I just recently realized that I was getting the old "ammonia smell in the shower" syndrome that has been posted about before. I used to get this after really intense gym workouts aswell. I know that this is likely due to my body burning protein instead of fat, but it got me thinking about nutrition.

    What am I doing currently? I normally just take water with me on a ride since they're not exactly long distance, but today it was pretty warm in the bay area, so I took about half a bottle of gatorade (for carbs - I know its junky) as well as water in an attempt to stay hydrated. I noticed when hammering up a short hill I got the first hint of a cramp at around mile 15, which surprised me - perhaps another sign that I could do better with thinking about nutrition during my rides.

    Given that data dump, what would you T&N folks recommend for nutrition either before, during or after a relatively short, but intense ride?

    thnx, Beaker

  2. #2
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Depends on how hard the hour and a half is going to be. If I'm going out for a "cruise" at L2 for an hour and a half, I'll not prepare any differently than just normal meals and bringing water.

    If my hour and a half is going to be comprised of hard work (L4/threshold), I'll plan on taking on calories in gel form around 10-15 minutes in (post warm up) and then take on either another gel or a energy bar ~ 1 hr in. If it's 2x20's, or 3x20's, it's a gel/light food between intervals.

    Temps would determine if it's 1 bottle or two (I'm typically a water only guy). 90 minutes of threshold work I would probably want two bottles in anything 75F or higher.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  3. #3
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Thanks Nomad -- can you help me with the L2 vs L4 definitions? I think that temparature is probably a part of this, I recently started riding lunch times from work which have all been pleasantly warm of late, and today it was above 70F. Previously I've mostly been an early morning rider.

    I'm definitely not a racer, but just like to try to push myself to get better, there's something about the buzz you get after a good ride that can't be beat. I've never really given this side of cycling much serious thought.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    Thanks Nomad -- can you help me with the L2 vs L4 definitions? I think that temparature is probably a part of this, I recently started riding lunch times from work which have all been pleasantly warm of late, and today it was above 70F. Previously I've mostly been an early morning rider.

    I'm definitely not a racer, but just like to try to push myself to get better, there's something about the buzz you get after a good ride that can't be beat. I've never really given this side of cycling much serious thought
    .
    Does this mean that you're skipping lunch in order to ride? If so, it could be a problem. Maybe think about eating half your lunch before you go, and the rest when you get back? Sometimes the timing is more important than what you actually eat.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Does this mean that you're skipping lunch in order to ride? If so, it could be a problem. Maybe think about eating half your lunch before you go, and the rest when you get back? Sometimes the timing is more important than what you actually eat.
    Ha-ha - just started doing that last week, about 20-25mins before my ride I'll grab half a sandwich. I ate about 3h before I went out today though. What's a good routine?

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    Ha-ha - just started doing that last week, about 20-25mins before my ride I'll grab half a sandwich. I ate about 3h before I went out today though. What's a good routine?
    I think if you're trying to lose weight (or at least not gain weight), it's a bad idea to eat much extra food unless you're riding more than a couple hours. But you will probably ride better if your blood sugar is a little high before you start. And you'll probably recover better if you eat something right after you come in. That's why I suggested eating half your lunch before the ride and the rest when you get in.

    That doesn't mean you can't ride hungry. Most people can, except maybe diabetics. But many people ride stronger and happier if they have a little food in their systems. Work with it, experiment a little. You'll soon figure out what works best for you.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #7
    部門ニ/自転車オタク NomadVW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    Thanks Nomad -- can you help me with the L2 vs L4 definitions? I think that temparature is probably a part of this, I recently started riding lunch times from work which have all been pleasantly warm of late, and today it was above 70F. Previously I've mostly been an early morning rider.

    I'm definitely not a racer, but just like to try to push myself to get better, there's something about the buzz you get after a good ride that can't be beat. I've never really given this side of cycling much serious thought.
    L2 is endurance pace riding. What most people would consider sustainable for a number of hours (3-4) leaving you slightly fatigued the next day. To measure it in "perceived exertion," for me it's the level just above "working up a sweat" but below the "breathing hard" level.

    L4 is the "breathing hard" level. It's the level of intensity that you're sustaining for just around an hour and would leave most people sore the next day.

    The difference in riding between those two levels for me is the difference between riding ~800 calories per hour and riding 1100-1200ish calories per hour. But aside from just avoiding on-the-bike calorie deficit, eating while riding aids on post-ride recovery and reduces the post ride hunger issues.
    Envision, Energize, Enable

  8. #8
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Thanks - that helps. My last lunch ride was probably about 20-25mins L4 and 60mins L2. It's tough for me get in a 3-4h rides just now, but I somehow don't feel as satisfied if I haven't really pushed myself somewhere during my 1-2h rides. Are there any good resources for beginners on how to think about nutrition/training?

    I've a Roubaix also, and love the way you can push those things, despite them earning the "plush" label -- I've only had it since the start of the year, but every time I go out on it, the bike just wants to go faster and seems to readily reward hard work...nice.
    Last edited by Beaker; 03-24-08 at 08:52 PM.

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