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Do you notice that you just "don't have it" in your first mile?

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Do you notice that you just "don't have it" in your first mile?

Old 05-13-05, 11:05 PM
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I felt that way today. I thought, "Uh oh, I better just turn around and go home because this is going to suck!", but I didn't. I rode a short 8 miler to drop off some DVD's at two different video stores.

I think I know why I had no zip today: I didn't eat enything before my ride!
Yesterday, I had an unexpected meal of Spaghetti and meatballs (lots of carbs, right?) when I met my girlfriend at a casino, and I tackled a long (for my novice ass at least) 12 mile incline like nothing and I felt I could have gone 10 more, but I had to get home. It had to be the pasta?

So, is the rule eat before you ride? Are carbs to most important?
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Old 05-14-05, 12:05 AM
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I went for a 20 miles ride without eatting anything all day and getting about 6 hours of sleep on average during a week. I don't recommend it, but it's actually not that bad.
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Old 05-14-05, 12:17 AM
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Om that way for 20 minutes then Im fine. Completely out of breath for exactly 20 mins then I can ride all night

what the heck****************************************?
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Old 05-14-05, 12:18 AM
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The day I did my metric century I hadn't eaten anything that entire day, and very often I go for 20-30 mile bike rides without eating anything for many hours beforehand.
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Old 05-14-05, 01:04 AM
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I have to eat before any ride or I WILL bonk... not maybe I will. I also have found if I do not at least 6 hours at a minimum and really 8 I can not ride hard. Last time I bonked so hard on the top of a hill and the next hills was a slow climb at 5 MPH...

As for the question, the first 5 miles are warmup. I can not really tell until about mile 10 how the ride is going to go.
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Old 05-14-05, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I have to eat before any ride or I WILL bonk... not maybe I will. I also have found if I do not at least 6 hours at a minimum and really 8 I can not ride hard. Last time I bonked so hard on the top of a hill and the next hills was a slow climb at 5 MPH...

As for the question, the first 5 miles are warmup. I can not really tell until about mile 10 how the ride is going to go.
That's not a bonk! When you bonk you are so exhausted you gotta get off your bike.

On my 60 miler, I bonked going up a 1000ft climb near the top. I had to get off the bike and walk it up, but eventually I couldn't even walk. I had to sit down on the side of the road for half an hour resting.

THAT is a bonk. You will never get the two confused again once you experience the real thing.
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Old 05-14-05, 01:58 AM
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Sometimes I feel pretty low on power when I first start out but after about 5 miles I find I get my legs going good and I feel a lot better. But yeah, food is pretty important. In the mornings I feel a lot better if I eat breakfast versus just drinking something and hitting the road later.
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Old 05-14-05, 05:02 AM
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I am generally sluggish for the first 5 minutes or so. I find that if I build gradually I can then maintain a speed, but the first 5 minutes are a write off. Am considering adding a pre stretching routine (quads, hammies, calves) to see if that makes a difference, having said that should probably pre and post stretch anyways.
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Old 05-14-05, 05:19 AM
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I sometimes ride before work meaning I leave my driveway at before 6:00 am and ride 18-24 miles on an empty stomach. Generally ok but it never is a ripe and roar kinda ride. Averages are usually not high on my early am rides.

I always start out slow or just sluggish. I really can't judge a ride until I am 8-10 miles into it. Its funny though, the rides I would swear would suck usually turn out to be the best ones.
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Old 05-14-05, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hanzo
Sometimes I feel pretty low on power when I first start out but after about 5 miles I find I get my legs going good and I feel a lot better. But yeah, food is pretty important. In the mornings I feel a lot better if I eat breakfast versus just drinking something and hitting the road later.
Often this way fer me too. However, I never eat breakfast before a ride. I try to eat a big dinner the night before a big event. In the AM I have a nutri bar of some type. I don't care about taste it's not a gourmet experience. I'm more concerned about what is in it. I also have a cut up bar and some dried bananna chips in a ziploc. I prefer to carry enough for the whole ride. I don't do much of the ride provided stuff, except for Fig Newtons if there are soma or a bannana. A full stomach has never worked for me. I prefer plain water and HammerGel for electrolyte replacement.

This said, I am 55 and have been riding various formats for over 40 years. This is what I have learned that "WORKS FOR ME". Most need to experiment to find the best combination.

As far as the original post. My problem with not having it on a ride, is more psycological for me sometimes I can shake it sometimes not. We seem to not deal much with that aspect of a ride/race and how devastating it can be.
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Old 05-14-05, 07:11 AM
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I usually have to hit about 3 miles before I can really crank down...but by them my commute is done

on the bright side it's fun to go to the movies, since I get that chance....sadly downtown is all stoplight/sign sprints, so no "let's see if I can draft this minivan" fun

I also found if I don't eat before the ride I have little staying power, but for some reason I want to crank down even harder...I have no reason why...maybe it's just I'm grouchier when hungry and the more annoyed I am, the more determined I get.
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Old 05-14-05, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ADA23
I am generally sluggish for the first 5 minutes or so. I find that if I build gradually I can then maintain a speed, but the first 5 minutes are a write off. Am considering adding a pre stretching routine (quads, hammies, calves) to see if that makes a difference, having said that should probably pre and post stretch anyways.
I'm not a physical therapist or doctor or whatever but I believe you should NEVER stretch cold muscles. Do an easy few miles warmup then pull over and stretch if you want.

PJ
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Old 05-14-05, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pjbaz
I'm not a physical therapist or doctor or whatever but I believe you should NEVER stretch cold muscles. Do an easy few miles warmup then pull over and stretch if you want.

PJ
That is a great point. I stop to connect with a ride partner about 5 miles from my house. I stretch there and that really helps with the rest of the ride. I often stretch during long rides anytime I have the chance.
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Old 05-14-05, 07:38 AM
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There's a discussion in the Training forum about how women don't have enough stored glycogen to depend on it for their energy needs. Maybe that's the reason, but last season I went for a 25 mile ride after having only a banana to eat all day and bonked at the 20 mile mark. It was horrible, I almost couldn't stand up while getting off the bike. After sitting in the grass for several minutes I ended up walking the bike up the next, shallow rise and then coasting all the way home -- couldn't even bring myself to move my legs and pedal a little.

I was clammy, dizzy, nauseous, and above all weak. Ugh. Never again. The good news about the phemale physiology is that apparently we recover quicker? My friend told me that when he bonks it takes days to recover fully, but I was fine with some food in me that evening and didn't feel anything unusual on the next day's ride.

Anyway. The original question: yes, getting a balanced meal with plenty of carbo will help your energy levels a lot. But that icky slow feeling at the beginning of a ride, I've never been able to shake that with anything but a couple miles of warmup. I second the idea of stretching after several minutes of warmup, really get those legs limbered.

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Old 05-14-05, 07:40 AM
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1st mile(s) are usually your legs just starting to warm up so it's hard to judge. I usually just spin at the start then get a better feel after about 8-10 miles (which is usually the starting point of our rides) .

Not an expert but I thought bonking was usually associated with the longish rides (although feeling lousy can be attributed to lack of sleep from the night before).
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Old 05-14-05, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
The day I did my metric century I hadn't eaten anything that entire day, and very often I go for 20-30 mile bike rides without eating anything for many hours beforehand.
Dude. You're totally *****ing yourself.
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Old 05-14-05, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by C_heath
Completely out of breath for exactly 20 mins then I can ride all night

what the heck****************************************?
I read a good analogy to explain why you're out of breath when you start out. Think of the body as a car. When the engine's cold, it runs a rich mixture (too much fuel, not enough air). The car is sluggish and doesn't have much power. When it gets warmed up, it runs a lean mixture (more air), and it can produce more power.

When you're not warmed up, your aerobic system is not getting enough oxygen to your working muscles. They are forced to run "rich", which gives you the "acid burn" and makes you breathe heavily. Once the aerobic system's throttle is opened, the muscles get the oxygen they need, and they can run more smoothly.
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Old 05-14-05, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by drroebuck
Dude. You're totally *****ing yourself.
I didn't say it was smart, just saying it is possible. Those days that I pull stuff like that I have class most of the day beforehand so I might have just eaten a bagel until I can get lunch at around 2 or 3. The day of the metric though, I was dumb and didnt go to eat after class. I did after getting back though!

Couldn't not eating before a big ride on a pretty regular basis make your body learn how to better govern its resources though?
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Old 05-14-05, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I have to eat before any ride or I WILL bonk... not maybe I will. I also have found if I do not at least 6 hours at a minimum and really 8 I can not ride hard. Last time I bonked so hard on the top of a hill and the next hills was a slow climb at 5 MPH...

As for the question, the first 5 miles are warmup. I can not really tell until about mile 10 how the ride is going to go.

If you were going up ANY hill at even 5mph, you didn't bonk. I've bonked once. I was on a 50mi ride down on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I felt great going out. The 25 miles back though, were in the wind. I hadn't eaten a big breakfast, and I accidently forgot my Gatorade in the car. It was about a 10-15mph sustained wind. I tucked down and was cruising along for quite some time at 15 mph or so. I knew I had to conserve my energy because the wind was only getting stronger. It was abut 65 degrees outside. Slowly my strength went down and down and down. I knew a bonk was coming. There was no food anywhere. I had to make it to a gas station, it was about 5 miles. By the time I made it there I was shivering like it was 20. My teeth were chattering. I could barely turn the pedals over. I had tunnel vision, slurred speech, horrible balance. My legs were achy, shaking, and super weak at the same time. I bought a big bottle of Gatorade, a bag of pretzels and a package of like two dozen oreos. I downed the gatorade, ate all the cookies, and about half of the pretzels. I bought another gatorade and brought the pretzels with me for the rest of the ride. I got home at like 3pm and didn't feel entirely better (or much warmer) until the next morning.

What you are experiencing is probably reduced muscle contraction due to lactic acid buildup, or maybe a localized lack of energy, but not a bonk. Count yourself lucky that you haven't. I've personally seen one guy pass out during a bonk, and another guy just lay on the ground unable to move - he fell off of his bike and couldn't even get back up.
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Old 05-14-05, 10:25 AM
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I often don't have "it" in my first....second...third...well you get the idea.....some days I just never feel that good on the bike, but I keep going anyway. I figure its gotta beat sitting on my old fat ass watching cycling on the internet.
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Old 05-14-05, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I read a good analogy to explain why you're out of breath when you start out. Think of the body as a car. When the engine's cold, it runs a rich mixture (too much fuel, not enough air). The car is sluggish and doesn't have much power. When it gets warmed up, it runs a lean mixture (more air), and it can produce more power.

When you're not warmed up, your aerobic system is not getting enough oxygen to your working muscles. They are forced to run "rich", which gives you the "acid burn" and makes you breathe heavily. Once the aerobic system's throttle is opened, the muscles get the oxygen they need, and they can run more smoothly.
thank you for that info. I just thought there was something wrong with my body. I had considered visiting a doctor to see what he said. I wonder if that will change after I have spent a full year cycling regularly?
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Old 05-14-05, 12:31 PM
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There are those days when I start out a ride feeling great! Beautiful day, feeling strong and eager to go, enjoying life. Other days: yuck. I feel heavy, sluggish, legs tired right from the get go. THose days, after about 4-5 miles, I feel much better.
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Old 05-14-05, 12:46 PM
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It usually takes me about 10 - 15 minutest to get into it, during which time I'm sore and feel tired. After that hump, its full speed ahead!
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Old 05-14-05, 04:35 PM
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Takes me about 20 minutes to get the legs flowing. Until then its usually a struggle.
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Old 05-14-05, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I read a good analogy to explain why you're out of breath when you start out. Think of the body as a car. When the engine's cold, it runs a rich mixture (too much fuel, not enough air). The car is sluggish and doesn't have much power. When it gets warmed up, it runs a lean mixture (more air), and it can produce more power.

When you're not warmed up, your aerobic system is not getting enough oxygen to your working muscles. They are forced to run "rich", which gives you the "acid burn" and makes you breathe heavily. Once the aerobic system's throttle is opened, the muscles get the oxygen they need, and they can run more smoothly.

thx terry!
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I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
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