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Fueling...are there rules?

Old 06-23-13, 06:08 AM
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On hot days remember to replenish your salt as well as water, both sodium and potassium. That's one reason the ubiquitous banana is still the king - the potassium content. If you are experiencing cramps on hot days it could be salt depletion.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
You almost sound disappointed that you don't think your leg strength is up to scratch. But really, in my book, you are doing a fine job running with the big dogs in the A rides. More riding and maybe some weight work on the quads with lunges and squats might be useful.
I didn't mean to give the impression that I am doing A rides. But, I have ridden with A riders in general rides and can hang as long as there's no elevation.

As for weight training....in the gym I can max out the leg press machine and with my quad lifts I'm doing 3 sets of 10 with 70 lbs. Don't know how that measures up.
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Old 06-23-13, 07:06 AM
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Got some stats from fellow riders and the overall ride was close to 2900 ft.of elevation. The 1 mi. hill was an average 5.3% and the 2.3 mi. hill averaged about 5%. I have no idea what that all means. I just know that the 2.3 mi. hill came at about mile 38 and I was pretty tired. Even after that I was fine as long as I didn't try to stand to pedal. We averaged about 15 mph for the first 21 mi. (1 mi. hill included) but ended up at 14.3 mph for the entire ride. Truthfully at the 21 mi. point my gf and I decided to take it down a notch and that contributed to the drop as well as the hill to come. On the flats in the last couple miles I could still cruise at close to 20 mph but there was absolutely no standing going to happen.
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Old 06-23-13, 07:10 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bruce19
I didn't mean to give the impression that I am doing A rides. But, I have ridden with A riders in general rides and can hang as long as there's no elevation.
If I tried to keep up with the A riders I'd just be making a fuel of myself. And I'd burn out real fast.
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Old 06-23-13, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
Got some stats from fellow riders and the overall ride was close to 2900 ft.of elevation. The 1 mi. hill was an average 5.3% and the 2.3 mi. hill averaged about 5%. I have no idea what that all means. I just know that the 2.3 mi. hill came at about mile 38 and I was pretty tired. Even after that I was fine as long as I didn't try to stand to pedal. We averaged about 15 mph for the first 21 mi. (1 mi. hill included) but ended up at 14.3 mph for the entire ride. Truthfully at the 21 mi. point my gf and I decided to take it down a notch and that contributed to the drop as well as the hill to come. On the flats in the last couple miles I could still cruise at close to 20 mph but there was absolutely no standing going to happen.
2.3 miles at 5% is a decent climb. I wouldn't be standing much on that climb, I'd be trying to sit and spin most of the time. You mentioned that you have recently switched to a compact crank (I assume that means the usual 50/34) but stuck with your 12/25 cassette. If your cadence is low even when seated, it might be worth thinking about a cassette with a 27 or 28 sprocket. Not something I'd normally suggest (I'm a bore on the subject of preferring triples to widely-spaced ratios at the back) but it's a more economical route than a triple and the 10% lower gear might feel like a big difference.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:08 AM
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Just got a response from another rider who said both those hills (according to Map My Ride) have 7-13% sections. I always sit and spin just 'cause standing saps my energy. On the worst of those grades I am 5+ mph in my 34X25 gear.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:16 AM
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I'd consider that a short easy climb. It all depends on perspective.

But in any case, the OP needs lower gearing and should pratice standing on climbs. He's not as used to it as he could be. Not being able to stand without the legs threatening to lock up is a sign of overuse. Consider not going quite as hard on the flat sections, to save some for the climbs.
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Old 06-23-13, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19
Just got a response from another rider who said both those hills (according to Map My Ride) have 7-13% sections. I always sit and spin just 'cause standing saps my energy. On the worst of those grades I am 5+ mph in my 34X25 gear.
Hmm. I generally ride a 50/36 with 12/25 at the back. During the winter I several times went up a Cat 2 climb that has been used in the Vuelta, it had sections of 13%. I was definitely overgeared, it is no surprise that you're struggling on those gradients with those gears.

Look at the positive. Many people would be off and walking.
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Old 06-23-13, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Look at the positive. Many people would be off and walking.
There's a part of me that acknowledges exactly that but....as an ex-college athlete, even at age 67, I can't get over wanting to get "better...faster...etc." It's a curse.
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Old 06-23-13, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
How much to eat and drink is not about how much energy you burn, it is about how much you can absorb. Most of us can absorb only about 60 grams - 240kcal - of carbohydrate per hour, so eating more than that simply means you won't finish digesting it until after the ride has ended. So my advice would be to make sure you are well fed before the start, then start eating at the end of the first hour and consume c.250kcal per hour thereafter. What you eat depends on taste, but something easily digestible that you like and know agrees with you.

Drinking is more controversial, because most people will tell you to drink more than you feel you need. In fact, the latest evidence appears to be that it is fine to drink when you are thirsty, and that over-hydrating can be worse than mild dehydration. Once again, there's a limit to how much water your system can process. If I recall correctly it's around a litre per hour, more in hot conditions. But drink a great deal more than that and you tend to bloat. Drink far too much and you risk hyponatremia, which screws up your sodium levels and can be dangerous.

Someone on here linked recently to the guidance on the Hammer nutrition website, which spells a lot of this stuff out. I'm not advocating that you buy their products - I don't - but the analysis of nutritiona and hydration needs is useful.

Edit-hammer guidance
Do these numbers apply across the board, or would they vary with body weight?
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Old 06-23-13, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
Do these numbers apply across the board, or would they vary with body weight?
The Hammer people suggest that they vary somewhat, but not hugely, with bodyweight and suggest that the larger athlete might eat at 300kcal per hour - 75 grams of carbs rather than 60g. But I suspect they are talking about the athlete whose "correct" weight is greater. I doubt that just being fat would entitle one to eat more carbs, or increase the rate at which one can absorb them.
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Old 06-23-13, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
To me, there is no point in doing bonk training. It simply doesn't make sense. There is almost no adaptation that I can see in depleting the liver and muscles of glycogen, other than making the rider weaker both in body and in brain function, and being able to recognise when s/he is about to bonk.

Brain function is something that is often left out of the refuelling equation.

RAAM is a completely different animal to a 50-mile B+ grade hammerfest.
There are a number of studies that suggest beneficial effects to training in a glycogen depleted state:

From Caffeine Ingestion and Cycling Power Output in a Low or Normal Muscle Glycogen State.:
Introduction

It has long been known that endurance training induces a multitude of metabolic and morphological adaptations that improve the resistance of the trained musculature to fatigue and enhance endurance capacity and/or exercise performance (13). Accumulating evidence now suggests that many of these adaptations can be modified by nutrient availability (9-11, 21). Growing evidence suggests that training with reduced muscle glycogen using a ‘train twice every second day’ compared to a more traditional ‘train once daily’ approach can enhance the acute training response (29) and markers representative of endurance training adaptation after short-term (3-10 wk) training interventions (8, 16, 30). Of note is that the superior training adaptation in these previous studies was attained despite a reduction in maximal self-selected power output (16, 30). The most obvious factor underlying the reduced intensity during a second training bout is the reduction in muscle glycogen availability.
Refs

(8): Skeletal muscle adaptation: training twice every second day vs. training once daily.
(16): Training with low muscle glycogen enhances fat metabolism in well-trained cyclists.
(29): Acute signalling responses to intense endurance training commenced with low or normal muscle glycogen.
(30): Skeletal muscle adaptation and performance responses to once a day versus twice every second day endurance training regimens.
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Old 06-23-13, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
Many people would be off and walking.
Well if nobody's watching.......

Some great references being posted in this thread. I'm learning a bunch.

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Old 06-23-13, 04:09 PM
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Do you use bonk training?
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Old 06-23-13, 05:32 PM
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Sure glad I'm only training for an Ironman later this year and not taking things too serious. 14/15 hours of almost not stop exercise sure sounds like a lot more fun than the serious riding people here are doing but learning more every day. Thanks.
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Old 06-23-13, 09:37 PM
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Age 64. I do a lot of early morning rides starting on an empty stomach and only drink water. First, it takes energy to digest food and that means blood is diverted to the stomach. Second, absent any new source of glucose, muscles select fat metabolism and bias the set point to use glycogen higher. This conserves glycogen. If power levels increase there is a point where glycogen must be used and at some point one will run out. However, having a higher metabolic rate benefits all cyclists especially LD riders, stage racers and riders doing multiple days back to back.

Also, if one consumes too much glucose then there is an insulin reaction that inhibits fat burning. For me, eating less on the bike is better and the best result is cycling a couple of hours after eating.

We are going on a tour in France and the food is going to be amazing but it will definitely reduce my ability after breakfast and lunch. All that means is we go a lot easier for a while until the food digests.
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Old 06-23-13, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
Age 64. I do a lot of early morning rides starting on an empty stomach and only drink water. First, it takes energy to digest food and that means blood is diverted to the stomach. Second, absent any new source of glucose, muscles select fat metabolism and bias the set point to use glycogen higher. This conserves glycogen. If power levels increase there is a point where glycogen must be used and at some point one will run out. However, having a higher metabolic rate benefits all cyclists especially LD riders, stage racers and riders doing multiple days back to back.

Also, if one consumes too much glucose then there is an insulin reaction that inhibits fat burning. For me, eating less on the bike is better and the best result is cycling a couple of hours after eating.

We are going on a tour in France and the food is going to be amazing but it will definitely reduce my ability after breakfast and lunch. All that means is we go a lot easier for a while until the food digests.
Excellent post.
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Old 06-23-13, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Do you use bonk training?
I don't know what 'bonk' training is. I do find I get good power gains in the summer when doing long (4-5 hr) group rides that generally include 30-45 min of all-out riding at the end of the ride when I'm in a glycogen depleted state. If you call that 'bonk' training then yes I do it. I don't think 'bonk' training implies what cyclists normally refer to as a bonk where one completely depletes glycogen.

I also do some two a day workouts in the summer and find these effective as well. I imagine the second workout of the day, normally a crit, is in a somewhat glycogen depleted state but I have no idea how much. The studies referenced above typically try and start with 50% depletion.
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Old 06-27-13, 07:02 AM
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I rarely eat much before a long ride. Usually just an apple and a banana. This week I was on Bike Virginia and ate a pretty big breakfast every day. Stuff I never eat, like oatmeal, muffins, hashbrowns, eggs, etc. I had a real hard time getting going every day. It took me at least 10 or 15 miles to start feeling good, having to digest all that stuff. I think way too much internal effort was being diverted away from my legs to my digestive system.
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Old 06-27-13, 07:06 AM
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You can eat a good number of calories before a long ride, but be sure that enough time has passed after eating before riding. You want the blood flow to you legs, not all tied up in the gut for digestion.
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Old 06-27-13, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
Age 64. I do a lot of early morning rides starting on an empty stomach and only drink water. First, it takes energy to digest food and that means blood is diverted to the stomach. Second, absent any new source of glucose, muscles select fat metabolism and bias the set point to use glycogen higher. This conserves glycogen. If power levels increase there is a point where glycogen must be used and at some point one will run out. However, having a higher metabolic rate benefits all cyclists especially LD riders, stage racers and riders doing multiple days back to back.

Also, if one consumes too much glucose then there is an insulin reaction that inhibits fat burning. For me, eating less on the bike is better and the best result is cycling a couple of hours after eating.

We are going on a tour in France and the food is going to be amazing but it will definitely reduce my ability after breakfast and lunch. All that means is we go a lot easier for a while until the food digests.
I'm intermittent fasting, no food during the day, month 4, age 60. The glycogen reserves are stunning, I'll often take a energy bar with me on a long ride and bring it back unopened. No bonking, no cramping. However, the very high output, red zone, capacity is simply gone. I'm speculating that carbo loading and fueling is akin to blood doping, there is so much of a glucose/insulin reaction in the blood you are always in an over-reved mode, and you have to keep supplementing it because once it depletes you go to bonktown. Hammer Syndrome would be a good name for it. But I'd agree with the argument: super-human efforts are not going to happen on metered glycogen reserves, the red-line gets pegged much lower.

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Old 06-27-13, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
I'm intermittent fasting, no food during the day, month 4, age 60. The glycogen reserves are stunning, I'll often take a energy bar with me on a long ride and bring it back unopened. No bonking, no cramping. However, the very high output, red zone, capacity is simply gone. I'm speculating that carbo loading and fueling is akin to blood doping, there is so much of a glucose/insulin reaction in the blood you are always in an over-reved mode, and you have to keep supplementing it because once it depletes you go to bonktown. Hammer Syndrome would be a good name for it. But I'd agree with the argument: super-human efforts are not going to happen on metered glycogen reserves, the red-line gets pegged much lower.
How long are these rides, in time on the bike?
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Old 06-28-13, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
I'm intermittent fasting, no food during the day, month 4, age 60. The glycogen reserves are stunning, I'll often take a energy bar with me on a long ride and bring it back unopened. No bonking, no cramping. However, the very high output, red zone, capacity is simply gone. I'm speculating that carbo loading and fueling is akin to blood doping, there is so much of a glucose/insulin reaction in the blood you are always in an over-reved mode, and you have to keep supplementing it because once it depletes you go to bonktown. Hammer Syndrome would be a good name for it. But I'd agree with the argument: super-human efforts are not going to happen on metered glycogen reserves, the red-line gets pegged much lower.
I don't think you're right about "the glycogen reserves are stunning". I think exactly the opposite is happening. You are riding in a glycogen-depleted state but your threshold for fat-burning has risen, so you are able to fuel your effort direct from fat stores at higher intensities than before. This is why you don't need the energy bar - you are burning very little glycogen - and is also why the top-end has gone: when your muscles do have to resort to glycogen as their primary fuel, it isn't available.

I've tried this myself, going low-carb but continuing to train in an effort to lose weight. It was fine for long, steady rides, I could ride for hours without food. But once I moved onto the more intense stuff, intervals and so on, I simply couldn't hit the numbers, I wasn't able to sustain the very intense efforts.
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Old 06-28-13, 02:18 AM
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Moreso that the liver and muscles are said to have enough glycogen stores for up to two hours of riding. Anyone getting up in the morning and bypassing breakfast to go for a training ride won't be in glycogen debt if their ride is between 90 minutes and two hours (taking into account intensity). It also explains the drop-off in performance towards the end if they do go beyond the threshhold.

This article:

https://www.active.com/running/Articl...nk_on_purpose_

explains what so-called bonk-training is all about, and that is to do with the release of interleukin-6 which influences the body's adaptations during exercise. And it seems the jury is still out on just how to go about it.

One key point is that prolonged exercise sessions to and past the point of glycogen depletion are not the right way to go about it, but rather to undertake a second training session within hours of the first, so it starts in a state of depletion.

Personally, I think there are other dangers involved in following the advice in the article to leave even fluids out of the second training session. The most significant issue, as I see it, is the effect that depletion of glycogen will have on judgment, and the ramification of that for a cyclist on the road might be quite serious.

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Old 06-28-13, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Moreso that the liver and muscles are said to have enough glycogen stores for up to two hours of riding. Anyone getting up in the morning and bypassing breakfast to go for a training ride won't be in glycogen debt if their ride is between 90 minutes and two hours (taking into account intensity). It also explains the drop-off in performance towards the end if they do go beyond the threshhold.
Yes, but...

The bit in parentheses (taking into account intensity) is the important bit. Trained endurance athletes run, or ride, or whatever for many hours despite it being impossible for them to ingest calories nearly as fast as they are burning them. They do this by operating nearly all the time at a level well below their aerobic threshold, so they use up only enough glycogen to allow them to burn fat (fat burning in a carbohydrate flame, all that stuff). As a result it may be perfectly possible for them to ride/run for three or four times the two hour limit without additional food because they are eking out their glycogen reserves in a miserly fashion.

Now, I am no great athlete but I have spent a long time on the bike in the last decade, and it is routine for me to ride more than three hours on just water. In fact, my most frequent route is just about three hours long and I no longer bother to take any food when riding it, because I know it will come back uneaten. I've never done the "bonk" experiment -I haven't bonked since I was in my twenties - but at endurance pace, with heart rate in zones one and two, I'd be very surprised if my performance deteriorated through lack of food in less than four hours.
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