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Attempting my longest ride tomorrow - preparation help?

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Attempting my longest ride tomorrow - preparation help?

Old 01-11-13, 08:08 AM
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thejokell
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Attempting my longest ride tomorrow - preparation help?

Tomorrow I'm attempting my longest ride I've ever done - 36 miles. My longest to date has been 24, but I did that somewhat easily and think I can get through 36 without an issue. However, I've never brought anything with me on my rides except for a single water bottle. I'm guessing for 36 miles I'll need more than that.

I was planning on bringing two bottles, but should I also bring something to eat? I never get hungry on my rides but I read about people eating something every 25 miles or so. If I should eat something, what should it be? I have no energy bars or anything like that, but I could buy them this evening. Or should I skip the food during the ride and just wait until I'm done?
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Old 01-11-13, 08:16 AM
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You should bring a second water bottle just in case. You should bring a bar/gel or two just in case.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:30 AM
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This is what I do. I go by time references not distance, it depends to me on length of ride not distance. If ride is going to be under two hours I taken two water bottles, I always take two water bottles as you just never know. For a ride I know will be over three hours I start my nutrition routine at 45 minutes when I will start with electrolyte tabs every 45 minutes, at 60 minutes I start gel and food intake. For me that's a shot of gel or a few honey stinger chews or half a granola bar or whatever food I brought. If its a hard group training ride I will always add extra calorie intake if we stop for a nature break. For me though its always water intake, you have to stay on top of water intake. For a 60k ride I would likly just take two bottles and a granola bar unless I planned on pushing real hard then I would take my electrolyte tabs and maybe some gel type calories.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:31 AM
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Yup.

Watch your pace, and ease up if you don't feel up to it. My rule is more on time than it is on distance for eating. I'd say 150-200 calories, heavier on the carbs, every hour to hour and a half. That ride sounds closer to 3 hours (a guess -- no idea how fit you are). Personally I really like Kind bars, and usually try to have one every two hours or so.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:39 AM
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I'll be a little over 2 hours - average pace is about 16 mph on flat roads which is what this ride will be. It's basically an 9 mile straight away along a swamp (could run into a bear or two, yikes!), and I'm planning on riding up and back twice. I can leave food in my car to eat at the halfway mark, which is probably what I'll do - take a granola bar and a few minute break at 18 miles.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:47 AM
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One electrolyte tablet in each water bottle, 1/4 Peanut Butter and Honey or Nutella sandwich every 16 miles does the trick for me. I don't use caffeine so the designer, (Gu, Cliff, etc), food doesn't do anything for me. It's just convenient packaging and I do just as well with the above in a glad bag.

Enjoy your ride and congrats on upping your game!
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Old 01-11-13, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
One electrolyte tablet in each water bottle, 1/4 Peanut Butter and Honey or Nutella sandwich every 16 miles does the trick for me. I don't use caffeine so the designer, (Gu, Cliff, etc), food doesn't do anything for me. It's just convenient packaging and I do just as well with the above in a glad bag.

Enjoy your ride and congrats on upping your game!
No caffeine, ahhhhh! Actually I don't use gel with caffeine in it but all of my non hardcore rides have a coffee shop break built into them, it's part of the enjoyment. Also for myself when doing real long rides its not unusual to have a can of coke. Say what want about coke but nothing pulls you back from the brink like a can of coke, I have witnessed it do miracles for many riders nothing like good old sugar and caffeine.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:56 AM
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Looks like a good day for a ride.
I've found it takes a while to figure out what needs to be done for nutrition and hydration during a ride - in fact it took me ~2000 miles before I knew I had it dialed in and of course it depends on how hard I go.

Typically, for me it's 1 Camelbak Elixer tab in a bottle of water per hour and a Cliff bar per hour starting in the 2nd hour of riding.

Enjoy the weather and the ride. And if you do encounter a bear; don't shoot it. They aren't really good eating this time of the year. Spring bear is much leaner.
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Old 01-11-13, 09:00 AM
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Haha, I won't be shooting anything. Just may have to break a personal speed record if I do see one.
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Old 01-11-13, 10:53 AM
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If you'll be a little over two hours you don't need to worry about taking food, just make sure you eat sensibly beforehand.

People tend to overestimate the amount they need to eat while riding. We can't absorb much more than 60 grams (250 kcal) of carbohydrate per hour, anyway, so if you have a relatively carb-rich meal before you start, a two hour ride isn't going to get to the bottom of that.

Speaking for mself, I don't take food unless intend to be out for >3 hours. On those rides, I eat after the first hour and try to consume c.250kcal per hour thereafter.
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Old 01-11-13, 11:45 AM
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I think you can have a casual mindset, in the cool weather one bottle and bar should be plenty. Riding with a clyde newbie I'd say in excess of the 50 mile / 3-4 hr ride is the breakpoint where you need plan intakes correctly (cool weather). I'd be more worried about tube, tools, patch and pump on your ride.
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Old 01-11-13, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
Yup.

Watch your pace, and ease up if you don't feel up to it. My rule is more on time than it is on distance for eating. I'd say 150-200 calories, heavier on the carbs, every hour to hour and a half. That ride sounds closer to 3 hours (a guess -- no idea how fit you are). Personally I really like Kind bars, and usually try to have one every two hours or so.

Let us know how it goes.
Sound advice...just adding... if riding in the morning get up and have a light breakfast... not just before your ride but a hour or two before so the meal has a chance to convert into energy (and sit well on your stomach). Remember to just go out and enjoy your ride nad don't try to make a more of a deal than it is. 36 miles is very doable. It is important to fuel up regularly, not after you start bonking... then it will be too late. I don't think you need something for the first 1 1/2 - 2 if you eat before the ride but definitely plan on starting too eat if the ride takes longer. There is a reason most centuries have sag stops every 20 miles or so... that's when the body start to deplete stored energy... energy out - energy in. And Water - sip regularly before your are thirsty. And learn to bring the food with you... I know it sounds nice you can leave it in the car but good to start planning for the worst... what if you get a flat and are out longer? What if you start to bonk sooner? Food and water should always be with you (including repair equipment for flats etc). That's what the back pockets of jerseys are for...

The whole nbutrition thing is very personal and there is no one magic way to do things... Over the years I have developed my routine... it takes time. I know what foods I can and definitely cannot eat before and while riding (I don't do well with alot of sugar or caffeine). Also this took me awhile - little portions nothng large (which then needs to be digested and causes you to lose blood to the stomach when its needed in the limbs) Just remember to note how you feel on this ride in order to prepare for the next. I used to keep a diary of all my rides in the beginning. It was very helpful.
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Old 01-11-13, 11:52 AM
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Well, you'll hear what other people do but for you - it depends! What are you used to, what have you done in the past, what works for you... these are things only you can discover. a 2 hour bike ride, even a hard one, is not going to stress your body much in terms of nutrition. Your butt, yes, your legs, yes.

In the winter, I rarely bother with electrolytes because... well, I don't. Maybe a watery bottle of gatorade (half strength) and one of water. Leave some spares at your car and refill when you get back. The ABSOLUTE WORST thing I have ever done to myself riding is run out of water. Eat a clif bar at the car, rest for 5 min. at most and get back out there.

I'd suggest riding at a nice brisk pace for your first lap and then crank it up to bear-escape levels for lap 2.

Enjoy, report back and let us know when your 48 mile attempt is scheduled.
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Old 01-11-13, 11:55 AM
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i remember when i did my first 36 miles ride ... i use to do 20 miles all the time and 25 miles but there is something weird that happen (or at least to me) to your body that makes you starve and weak... The first time i did it i was great then around mile 28 i started getting weak and felt tired to the point going up a hill got me beyond exhausted ... I ended up having to stop at a gas station and drank a small chocolate milk and cliff bar and i felt like a new man and finished the last few miles strong. Moral of the story dont over estimate the importance of your bodies need for hydration and nutrition.
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Old 01-11-13, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
If you'll be a little over two hours you don't need to worry about taking food, just make sure you eat sensibly beforehand.

People tend to overestimate the amount they need to eat while riding. We can't absorb much more than 60 grams (250 kcal) of carbohydrate per hour, anyway, so if you have a relatively carb-rich meal before you start, a two hour ride isn't going to get to the bottom of that.

Speaking for mself, I don't take food unless intend to be out for >3 hours. On those rides, I eat after the first hour and try to consume c.250kcal per hour thereafter.
This from one of the folks I listed to when it came to nutrition.
Thanks chasm54
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Old 01-11-13, 12:40 PM
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Personally, for 36 miles, I'd eat a good breakfast and try to consume maybe 250 calories (I like fig newtons) at the midpoint*. Any more than that and your body won't have time to process it and it ends up being wasted calories...believe it or not, it is very easy to overeat on a ride, particularly one lasting just a couple of hours. At your stated pace, the ride shouldn't take much longer than 2.5 hours, and a good breakfast alone will provide enough fuel to run about 2 hours of high physical activity.

On a mild day, I definitely wouldn't need more than two water bottles, and usually I just end up going through only one. But if you're concerned, stash a couple of extra bottles in your car and refill for your second loop. I usually just go with straight water, but in the summer I'll sometimes cut gatorade with water at about 1 part gatorade with 3 parts water...mainly for taste. Electrolytes really shouldn't be an issue on a 2.5 hour ride in mild weather.

**full disclosure: in the warmer months, I regularly do such rides after work and don't eat anything...but for a more spirited weekend ride, maybe with a ton of hills, I'll eat a snack.
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Old 01-11-13, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
People tend to overestimate the amount they need to eat while riding.
I think this is absolutely true in general, especially among newer cyclists. I also think most new cyclists try to over-tech the fuel thing. Energy bars, electrolyte tabs, gels and the like are all well and good, but until you get to the point where you really need to dial in the last bit of energy-in/energy-out calculations vis-a-vis specific performance targets, they're kind of a waste of money, IMO. Simple, everyday portable food is fine.

As important as fueling is on long rides, for rides of this length I think a more limiting factor is your current level of cycling fitness. While it's interesting to know that your longest ride to date is 24 miles, it doesn't tell us what is important, namely what your current "typical" ride is like and how frequently you do that typical ride. If you normally go out for 20-mile hilly rides 3 times a week and your longest is 24, that's a completely different level of fitness than if you normally do 10-mile flat rides twice a week, but once managed to gut out a single 24-miler. A 36-mile ride at the former fitness level will require a different fueling plan than one done with the latter fitness level.

If I were you, I'd eat a decent breakfast 30-60 minutes before departing and take a peanut butter and honey sandwich with me, along with a couple of bottles of water. I'd be surprised if you need more than that. If you find yourself wiped out before finishing, chances are your body wasn't quite up to the task yet. It's important to understand the differences between bonking from lack of fuel and reaching your body's fitness/endurance limits, because they *are* different. If you get to that point, you can ingest all the fuel you want, but it won't make the final leg home any more pleasant without a good deal of rest thrown into the equation.
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Old 01-11-13, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
It's important to understand the differences between bonking from lack of fuel and reaching your body's fitness/endurance limits, because they *are* different. If you get to that point, you can ingest all the fuel you want, but it won't make the final leg home any more pleasant without a good deal of rest thrown into the equation.
QFT. Very well said.
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Old 01-11-13, 03:06 PM
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$20 dollars and a phone are always a good idea. I like bananas and PB&J too. Stick to foods you know and like.
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Old 01-12-13, 02:04 AM
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I say oatmeal breakfast, take two gel packs for emergency bonk, 1 bottle water and 1 bottle of gatorade. Bring some small cash for store snacks if needed.
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Old 01-12-13, 03:07 PM
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Well I didn't die! So that's good.

I had a granola bar for breakfast about 30 minutes before leaving, then did my ride. I stopped halfway through for a break of about 10 minutes. I don't do gatorade, but I brought two bottles of water and went through both of them. Pace was about average for me, although for the last 4 miles I was somewhat struggling to maintain speed and it probably brought my overall average down. Still, very satisfied that I was able to do it. Planning on riding the same thing next weekend!

Here's the Strava link: https://app.strava.com/activities/37274488
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Old 01-12-13, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thejokell View Post
Wow - that's even flatter than Indy. Still, good job making it through. Next weekend it'll seem easy.
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Old 01-14-13, 07:28 AM
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That's Holy Cow flat.
Great job. Will there be two laps next weekend?
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Old 01-14-13, 07:29 AM
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That was two laps. This weekend I'm thinking 2.5, which should be a little over 40 miles.
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Old 01-14-13, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by thejokell View Post
That was two laps. This weekend I'm thinking 2.5, which should be a little over 40 miles.
Good plan.
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