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  1. #1
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    Do you eat junk food after a long ride??

    so i went for a 2 hour ride this morning with a friend, 27 miles total. about 6 miles of flat, then 8 miles of low inclined climbing, then back down. we do this about every week and every single time afterwards, i realllllly crave JUNK food. something really greasy, salty, fatty, and sweet. Maybe something like a guacamole bacon six dollar burger with a large fries and large mint chocolate chip shake*drool*. It takes every ounce of self control i have to go home and cook a decently clean meal(pasta and eggs usually).
    But every so often, i do end up just going to jack in the box or a taqueria after the ride.
    My theory has been that if i eat this junk anyways, at least after i biked for 2 hours straight i've burned off enough calories that it wont be as bad for me. But, i also know that the foods i eat within an hour after a hard workout is recovery food but im not sure if it has to necesarily be healthy foods, or just any food with fat protein and carbs.

    So would eating junk food after a hard workout be better or worse than just eating it casually?
    and does anyone else actually eat junk food after a long ride? as far as junk food while riding, i usually cant eat any junk food snacks or else ill get a bad stomache ache, but i've heard of people eating twinkies and fig newtons as snacks while riding.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Do you eat junk food after a long ride??

    Yes.

    But a 2 hour ride is a short ride, not a long ride, and if one of the goals of riding is to lose weight, a guacamole bacon six dollar burger with a large fries and large mint chocolate chip shake would provide you with more calories than you burned off.

    If you are craving that massive amount of calories after a 2 hour ride, you might want to consider eating something like a bagal before you go out on your ride.

    As for eating fig newtons during a ride ... check the calorie content of a fig newton.



    Here's a site that might interest you:
    http://www.nutritiondata.com/

  3. #3
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    its still a long ride for me . i guess my body is still getting used to biking, i think i've been gaining weight since i started biking because i've had a bigger appetite and i usually eat high calorie foods. But since about two weeks ago i tried to clean my diet up and it seems to be working, im about 4 lbs lighter than 2 weeks ago.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well if you're eating a guacamole bacon six dollar burger with a large fries and large mint chocolate chip shake after your rides, it's no wonder you're gaining weight. Keep in mind that on a 2-hour ride, you're only burning about 1000 calories. You can look it up by looking up the site of the fast food place you're thinking of, but the burger and shake will probably run you about 1300 calories.

    If you have something about 250-500 calories to eat before the ride, and then eat a couple fig newtons (or something of a similar calorie count) mid-ride, you won't feel so hungry after the ride.

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    Senior Member s4one's Avatar
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    Depends if your trying to drop or gain weight/speed. Its all about power to weight ratio...
    Burnt slicks

  6. #6
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    I don't think it's fair to label what a "long ride" might be for someone else, or to call something that the OP is obviously proud of a "little ride."

    Also, it's hard to make recommendations on diet without knowing what the OP's goals are. If it's weight loss, then yeah, maybe a guacamole bacon burger isn't the best choice. But if it's purely performance and recovery, burgers are loaded with protein and guac has good fats in it. Nix the fries, replace the shake with chocolate milk (which is actually a good recovery food), make your own burger with lean meat and a whole wheat bun, and you've got yourself a decent recovery meal. If the furnace is hot enough, it'll burn anything...you'd be surprised by some of the crap that ultramarathoners eat during their events. Granted, some choices are better for recovery than others, but in that first 20 minutes after your workout, you just want to replace the glycogen, and a burger is better than nothing.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    Also, it's hard to make recommendations on diet without knowing what the OP's goals are. If it's weight loss, then yeah, maybe a guacamole bacon burger isn't the best choice.
    That's exactly what I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    But if it's purely performance and recovery, burgers are loaded with protein and guac has good fats in it. Nix the fries, replace the shake with chocolate milk (which is actually a good recovery food), make your own burger with lean meat and a whole wheat bun, and you've got yourself a decent recovery meal. If the furnace is hot enough, it'll burn anything...you'd be surprised by some of the crap that ultramarathoners eat during their events. Granted, some choices are better for recovery than others, but in that first 20 minutes after your workout, you just want to replace the glycogen, and a burger is better than nothing.
    Sure, a burger is not a bad choice as a recovery food ... but for a 2-hour, 13.5mph ride, recovery foods aren't needed.

    Like you say, ultramarathoners eat all sorts of stuff during their rides, but short ultramarathon rides are 8+ hours (the 200K brevet) and they go up from there ... 24-hours, 90-hours, etc. ... and for those rides, recovery food is needed.

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    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Okay, so I'm not super knowledgeable as far as cycling nutrition, but I guess I related it to how running works. I'm a pretty serious runner, and I've done a ton of research as far as nutrition for that and assumed it was the same, but if it's not, feel free to correct me. A 27 mile ride is about equal to a 9 mile run (give or take...there's no TRUE conversion but this is the general cross-training conversion factor). Since he's saying he was famished afterward, I'm going to assume that meant he was pushing himself (since exertion level will have a large effect on how much muscle was broken down during the ride). For the sake of this topic, I'll assume it to be a medium, steady-state effort. For me, a 9 mile steady-state run is starting to get into the territory where if I don't refuel afterward, my workout the next day will suffer. That indicates to me that my body needs recovery food in order to replace its glycogen stores and start to rebuild whatever muscles I broke down. Every one of my coaches as well as every piece of literature I've ever read has always told me that you should eat some type of recovery food after working out, even if it's not a balls-to-the-wall sufferfest. Heck, I make sure I eat a bowl of oatmeal after running my super-easy effort 4 mile double in the morning. So I disagree with your statement that recovery foods aren't needed, ESPECIALLY if that's the OP's long ride of the week (it's all relative anyway...an ultramarathoner thinks my 16 mile long run is short, but it's long enough for me that I need recovery food afterward). The size of the recovery meal might be out of proportion, which is what I'm assuming you probably are trying to say, but to say that recovery food isn't needed for that ride isn't true.

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    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    my primary goal isnt really weight loss, its mainly just to gain endurance but i do also want to lose a few lbs while im at it. i used to lift weights but never did anymore than 20 minutes of cardio afterwards because i've heard it eats away at the muscles, but that was just an excuse because i really just hated doing cardio.
    i guess the whole value meal is a little excessive. french fries is probably one of the hardest foods to give up for me, sigh.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
    Okay, so I'm not super knowledgeable as far as cycling nutrition, but I guess I related it to how running works. I'm a pretty serious runner, and I've done a ton of research as far as nutrition for that and assumed it was the same, but if it's not, feel free to correct me. A 27 mile ride is about equal to a 9 mile run (give or take...there's no TRUE conversion but this is the general cross-training conversion factor). Since he's saying he was famished afterward, I'm going to assume that meant he was pushing himself (since exertion level will have a large effect on how much muscle was broken down during the ride). For the sake of this topic, I'll assume it to be a medium, steady-state effort. For me, a 9 mile steady-state run is starting to get into the territory where if I don't refuel afterward, my workout the next day will suffer. That indicates to me that my body needs recovery food in order to replace its glycogen stores and start to rebuild whatever muscles I broke down. Every one of my coaches as well as every piece of literature I've ever read has always told me that you should eat some type of recovery food after working out, even if it's not a balls-to-the-wall sufferfest. Heck, I make sure I eat a bowl of oatmeal after running my super-easy effort 4 mile double in the morning. So I disagree with your statement that recovery foods aren't needed, ESPECIALLY if that's the OP's long ride of the week (it's all relative anyway...an ultramarathoner thinks my 16 mile long run is short, but it's long enough for me that I need recovery food afterward). The size of the recovery meal might be out of proportion, which is what I'm assuming you probably are trying to say, but to say that recovery food isn't needed for that ride isn't true.

    Well, first ... a 27 mile ride does not equate with a 9 mile run. For me, a 27 mile ride is something I'd do in the evening after work and then continue on to do a full evening of housework and other stuff. For me, a 9 mile run is currently impossible, and even if I were to do a combination run-walk, I'd be dead for the rest of the evening. (This, however, may be a different story for a triathlete) I have heard people who have done both compare the cycling double century with the marathon in terms of effort, etc.. If that is the case, then that's a 200 mile to 26 mile ratio, which would mean that a 27 mile ride compares to a 3.5 mile run.

    This particular 27 mile ride was done at 13.5 mph (22.5 km/h) which is a casual-moderate pace ... fairly slow. It's actually about the pace I ride when I'm not exerting myself very much, and I'm known as a slow rider.

    It's sort of common knowledge among cyclists that if the ride is 2 hours or less, no additional eating is required before, after, or during the ride ..... unless the ride is a hammer-fest, or straight up the side of a mountain, or something where a great deal of exertion took place. This is because the body has enough calories in storage to be able to handle 2 hours of riding just fine ... unless the person has not eaten for many hours prior to the ride and has already depleted his/her stores.

    However, if the OP is starving after the ride, that would indicate that the OP likely didn't eat anything prior to the ride, or very little. Something as simple as a bagal prior to the ride would solve the problem. And personally I'd also recommend bringing one bottle of a sports drink with a few calories in it during the ride as well.

    When rides get over the 2-hour point, that's when it becomes more important to eat before, during, and after rides, because the body starts to use up what it has in storage and needs something more to work with.

  11. #11
    Just a commuter stockholm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    It's sort of common knowledge among cyclists that if the ride is 2 hours or less, no additional eating is required before, after, or during the ride ..... unless the ride is a hammer-fest, or straight up the side of a mountain, or something where a great deal of exertion took place.
    I'm not sure I consider myself a cyclist, per se, but I sure love to ride my bicycle all over the place.

    I am, however, one of those people who needs to eat and drink more or less all the time Especially if I'm on the bike or doing some other type of exercise. I always bring some kind of bar or fruit, even for 1-hour rides. If not, I'm doomed to get all light-headed and dizzy and would probably stumble out in the woods... Two hours with only water would bonk me big time.

    Just my Swedish little krona.

  12. #12
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Well, first ... a 27 mile ride does not equate with a 9 mile run. For me, a 27 mile ride is something I'd do in the evening after work and then continue on to do a full evening of housework and other stuff. For me, a 9 mile run is currently impossible, and even if I were to do a combination run-walk, I'd be dead for the rest of the evening. (This, however, may be a different story for a triathlete) I have heard people who have done both compare the cycling double century with the marathon in terms of effort, etc.. If that is the case, then that's a 200 mile to 26 mile ratio, which would mean that a 27 mile ride compares to a 3.5 mile run.
    Yeah, but you're in shape for cycling and not for running. Someone who's equally in shape for both usually uses about a 3:1 ratio. Personally, I think a 9 mile run takes a lot less effort than a 27 mile ride, since I'm a better runner than cyclist, and, for the record, a niner is shorter than my normal evening after work full evening of housework run. As for what takes more effort, the double century or marathon, I think it depends on the effort expended during the event. I can make a 5K (3.1 mile) running race harder than a 100 mile ride if I race hard enough. Similarly, I can make a 10 mile hammerfest ride harder than a 20 mile run. The way I would think about it, double century assumes "ride" (completion) where marathon assumes "race" (competition), but that can change depending on your friends' goals.

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    No! Recovery is the most important step in building fitness. If you blow recovery you just dig yourself into a hole.

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    Just went on a 3 hour ride last Saturday with my new garmin computer for the first time...upon arriving at my mother's house for dinner, I was slightly disappointed that she'd ordered an ultra greasy extra pepperoni pizza for dinner since I'm trying to eat healthy and lose a bit of weight.

    Upon review of my workout on the spiffy computer though, I discovered I'd burned an estimated 3700 calories...Taking stock of the situation I figured I couldn't possibly eat HALF of what I'd just burned, so I proceeded to ingest 4 slices of the extra greasy gut bomb pizza, then a small bowl of pasta with olive oil about an hour later.

    Normally this would have made me sick to my stomach, but as the night wore on I felt the same as if I had eaten steamed brown rice and salmon with vegetables.

    Long story short, if you feel good after eating (1-3 hours later), you've probably eaten 'healthy'. If you feel stuffed/bloated/heavy/discontent, you've probably eaten 'unhealthy' ....that's how I look at it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwill01 View Post
    ... garmin computer ... estimated 3700 calories...[/b]
    I wouldn't believe that. I use a Garmin 305, and I think it way overestimates.
    ...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    ... which would mean that a 27 mile ride compares to a 3.5 mile run. ...
    Machka, I disagree with your anecdote that a double century is comparable in difficulty to a marathon. They are too different to compare.

    During a marathon a runner will quickly (3 to 5 hours) run their body to a point of near complete depletion, during the event the focus is on staying hydrated, their is considerably less focus associated with consuming calories. The exertion level generally precludes consuming any substantial amount of calories.

    A long distance cyclist on the other hand, will focus on both hydration and calories and a ride might last 12 to 24 or more hours. The exertion level relative to running a marathon is a lot lower.

    I am the opposite of Zephyr11, his strength is running, my strength is cycling. I've done an IronMan, and I have a good idea of the relationship between calories burned cycling and running and the effort of each. You are seeing the ratio as being closer to 10 to 1 (running is 10 times more demanding than cycling), Zephyr11 is suggesting something closer to 3 to 1.

    I think Zephyr11 is much closer to the truth.

    A young in-shape club cyclist will aim to ride a 25 mile time trial in under an hour. A young in-shape club runner should be able to run sub 7 minute miles with some ease, that's 9 miles in an hour. In both cases the exertion level is likely to be slightly over 1,000 calories an hour. If you have never done any regular running that included 5k, 10k, half marathon etc. then you should try to refrain from making unqualified comparisons.

    To the other poster referring to the Garmin device that computed 3,500 calories for a 3 hour ride - that thing needs some serious calibration.

    To the OP: Typically what are you eating (and drinking) prior to a ride and when do you eat it? You need to give your body an hour to digest a light meal prior to a ride. Do you drink anything immediately prior to a ride? What do you consume during the ride?

    My guess is the OP is riding on an empty stomach and consumes next to nothing during the ride. The 12 mph pace ought to be relaxed enough to allow you to eat and drink almost anything. I agree with Machka, that you should not feel like you are starving to death after a very light 2 hour ride. Note: I only have to look at a swimming pool and I want 2 quarter pounder's with cheese.
    Last edited by HoustonB; 01-13-09 at 08:47 AM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    What's that swimmers name, the one who won all those gold medals in Beijing. I don't think he really watches what he eats. But then again he's so young. Wait a few years and he will really need to watch it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    What's that swimmers name, the one who won all those gold medals in Beijing. I don't think he really watches what he eats. But then again he's so young. Wait a few years and he will really need to watch it.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Do you eat junk food after a long ride??

    Yes.

    But a 2 hour ride is a short ride, not a long ride, and if one of the goals of riding is to lose weight, a guacamole bacon six dollar burger with a large fries and large mint chocolate chip shake would provide you with more calories than you burned off.

    If you are craving that massive amount of calories after a 2 hour ride, you might want to consider eating something like a bagal before you go out on your ride.

    As for eating fig newtons during a ride ... check the calorie content of a fig newton.



    Here's a site that might interest you:
    http://www.nutritiondata.com/
    The longest rides for me are around 6 hours (I'm not much of a distance rider) but I still wouldn't eat that much fat in a sitting. I might have a rootbear float or something for dessert, but rarely do I eat much grease.

    However, a 2 hour ride is short for me, considering I average almost 50 miles a ride. That includes my bi-weekly active recovery rides too (5-20 miles).

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  20. #20
    Raptor Custom Bicycles ZXiMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    Machka, I disagree with your anecdote that a double century is comparable in difficulty to a marathon. They are too different to compare.

    During a marathon a runner will quickly (3 to 5 hours) run their body to a point of near complete depletion, during the event the focus is on staying hydrated, their is considerably less focus associated with consuming calories. The exertion level generally precludes consuming any substantial amount of calories.

    A long distance cyclist on the other hand, will focus on both hydration and calories and a ride might last 12 to 24 or more hours. The exertion level relative to running a marathon is a lot lower.

    I am the opposite of Zephyr11, his strength is running, my strength is cycling. I've done an IronMan, and I have a good idea of the relationship between calories burned cycling and running and the effort of each. You are seeing the ratio as being closer to 10 to 1 (running is 10 times more demanding than cycling), Zephyr11 is suggesting something closer to 3 to 1.

    I think Zephyr11 is much closer to the truth.

    A young in-shape club cyclist will aim to ride a 25 mile time trial in under an hour. A young in-shape club runner should be able to run sub 7 minute miles with some ease, that's 9 miles in an hour. In both cases the exertion level is likely to be slightly over 1,000 calories an hour. If you have never done any regular running that included 5k, 10k, half marathon etc. then you should try to refrain from making unqualified comparisons.

    To the other poster referring to the Garmin device that computed 3,500 calories for a 3 hour ride - that thing needs some serious calibration.

    To the OP: Typically what are you eating (and drinking) prior to a ride and when do you eat it? You need to give your body an hour to digest a light meal prior to a ride. Do you drink anything immediately prior to a ride? What do you consume during the ride?

    My guess is the OP is riding on an empty stomach and consumes next to nothing during the ride. The 12 mph pace ought to be relaxed enough to allow you to eat and drink almost anything. I agree with Machka, that you should not feel like you are starving to death after a very light 2 hour ride. Note: I only have to look at a swimming pool and I want 2 quarter pounder's with cheese.

    Depends on the intensity and amount of climbing involved....

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    One thing that I have not seen taken into account on this topic is efficiency. I can take two months off the bike and burn a lot less calories riding 40 miles at 20 mph than I could have two years ago, the reason being my riding is more efficient. I pedal full circles, I know when to push myself and I know when to take it easy to bring in a good average speed a whole lot better than I did when I was a beginner-I can get into a more aero position saving even more energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by irish pat View Post
    One thing that I have not seen taken into account on this topic is efficiency. I can take two months off the bike and burn a lot less calories riding 40 miles at 20 mph than I could have two years ago, the reason being my riding is more efficient. I pedal full circles, I know when to push myself and I know when to take it easy to bring in a good average speed a whole lot better than I did when I was a beginner-I can get into a more aero position saving even more energy.
    The bottom line, I believe, is watts out = energy burned. If it takes you 300watts to ride 20mph, you will burn more energy than if someone is only producing 200 (wind, drafting, weight, etc).

    I definitely have a ramped up appetite after a long ride. It actually takes a few hours for it to kick in, then pretty much anything is fair game - especially junk food. It's take a fair amount of restraint not to eat a whole bad of oreos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    What's that swimmers name, the one who won all those gold medals in Beijing. I don't think he really watches what he eats. But then again he's so young. Wait a few years and he will really need to watch it.
    Phelps eats a ton - all top-end athletes due - but, like all olympic athletes, is very very careful about what he eats.
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    High-fat food is bad for you whether you ride or not. The people I know who play the "I can eat anything because I rode" game all carry more weight than they want, except for the ones who ride serious amounts of time.

    For your situation, I have two thoughts.

    1) 250 cal/hour of carbs during your workout will help in keeping your blood suger up, and mute the hunger.

    2) A good recovery meal asap after you've finished exercising will help more. I use a recover drink (endurox), and it helps me a lot with this.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

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    Thread jack - garmin efficiency

    Interesting posts in this thread.


    As to the Garmin's efficiency:

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    ...the exertion level is likely to be slightly over 1,000 calories an hour.
    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    To the other poster referring to the Garmin device that computed 3,500 calories for a 3 hour ride - that thing needs some serious calibration.
    Isn't 3500 calories / 3 hours somewhat close to 1,000 calories/hour? I'm also 245lbs and just getting into cycling, so I think my body probably isn't so efficient at burning calories yet.

    Reason I got the Garmin was to help tone down my workouts and spend more time in the aerobic zone as opposed to the anaerobic to improve that efficiency.

    BTW, here's the ride it said I did 3728 calories:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3.../heartrate.jpg



    As to how efficient a bike is over a runner:

    I say this is highly dependent on the bike, speed and elevation changes on the bike ride. I can cruise a 45mile ride on the flats at 13-15mph and feel like I hardly worked out (helps to have a nice bike). As for running, I would be completely destroyed if I ran 9 miles right now at a 9:00 mile pace - assuming I could even do it.

    Just think about the physics of a high end bike with 100psi road tires, it hardly encounters any friction/resistance traveling 15mph on the flats, so it only takes a small amount of energy to keep it going - it's the miracle of the wheel. Running on the other hand, every time your foot hits the ground you're back down to 0. Increase your speed and climb rate on the bike however, and the resistance goes up exponentially.

    So essentially a bike has a much wider range of efficiency than a runner. That is to say, it can either be much more efficient than a runner (9 times?), or only slightly more efficient(3 times?) depending on the factors mentioned above.

    Therefore, I think we can say that both Zephyr's and Matchka's examples are accurate.
    Last edited by jwill01; 01-19-09 at 01:34 AM.

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