Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

how to eat for a long ride

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

how to eat for a long ride

Old 08-10-08, 10:03 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro with Campy Chorus; Specialized Allez Comp Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
how to eat for a long ride

Ok, I've done this twice now so clearly I am doing something wrong. The other weekend, my wife and I went for a nice weekend up in Sonoma, CA. We did a beautiful 60 mile ride. We rode half-way, stopped at a winery (V. Sattui) for some lunch, and then headed back. On the way back, I was almost dead over my wheels. Tired as all hell, could barely rotate my legs, and even though the terrain was relatively flat (though we did have a headwind), I started laboring like I was climbing the Alps or something. I tried taking some honey for a quick energy charge to no avail. I eventually had to pull over to rest in the shade (it was hot, but not too bad for Napa. 85 degrees). I later stopped to actually try to nap for like 15 minutes, my heart racing the entire time. I had plenty of water for the ride. When I stopped to sleep, I drank half a large bottle of Gatorade which made me feel a little better. After the short nap, we got going again and I got a small second wind and made the rest of the ride back to our car.

Thing is, this is not the first time I've done this. I can't tell if this was me "bonking", or just having food coma because of the lunch we had. For lunch, I had a small block of cheese with bread, half a turkey sandwich, and some iced tea. The last time this happened to me was when I did a supported 100K ride with the same result. In that case, I ate way too much, and again halfway, right before the big climb up a long, 4 mile mountain. I had a full sandwich, chips, diet coke, fig newton bars, the works. There too I became so tired that I actually fell off my bike going uphill because I was going too slow, and ended up walking about a mile or two up the hill.

So, when you go on longer rides, how are you supposed to eat? Why do they bother offering lunches at supported rides if you are not suppose to eat so much? What should I be eating before, and what type of fluids. I normally just drink water, but I guess that isn't quite enough. Help!

H
henrus is offline  
Old 08-10-08, 10:07 PM
  #2  
mamafitz
 
RoadToNowhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Near Hershey...TMI...not in Central PA ;)
Posts: 1,878

Bikes: Serotta CDA, Cannondale R800, mid-80's Bianchi hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Was there wine with that lunch?

If so, you probably want to save the wine for after the ride, not in the middle of it.

If I stopped for anything more than a small snack midway through a 60 mile ride, I'd be dealing with dead legs, too.

I'm envious, though. . . my sister and her family live in Sonoma, and I'd love to come out for a visit and a ride!

Beth
RoadToNowhere is offline  
Old 08-10-08, 10:15 PM
  #3  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 593 Times in 327 Posts
1) +1 on the wine question. If you're French you can drink wine with your rides, or if you're British your club ride might be a pub crawl, but if you're North American you might not be able to handle it.

2) You should aim to drink 1 to 1.5 bottles of water and/or sports drink on your rides ... more if it is hot, less if it is cooler. If you go with plain water, make sure you are getting your electrolytes.

3) Do you know what electrolytes are? For some reason, a lot of people don't. And a lot of people don't consume them, even on hot days. Electrolytes are mainly sodium and potassium, but also include several other minerals. Since it is hot where you are, you might want to consider electrolyte pills rather than just depending on your diet.

4) Try to consume about 250 calories per hour ... it's better if you eat regularly as you ride, rather than waiting for a mid-ride break. This is a mistake many newbies make, and many organized rides don't make it obvious that riders need to be eating in addition to what the ride provides.

5) How much sleep have you been getting lately ... the only time I'm as tired as what you describe is on 24-hour rides, where I'm up for 24+ hours.
Machka is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:01 PM
  #4  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro with Campy Chorus; Specialized Allez Comp Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
apologies for dropping off and not responding. no wine during lunch. i knew that you shouldn't do that on a ride. although lol: machka!

what are electrolytes for? is that for recovery or for maintaining on big rides?

i generally sleep around 4-5 hrs a night.
henrus is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:14 PM
  #5  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not an expert, but I'd say it's probably a combination of things. Not eating regularly during the ride, maybe eating too much at the mid-point (digestion takes energy away from your legs), not replenishing electrolytes, etc. When I ride those distances, for hydration i usually have my Camelbak with H20 and then a bottle of gatorade or other sports drink along with some food (fig newtons, gel). That seems to work for me, but I'm still pretty beat at the end.
ronaikens is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:42 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
rb07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 164

Bikes: 05 Specialized Rockhopper, 70s Motobécane Grand Touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
what are electrolytes for? is that for recovery or for maintaining on big rides?
Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolytes

Hammer Nutrition on Electrolytes and replacing them
https://tinyurl.com/6e32zr

There are plenty of products that will help with electrolyte replacement, so choose one that works for you. I also found that the description in Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes (ISBN: 1931382964) to be a good source of information about how important these are.

While you do need to consider electrolyte in your recovery plan, carbs and protein (and water) are more common things to replenish. Especially when you ride in high temps or high humidity (or both!), you are going to lose more electrolytes, so you need to be cautious of giving your body that little bit of help.

EDIT: That said, I had issues with my first attempt at a century this weekend and stopped at 80 miles because I was not eating enough during the ride. My hydration and electrolyte intake was pretty good, but my fuel intake was poor. When I did eat more than just a gel (around mile 55 - 65), I was a little late.

Last edited by rb07; 08-13-08 at 03:45 PM.
rb07 is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:44 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
what are electrolytes for? is that for recovery or for maintaining on big rides?
First of all, not to be mean, but if you don't know what electrolytes are, you really need to do some reading. Put simply...they're critical. Second, 60 miles is really not a long ride. You should be able to complete that with with a few bars/gels and some sports drink. In hot weather, water probably is not enough.
wf_mike is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:53 PM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 140

Bikes: 2005 Trek 1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
apologies for dropping off and not responding. no wine during lunch. i knew that you shouldn't do that on a ride. although lol: machka!

what are electrolytes for? is that for recovery or for maintaining on big rides?

i generally sleep around 4-5 hrs a night.
No wonder you need a nap!
dallasmike is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 03:58 PM
  #9  
newbie rider
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 481
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
omg 85F is hot over there? no wonder everyone wants to move to california.
85 is cool weather for us in texas
mista_chewey is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 04:22 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro with Campy Chorus; Specialized Allez Comp Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wf_mike
First of all, not to be mean, but if you don't know what electrolytes are, you really need to do some reading. Put simply...they're critical. Second, 60 miles is really not a long ride. You should be able to complete that with with a few bars/gels and some sports drink. In hot weather, water probably is not enough.
You're right, got a bit lazy with the electrolyte question. Duly noted. Regarding the "should be able to" thing, well, i'm probably not in shape to do that yet. 5'9" and 205lbs (mostly fat) = need more riding to get the weight off.
henrus is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 04:29 PM
  #11  
What is this demonry?!
 
Szczuldo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Central IL
Posts: 1,097

Bikes: KHS Aero Comp.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wf_mike
First of all, not to be mean, but if you don't know what electrolytes are, you really need to do some reading. Put simply...they're critical. Second, 60 miles is really not a long ride. You should be able to complete that with with a few bars/gels and some sports drink. In hot weather, water probably is not enough.
I'd consider 60 miles a fairly good length ride. Sure you can do it with one cliff bar water and your choice of sports drink but i still wouldn't call it a short ride. Short is like 30-40 miles where I just need a bite of a bar and only water to keep me going if even that. Now if you are going for 100miles you really need to watch your nutrition...and that's where I failed last year.
Szczuldo is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 04:34 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
Regarding the "should be able to" thing, well, i'm probably not in shape to do that yet. 5'9" and 205lbs (mostly fat) = need more riding to get the weight off.
Then get out there and ride. It sounds like you have a few extra pounds, but it can definitely be ridden off. It almost sounds counter intuitive, but you need to eat to lose weight when riding. In order to get in a good ride at a relatively high intensity, you need food (calories). The key is eating the right food/calories to get in a good ride while burning more calories than you ingest. Fortunately, a couple hundred calories ingested per hour will enable you to maintain about 1,000 calories burned per hour at a higher intensity.
wf_mike is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 09:15 PM
  #13  
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,152

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3203 Post(s)
Liked 593 Times in 327 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
apologies for dropping off and not responding. no wine during lunch. i knew that you shouldn't do that on a ride. although lol: machka!

what are electrolytes for? is that for recovery or for maintaining on big rides?

i generally sleep around 4-5 hrs a night.

Electrolytes allow you to drink lots of water .... and keep you from being nauseated.


You might want to aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
Machka is offline  
Old 08-13-08, 09:24 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Athens, Ohio
Posts: 5,104

Bikes: Custom Custom Custom

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
up to 40 miles I can go with only water.
up to 60 I need electrolyte replacement and a gel or two an hour
Over 60 I eat a lot during the ride. Nothing is worse than bonking 40 miles from home
nitropowered is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 02:30 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
owenh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I dis the same ride twice in 2 weeks 120km each. On the 1st one I died and had to get the wife to come get me.
next week felt strong the entire ride, why?? easy this is what I did on the 2nd ride
drunk full bottle of water before I left the house
took enough gatorade powder for 3 full bottles,ate one banana at 45km Drank 1 powerade and 1 water for the first 70 (probably still not enough)
Ate egg and bacon s/wich and a muelsi bar at the 70km point had a half hr rest (coffee stop) 2 bottles of powerade and one water for the remainder of the ride, = 1 banana at 110km

Stay Hydrated especially aftere waking up, If your thirsty youre already dehydrated so drink a ton during the ride if youre working hard you wont need to use the dunny often
Fuel up with the right foods, cheese and wine is not it , eat the whole turkey s/wich not half
Goodluck and keep it up
owenh is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 12:14 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
HDWound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
https://www.moviewavs.com/php/sounds/...ile=eating.mp3

HDWound is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 12:39 PM
  #17  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro with Campy Chorus; Specialized Allez Comp Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by owenh
I dis the same ride twice in 2 weeks 120km each. On the 1st one I died and had to get the wife to come get me.
next week felt strong the entire ride, why?? easy this is what I did on the 2nd ride
drunk full bottle of water before I left the house
took enough gatorade powder for 3 full bottles,ate one banana at 45km Drank 1 powerade and 1 water for the first 70 (probably still not enough)
Ate egg and bacon s/wich and a muelsi bar at the 70km point had a half hr rest (coffee stop) 2 bottles of powerade and one water for the remainder of the ride, = 1 banana at 110km

Stay Hydrated especially aftere waking up, If your thirsty youre already dehydrated so drink a ton during the ride if youre working hard you wont need to use the dunny often
Fuel up with the right foods, cheese and wine is not it , eat the whole turkey s/wich not half
Goodluck and keep it up
Thanks for the great feedback and tips! Maybe it was the cheese that did me in.
henrus is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 04:00 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
EGreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY. Made in France
Posts: 1,139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question for the OP. Have you ever had a ride of that distance where you didn't crap out? Perhaps this is your limit for your current level of fitness which you admit is not great.

Yes, proper nutrition/hydration is essential and the tips you've received here are well informed, yet perhaps you need to consider getting out on your bike more, doing regular shorter rides and build up to the longer rides.

In time, you can be doing double centuries and finishing them with gas to spare... but, in time and with proper training.
EGreen is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 06:11 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 7,069

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 471 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Some of this can be due to conditioning. A 60 mile ride may be difficult for a rider who normally averages 30 miles per ride.
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 08:53 PM
  #20  
Tandem Vincitur
 
Ritterview's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 3,317

Bikes: BMC Pro Machine SLC01, Specialized Globe, Burley Rock 'N Roll tandem, Calfee Dragonfly tandem.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Download Hammer Nutrition's free book Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success. I think its advice is scientific and well founded. Ignorant of this book, last year, I cramped up and bonked on the 129 mile Death Ride and couldn't finish. This year, following the precepts of this book, I finished the 155 mile Climb to Kaiser and was in the top 1/5 of the finishers in the Death Ride.

Maybe this book shills some of Hammer's products, and maybe it isn't 100% correct. But it will definitely get you going in the right direction.

Ritterview is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 09:17 PM
  #21  
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,841

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1173 Post(s)
Liked 917 Times in 605 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus

Thing is, this is not the first time I've done this. I can't tell if this was me "bonking", or just having food coma because of the lunch we had. For lunch, I had a small block of cheese with bread, half a turkey sandwich, and some iced tea. The last time this happened to me was when I did a supported 100K ride with the same result. In that case, I ate way too much, and again halfway, right before the big climb up a long, 4 mile mountain. I had a full sandwich, chips, diet coke, fig newton bars, the works. There too I became so tired that I actually fell off my bike going uphill because I was going too slow, and ended up walking about a mile or two up the hill.

So, when you go on longer rides, how are you supposed to eat? Why do they bother offering lunches at supported rides if you are not suppose to eat so much? What should I be eating before, and what type of fluids. I normally just drink water, but I guess that isn't quite enough. Help!
Dope slap. Stick with the simple carbs, in small amounts fairly frequently. Skip the protein & fat during a ride.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 08-14-08, 11:22 PM
  #22  
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,916

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
+1 on the hammer advice. Electrolytes prevent cramping, but maybe you just starved yourself and then diverted your blood flow/energy to digestion rather than riding....
Beaker is offline  
Old 08-18-08, 03:45 PM
  #23  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18

Bikes: Scott CR1 Pro with Campy Chorus; Specialized Allez Comp Double

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by EGreen
Question for the OP. Have you ever had a ride of that distance where you didn't crap out? Perhaps this is your limit for your current level of fitness which you admit is not great.

Yes, proper nutrition/hydration is essential and the tips you've received here are well informed, yet perhaps you need to consider getting out on your bike more, doing regular shorter rides and build up to the longer rides.

In time, you can be doing double centuries and finishing them with gas to spare... but, in time and with proper training.
i think you're right. i average 10-20 mile rides, about 1-3 times/week. so i was probably just not ready for a 60. thanks to all with the great info, especially the Hammer book!
henrus is offline  
Old 08-18-08, 04:46 PM
  #24  
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,916

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by henrus
i think you're right. i average 10-20 mile rides, about 1-3 times/week. so i was probably just not ready for a 60. thanks to all with the great info, especially the Hammer book!
Sounds like a good plan. FWIW, I just did my first metric at the Tour of Napa Valley yesterday (see Norcal section if you're interested) -- only a month before, my riding had never exceeded 25-30miles. A couple of ramp up rides to build some distance - a good breakfast, ~5bottles of HEED, a gel and a piece of pastry saw me through the 65miles no problems. I was very tempted to eat more at the rest stops, but resisted.
Beaker is offline  
Old 08-18-08, 06:10 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Terex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 7600' Northern New Mexico
Posts: 3,680

Bikes: Specialized 6Fattie, Parlee Z5, Scott Addict

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 24 Posts
Also, highly likely that you did not pre-hydrate the previous day. Or, even worse, is it possible that you hydrated the night before with wine? Not eating/drinking enough prior to a ride, or drinking too much alcohol, can cause the problem you experienced.

Also, just try to work more riding into your schedule. Sounds like you enjoy riding, and these longer rides would be more enjoyable (and safer) if your level of fitness improves.

There are no magic (Hammer) bullets. Just ride more and fuel sensibly.
Terex is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.