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  1. #1
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    sorta-bonked at 51 miles

    Need some advise. I commute to work about 2,500 miles a year. My riding is in 1 hour intervals (17 miles each way around, 17 mph average). Lately, I have been adding to this with a Saturday morning club ride (40 to 70 miles) on my race bike. I do great the first 40-50 miles, taking turns on the lead, but lose energy the last 10-20 miles. Yesterday, I sorta-bonked at 51 miles with 7 more hilly miles to go. My speed was off the pace of the group. The group was nice enough to pull me in twice and I finished with the group. I had only consumed 1 water bottle during the ride. It was a cool morning and didn't feel the need to force down more water. I suspect my problem was either dehyrdation, or glycogen depletion. Probably the later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Should I use a sports drink, or gels. I usually stay away from that stuff (too sugary), but I think it might help in this situation.

  2. #2
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    Do you eat during the ride? If so what? I think you found your problem yourself but just need to force yourself to eat and drink.
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    Senior Member Trek Rider's Avatar
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    If you don't have to pee, you're not drinking enough.

    A rule of thumb that many in my club use is 1.5 oz of liquid every mile. On cool days I may drink less, and depending on my level of exhertion, I may drink more. But if I ride more than 50-60 miles and don't feel the need to pee, I know I'm not drinking enough. YMMV

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnan
    I suspect my problem was either dehyrdation, or glycogen depletion. Probably the later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Should I use a sports drink, or gels. I usually stay away from that stuff (too sugary), but I think it might help in this situation.
    I agree with your diagnosis. You're putting in a boatload of miles just commuting. IMO, gels will help more than sports drinks, and will get into your system quicker than more solid food... give it a try. Shoot for about 250 - 300 calories/hour on your Sat. rides.

    If that works, you can start experimenting with different stuff, less sweet, etc.

  5. #5
    Pat
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    It was a cool morning and didn't feel the need to force down more water. I suspect my problem was either dehyrdation, or glycogen depletion. Probably the later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Should I use a sports drink, or gels. I usually stay away from that stuff (too sugary), but I think it might help in this situation.

    Well, it could be either and I think you have hit on the problem. On your commutes, you are not going far enough to cause problems with dehydration or glycogen depletion (unless it is really hot).

    Dehydration usually makes me feel nauseated and weak. Bonk is just my legs not being able to sprint or work really hard anymore because they ran out of glycogen. Otherwise, I feel fine in a bonk. Of course, your results may vary and I suspect they do.

    Now only one water bottle in that distance seems like far too little to me. But I know some people who don't seem to drink much. I sweat quite a bit so I can go through a camalback (70 oz) in an hour on a hot day here in Central FL.

    People vary on how much they need to eat. I have come close to bonking in that distance. A fast hilly ride can do it to you that fast. Normally, I don't need to eat anything unless I am going about 70 miles or more. Of course, eating will only stave off the bonk but it does help. To avoid glycogen depletion, you need to slow down so your body can burn more fat (the faster you go the more % of glycogen you burn).

    As to eating and when, that varies. I can eat some fruit before a ride and during a ride with no problem - oranges, bananas, apples etc. On faster rides, it helps me having a little in my stomach to drip in some carbo (or so it seems, it could be in my head). I know people who use diluted sports drinks, diluted fruit juice, power bars and other things. I also know people who have problems with anything on their stomach during a ride. Most of these people really like those little packets of dissolved carbos like "Gu".

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    Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions. They have all been good and I will apply them. Trial and Error. I now realize that commuting 17 miles is different than 60 miles club rides. Duh! 2 large water bottles, maybe some OJ in one, GU, and maybe a banana or some orange will be a requirement. I have been relunctant to eat during the ride because I usually have a large bagel, cereal, some fruit, and 2 coffees an hour before the ride and feel that my carbo loading is sufficient till lunch. However, I eat everything in sight after the 60 mile ride. I think I need to eat the same amount, but eat more during the ride and less after the ride. Thanks again. I should do better this Saturday.

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    I suggest drinking a full bottle of water every 15 miles. Gel or powerbar 20 minutes before you think you'll need it.

    I think you will be pleasantly surprised next weekend.

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