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Last minute food questions for an all day personal record

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Last minute food questions for an all day personal record

Old 07-16-18, 11:36 PM
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UniChris
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Last minute food questions for an all day personal record

If I can get myself up early enough to hit the trail at the crack of dawn, I'm going to try for another personal record on Thursday (or Friday, or Saturday if the weather holds). I expect to be on the trail for 14-15 hours, and one goal is to cut down the amount of time I've wasted on food stops and general inefficiency. I need to go about 25% further than I did last week, and don't have that much more daylight and pushable dark in which to do it.

My usual sustenance has been Cliff bars, Nuun tablets, gatorade, and typically some sort of of turkey sandwich from a deli or last time a chicken pizza slice, but I want to try to only stop for water.

Going to make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - should I be getting a multigrain grain bread, a medium white one, or wonder bread? Is it worth trying to pack them so they don't get smooshed, or just expect the inevitable?

Should I put banana slices in the sandwiches, take bananas as I've been doing recently, start eating bananas a day in advance, or just skip them?

I got trader joes frozen blueberry waffles (couldn't find the honey stinger ones). Figure I'll have one or two for breakfast and toss two more in zip locks straight from the freezer - workable? Or should I try to defrost and dry them enough to turn those into the PB&J's?

Also been thinking about cooking up some pasta, for any of the night before, breakfast, or to bring cold in a ziplock.

Also have a small foil packet of Tuna. Would obviously only want to open that near a garbage can (and for politeness one emptied frequently), but nutritionally, good idea or bad?

It won't be brutally hot, but probably around 84F, so I'll still be going through large amounts of fluids. Been starting to think about weighing out sodium and potassium salts to put in the first 3 liters of water I leave home with. Reasonable idea? How much? Should I spike the gatorade mix too? Or should I just stick with the tablets?

Any suggestions on how to get from the fact that I'm currently awake at 1:30 am, to the point where I can be waking up at 4am about 51 hours from now?

Last edited by UniChris; 07-16-18 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 07-16-18, 11:41 PM
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Sounds like you're eating good anyway

make sure you drink enough would be a priority imo
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Old 07-17-18, 02:37 AM
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Go with whatever you've tried during your training rides. Don't try anything new for "events".
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Old 07-17-18, 03:01 AM
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I have a 23 hour 58 minute combo Memorial Ride and Birthday Retry Ride next Thursday, weather permitting. My pbj sandwiches are on 8" tortillas. Spread pb out, strawberry preserves, M&M's, thinly slice bananas(fix with your favorites), fold bottom up, then sides in and over then top down creating a flat rectangle. Wrap in an oversized piece of aluminum foil, bottom up to top of sandwich, fold sides over then top down. End result is VERY FLAT SO MULTIPLE SANDWICHES can fit in pockets. Eat while riding, take a couple of bites then re-fold, back in pocket to eat more later.
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Old 07-17-18, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Go with whatever you've tried during your training rides. Don't try anything new for "events".
I understand why that's usually wise. However, what I have been doing doesn't work well enough, and far from doing more of the same, I need to reclaim a lot of non-riding time, including that lost to diverting off the trail for food stops, or I won't get the ride done in the available time. Failure is an option - I can turn around early, take a train home at halfway or three quarters and try again in another week when the days are yet a few minutes shorter. But everything needs to improve.

I'm not really planning to eat anything I'never tried, just more of things I wouldn't normally feel allowed.

Last time I started out feeling quite behind the curve on energy, and I realized part of that was not eating well enough the night before and in the morning. Normally empty calories are the last thing I'd want to be eating, and so dinner the night before was a couple of pork chops and vegetables and a banana. Worse, in trying (and failing) to get quickly out the door all I ate before the ride was a power bar and a banana.

Seems like pasta, which I enjoy but eat only occasionally would have been a better night before choice, and possible for breakfast too.

In terms of sandwich bread, in everyday life I'd normally I'd be looking for a very dense whole grain, but that's probably not what I want here, right?

I don't normally eat lots of sugary stuff, so wonder about a baggy of pasta on the ride instead of one of the sandwiches.

Trying to figure out if I should be bringing some additional protein or not.

And still trying to sort out the sugar + sodium + potassium of sports drinks vs. just the salts. I feel like during the sunny part of the day I want the gatorade at least some of the time, but keep alternating with water and especially chasing it to get it out of my mouth. I understand that the sugar aids water absorbtion, but the overwhelming majority of what I drink comes out as sweat, so it's clearly being absorbed, leaving me wondering about fixing some bottles that have only the sodium and potassium and not the sugar. Or mixing it week on gatorade powder but boosting the salts back up.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-18 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:20 AM
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What's the distance here? Anticipated Pace? (Assuming it's a relatively flat trail.)

And why would you not want dense, whole grain bread as opposed to some crap like Wonder Bread?
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Old 07-17-18, 07:40 AM
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I dont eat any different for longer rides (100+ miles) than I do for shorter rides (20-40 miles) other than adjusting the amount. I think you're way overthinking thinking your food on this trip, OP. Just eat normally and carry some bars/and or fruit. Maybe a PB&J. And water of course. Eating pasta for breakfast and carrying a lot of food seems like overkill. Cycling doesnt burn as many calories as many riders think, unless you're really going at a blazing pace.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What's the distance here? Anticipated Pace? (Assuming it's a relatively flat trail.)
Very long and very slow, as I'm on a unicycle. 14-15 hours of sustained low to moderate power output is where I need to be - trying to go fast just increases the chances of a fall I can't run out staying on my feet, and getting to the point where I need an exertion break rather than quick blood flow ones from the inherently problematic saddle (which is already the smallest, firmest and flattest available) doesn't help the overall rate of accomplishment.

Improvement over last week's ride has to come from starting an hour and half earlier, and cutting out what has historically been lot of logistical and pointless time out of the saddle, getting it down to just dismount, bite of food, couple swigs of water, and back on again. I will have to divert off the trail probably 3 times to resupply, but want to just run in, buy a 3 liter or gallon of water, fill / remix my bottles, and go - last time I lost about 40 minutes in a town at lunch dealing with traffic, getting food in one place and drink refills in another , etc.

And why would you not want dense, whole grain bread as opposed to some crap like Wonder Bread?
Because the goal is food that can be digested for energy during the ride, the exact opposite of what I'd want in everyday life.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-18 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
Just eat normally... Eating pasta for breakfast and carrying a lot of food seems like overkill.
Normally for me means starting the day with very little energy reserve. Hence, thinking that pasta rather than just protein and vegetables the night before would be good.

And actually eating breakfast for a change...

and carry some bars/and or fruit
What I've been doing, but it gets old, hence wanting to break for something more in the way of ordinary food - but that's time I don't have.

Maybe a PB&J
In the plan. Question was about what sort of bread to get that's not sponge fluff but also not going to be too heavy. It's been literally years since I bought a loaf of bread, normally a sandwich is only something I'd eat when buying prepared food, or at a family event where that's the planned meal.

Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
My pbj sandwiches are on 8" tortillas. Spread pb out, strawberry preserves, M&M's, thinly slice bananas(fix with your favorites), fold bottom up, then sides in and over then top down creating a flat rectangle. Wrap in an oversized piece of aluminum foil, bottom up to top of sandwich, fold sides over then top down. End result is VERY FLAT SO MULTIPLE SANDWICHES can fit in pockets. Eat while riding, take a couple of bites then re-fold, back in pocket to eat more later.
The does indeed sound like a good suggestion, but I'm hesitant as the time I tried buying a wrap rather than a sandwich on a ride I found myself with a real aversion to the tortilla. I don't know if it was truly a sense of not being what my body wanted to digest, or just in my head but I don't think I finished the tortilla. There's another kind of soft flat bread that's square and more doughy, less "edible plastic" that might work if I can find them.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-18 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
Eating pasta for breakfast and carrying a lot of food seems like overkill. Cycling doesnt burn as many calories as many riders think, unless you're really going at a blazing pace.
That's what I was getting at above. I do a decent amount of loaded touring every year. Some of it in sparsely populated areas with limited or no commercial services. A few years ago I came to conclusion that I was overeating even for carrying all my camping and cooking gear and riding in hilly and/or mountainous areas. I started cutting my intake and didn't feel like I was suffering.

Last year I did this one day:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19154778

It was actually about 52 few miles as I started from a campground south of where the route map starts. 4000' of climbing on a fully-loaded bike. There was literally no place to get food or potable water along the route. I had a good dinner of pasta and tuna the night before. For breakfast I had several fig bars and black coffee. During the ride, aside from water, I consumed only one water bottle of Perpetuem, an apple and two Clif Bars. I was quite hungry when I finished and scarfed down a half a fried chicken and some potatoes for lunch, but I never felt undernourished during the ride.
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Old 07-17-18, 08:10 AM
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I had a good dinner of pasta and tuna the night before. For breakfast I had several fig bars and black coffee. During the ride, aside from water, I consumed only one water bottle of Perpetuem, an apple and two Clif Bars. I was quite hungry when I finished and scarfed down a half a fried chicken and some potatoes for lunch, but I never felt undernourished during the ride.
Apart from not having done perpetuem (and knowing its too late to experiment with something unfamiliar like that) what you're describing is not far off from what I did on rides of that length (albeit without the climb) - but just doing more of it doesn't really seem to be working for longer ones. Even apart from turning the pedals, it's also just a lot of hours on the go - will probably have to leave home before 5 am and not get back until after 11 pm.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-18 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 07-17-18, 10:32 AM
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instead of pre-re-packaging to what you've been having, taking those items in there "raw" packaging might lend more time being sought.
IE:
take the whole container of PB with the amount you would consume already in it.
remove the cliff bars out of the individual wrappers & store them with the Multi-Grain bread in an appropriate packaging
If you like carrots, toss in a few medium-long in length carrots.

With the above items, you should be capable of taking at minimum if not exceeding the calories needed along with you [sum up the calories to double check it] . The calories imo would be of good cals too.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:04 AM
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How the heck can you carry that much food on a unicycle? Are you juggling the whole 14-15 hours?

I'm in awe you could even attempt something like that on a unicycle.

I knew a guy who swam the English Channel once, and you can't really carry or eat food while swimming. He drank warm flat Pepsi which was handed to him from someone in a boat.

In the nature of what you're doing, I think it's max the amount of carbs in the smallest possible space, and ignore any good calories vs. bad calories nonsense--you're going to burn whatever you're going to consume while on the trail so it really isn't a day you need to worry about whole grains.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
..............................The does indeed sound like a good suggestion, but I'm hesitant as the time I tried buying a wrap rather than a sandwich on a ride I found myself with a real aversion to the tortilla. I don't know if it was truly a sense of not being what my body wanted to digest, or just in my head but I don't think I finished the tortilla. There's another kind of soft flat bread that's square and more doughy, less "edible plastic" that might work if I can find them.
I decided on Walmart's Great Value Whole Wheat Tortillas after trying others and unlike white bread and other breads it does take a bit longer to chew due to its density but for myself that is a plus. Longer chew satisfies better.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post

Any suggestions on how to get from the fact that I'm currently awake at 1:30 am, to the point where I can be waking up at 4am about 51 hours from now?
Multiple alarm clocks

In all seriousness, though, this is usually my problem with events, as my bedtime is 2-3AM and I generally ride in the evening. Melatonin (taken reasonably early, like 9-10PM) can push it a bit earlier. The sleep deprivation generally is not so bad, as long as I'm properly hydrated - which means drinking a LOT the evening before. A small amount of caffeine taken in the early afternoon can also help. YMMV.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
How the heck can you carry that much food on a unicycle? Are you juggling the whole 14-15 hours?

I'm in awe you could even attempt something like that on a unicycle.
I've got a backpack. Now relocated some of the water to the frame, and will refill that regularly

What I'm doing is at about "right of passage" level for distance unicycling - ie, not something most people will do, but something a lot of people have done before me. Got 80% of the way there last week and could have kept riding if I had more daylight, so need to start earlier, lessen the wasted time, and probably repeat some easy stretches so I can end at a point a little up the trail that's more comfortable under a headlamp than the southernmost two miles of dirt through the woods are.

To some extent I'm not looking to carry more food, just not to have all of it be cliff bars. And especially to have something for breakfast that is not a cliff bar.

In the nature of what you're doing, I think it's max the amount of carbs in the smallest possible space, and ignore any good calories vs. bad calories nonsense--you're going to burn whatever you're going to consume while on the trail so it really isn't a day you need to worry about whole grains.
Yeah, I was thinking either a basic white bread, or something in between. It's not the time to go for fiber or bread that thinks its granola. Just kind of undecided between the basic white or middle of the road - it's been literally years since the last time I even bought a loaf of bread.

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Old 07-17-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
In all seriousness, though, this is usually my problem with events, as my bedtime is 2-3AM and I generally ride in the evening.
That's me... except that now that I'm going long rides the evening is no longer enough.

Melatonin (taken reasonably early, like 9-10PM) can push it a bit earlier.
Have not tried that. Did try Benadryl twice without success - first time didn't really do anything, the next time it made me sleepy but I didn't really get any rest. Both totally messed up riding plans - cancelled the alarms, first time gave up entirely, 2nd time finally got up mid-morning and did a hurried afternoon ride one-way up the trail I'm now trying to round trip.

The sleep deprivation generally is not so bad, as long as I'm properly hydrated - which means drinking a LOT the evening before.
Yeah, I survived last time, unlike an earlier ride when I kept wanting to find a shady bench and take a nap. Still I want to be getting up early, not giving up at 3am and deciding I might as well head out then.

A small amount of caffeine taken in the early afternoon can also help. YMMV.
Skipping coffee on ride days since it usually starts a process there's no time for. Did get one caffeinated cliff bar I might try later in the day.

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Old 07-17-18, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Skipping coffee of ride days since it usually starts a process there's no time for. Did get one caffinated cliff bar I might try later in the day.
Haha, that can be a problem. I also specifically plan meals the day before a long ride, going with carbs and animal protein (usually dairy) but few veggies or foods high in fiber in order to avoid such processes.

Cold brewed coffee works for me a bit better before a ride, and seems to feel a bit more hydrating due to the lower acid content.

My ride tomorrow starts at 7AM, and it's about a half hour ride to the start. Not as bad as yours, but still a challenge!
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Old 07-17-18, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
My usual sustenance has been Cliff bars
Clif bars are amazing. I actually have to keep myself away from certain flavors, because I will end up eating an entire box in one sitting. They're too delicious. I can't stop myself.

Anyway, as others have said, make sure you're getting enough water. Your urine should be almost clear. If it's not, then you aren't drinking enough.
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Old 07-17-18, 02:05 PM
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Pasta for breakfast is to weird lol, when I want to eat up a little more for a big ride day I add oatmeal to my breakfast
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Old 07-17-18, 03:10 PM
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cold pizza & whiskey. breakfast of chappions
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Old 07-17-18, 03:55 PM
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I'll second the oatmeal for breakfast recommendation. Slice up some peaches or banana on it, with cinamon and stevia or Splenda. I'm not familiar with how much more difficult it would be to do long distances on a unicycle. Seems like it'd be tough, but I've never ridden one.

In any case I think if it were me, given the limited amount of space you presumably have to carry supplies, I'd still try and do some stops at convenience stores along the way if there are any. And I'd probably carry a backpack with bars, bananas, PB&Js, water, etc. Good luck on your trip.
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Old 07-17-18, 04:24 PM
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If I need to get up early for a ride and absolutely have no time for breakfast then I "eat" Soylent (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EUEIL3E). One bottle is 400 calories, you can drink it in less than a minute and, unlike solid food, it doesn't cause this "full heavy stomach" feeling, so I can start riding pretty much right away. After "normal" good meal in order to feel comfortable on a ride I'd rather wait at least an hour, better two hours, before starting.

Otherwise, if a bit more time is left - bacon and eggs. Quite nutritious, quick to prepare and it is not a Clif bar.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:04 PM
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I did a solo 24 hr ride (326 miles, 10,000 calories) and I think I ate a little bit of everything that's been mentioned so far: Clif bars, fig newtons, gel packs, PB&J, bananas, 2+? gallons of Gatorade, chocolate milk, coffee, salt capsules, and several hits of ibuprofen. I stayed away from meat, and slowly digested foods.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89 View Post
I'll second the oatmeal for breakfast recommendation. Slice up some peaches or banana on it, with cinamon and stevia or Splenda.
Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought I'd heard oatmeal was a bad idea - takes to long to process or whatever. Or maybe that was primitive steel cut oats and the soggy industrial cardboard flakes are fine?

I'm not familiar with how much more difficult it would be to do long distances on a unicycle. Seems like it'd be tough, but I've never ridden one.
It's really only jumping back onto it on an upslope (or by late in the day, anything that's not a downslope) that's hard. Mostly it's just slow and painful.

In any case I think if it were me, given the limited amount of space you presumably have to carry supplies, I'd still try and do some stops at convenience stores along the way if there are any. And I'd probably carry a backpack with bars, bananas, PB&Js, water, etc. Good luck on your trip.
I've tried a lot of the places along the way and not really found food that justified the time getting into the store and waffling over the decision. Well, apart from the time I accidentally left the bag of cliff bars on the kitchen table and replaced them along the way. Other than that the best I did was the turkey sandwiches.

So I'm not ruling out buying other things, but the plan is to just run in, use the facilities where available, buy a big jug of water, and get back on my way ASAP. Unless I hit it before it's open one of the stops is just a town park where I can empty, wash up, and refill.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-18 at 09:05 PM.
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