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Wiped out day after heavy cycling.

Old 02-27-19, 08:17 AM
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Wiped out day after heavy cycling.

So I did a big cycle yesterday and today I am very lethargic and spent most of the day in bed. TBH I am not in the best of shape but is there anything dietary wise I could take on a cycle to help my body? I was just drinking water but I had a good healthy breakfast with nuts and raisins, gogi berries, bran flakes and a big good lunch involving bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke.

Or is this just a stamina issue and I just need to get used to cycling these distances?
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Old 02-27-19, 08:30 AM
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When is your next tour?
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Old 02-27-19, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Wozza2014
So I did a big cycle yesterday and today I am very lethargic and spent most of the day in bed. TBH I am not in the best of shape but is there anything dietary wise I could take on a cycle to help my body? I was just drinking water but I had a good healthy breakfast with nuts and raisins, gogi berries, bran flakes and a big good lunch involving bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke.

Or is this just a stamina issue and I just need to get used to cycling these distances?
I've had this feeling at times recently. You can handle more exertion when in better shape of course, and it might be worth getting in better shape. But even people in excellent shape, even top athletes can overtrain. And they often do.

HIIT exercise programs can help your metabolism handle more exercise. If you google HIIT, there are lots of scientific studies confirming the results of HIIT programs. Googling "HIIT Mayo Clinic" will pull up some good overviews.

It seems to me that the key is finding the sweet zone for your current level of fitness on any given day. Not exercising too much or too little. Enough to energize and refresh, but not so much that you are overdoing it and fatiguing your body.
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Old 02-27-19, 08:48 AM
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Sounds like you may have bonked. To me it seems like you're running on too much on sugar. I'd add up the sugars you consumed.

Mileage training is best built up overtime, especially if you haven't done much in a while.

Plus: Be sure you are generally healthy with at least a sports checkup.

Last edited by BigAura; 02-27-19 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 02-27-19, 09:04 AM
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Don't know if it applies, but one of things that can sneak up on me is not eating enough while cycling. A big breakfast the next day may be insufficient to counterbalance too big of a calorie deficit the day before. Since I usually eat way too much, it's an odd problem to have, but when I spend the bulk of my day cycling, especially if I'm pushing for some destination or deadline, I forget to or decline to take any good meal breaks, which can make the following day a real drag.
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Old 02-27-19, 10:49 AM
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you mentioned breakfast and lunch, but nothing else. you should be snacking throughout the day.


eat a heavier lunch, take a break before setting off again.
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Old 02-27-19, 11:12 AM
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It's easy to overdo it on the first day of a bicycle trip. I've made this mistake, as well. I try to limit my first day of a cycling tour to 4 to 5 hours.

I also have come to believe in the importance of eating regularly when engaged in endurance activities (like cycling), and not just at mealtimes. I aim to snack every hour or so while cycling.

I don't normally drink sports drinks, but on all-day rides, they might help. I substituted Gatorade for water on a couple of trips, and I seemed better able to sustain my effort longer. Not sure if this was a placebo effect.

There are other reasons a person might bonk after a day of riding. For example, if you spend most of your time near sea level, but are cycling at a much higher elevation, you might find that yourself completely wiped out relatively quickly. It's important to spend a few days acclimatizing to a higher altitude before engaging in vigourous activities.
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Old 02-27-19, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Wozza2014
nuts and raisins, gogi berries, bran flakes

bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke.
I don't see much protein here.

Even so, it is not going to make you feel like superman the next day.

Just need to ride more and get into shape.


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Old 02-27-19, 11:45 AM
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Good advice above, but consider also drinking an electrolyte replacement such as Nuun or Vitalyte. I use them either before or during a ride (or other workout) and they help keep my energy up.
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Old 02-27-19, 12:12 PM
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If I am going to ride more than a few hours, I try to eat about 200 to 250 calories every hour to hour and a half. I will stop for 3 to 5 minutes, have a half sandwich, a granola bar, or half a power bar or something like that. If I stop in town, an ice cream sundae or bag of potato chips might be a good alternative. Best to avoid a significant amount of fats, instead mostly carbs and maybe protein is the norm for this.

After a ride, protein will help a lot with recovery, most effective within an hour after you quit exercising.

If I have a meal with lots of fats, I will ride slowly for the next couple hours. My body it working too hard to digest the fats, that is why it is slower.
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Old 02-27-19, 12:31 PM
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You need the calories and nutrition, but that isn't everything, and it doesn't solve everything.

Something that hasn't been mentioned is that your metabolism will ramp up if you ride every day (or even most days) and you will be able to digest food more quickly and efficiently. I can eat and digest large or very large meals much more quickly and easily after riding day after day for a while (maybe after a week or so). The human body seems to adjust to demands, conditions and needs.
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Old 02-27-19, 12:44 PM
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I forgot to add I had walnuts, cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds as well for my breakfast.

I also got a little sunburnt as well so I don't think that helped me. I also had a nightmare puncture on the way back.

I feel better now. I think people are correct in saying that I need to take on more fuel throughout my journey. I wasn't doing that and paid for it. I could have done with more water as well. This is all learning as I have never cycled this far before.

I am hoping to do the Loire a Velo (or part of it) in late summer so in the meantime I am cycling 3 - 5 hours a day and camping some place and then cycling home. Yesterday was just a cycle to a destination and back home again. I think if I had camped the night I wouldn't have been able to ride back and would have had to camp over another night just to rejuvenate more.

But this is all learning! It's good to learn!
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Old 02-27-19, 03:29 PM
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Rest day.. , hang out in a Cafe ..
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Old 02-27-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Wozza2014
bran flakes and a big good lunch involving bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke.
Lots of simple sugar. The fruit, nuts and water are the only healthy things you ate, and the fruit has more sugar, and the nuts might be the only (small) source of protein.
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Old 02-27-19, 05:42 PM
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Big cycle? Time and distance? Lunch? PBJ, protein, granola bars, beef jerky will do better.
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Old 02-27-19, 06:25 PM
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They're right: more protein.

Among other aspects.
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Old 02-27-19, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Wozza2014
So I did a big cycle yesterday and today I am very lethargic and spent most of the day in bed. TBH I am not in the best of shape but is there anything dietary wise I could take on a cycle to help my body? I was just drinking water but I had a good healthy breakfast with nuts and raisins, gogi berries, bran flakes and a big good lunch involving bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke.

Or is this just a stamina issue and I just need to get used to cycling these distances?

What's a "big cycle" ... 200 km each day?

As for what you're eating, lunch was bag of chips, apple, pear, banana, chocolate, water and a can of coke?? Why not try eating a nice big chicken, avocado and pesto sandwich or something substantial? What you did eat was very high in sugar which would have given you quick energy, but not long lasting energy.
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Old 02-27-19, 06:49 PM
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Add up the grams of protein you're getting in each of the things you're eating. You should be getting at least 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, probably more. It looks like you're probably falling way short.

Protein is important.

Last edited by Bikesplendor; 02-28-19 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 02-27-19, 07:38 PM
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I have been a serious rider since 1973 and starting 3 years ago I was getting fatigued from 50 mile rides at a moderate clip of 17mph. Now I am fatigued doing 50 miles at 15mph. Doc says that is the ol' ticker slowly but surely giving up the ghost. Congestive heart failure is the prognosis. Have your cardio fitness checked. Heart valves included.
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Old 02-28-19, 07:09 AM
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I have been recently turned on to eating a banana every half hour or so, while out on the road. I recommend it.
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Old 02-28-19, 09:39 AM
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I rode double what I'd ever rode before (70 miles).

I'm not a big fan of meat so I will have to packed some soft boiled eggs into a cooler box on my next trip so I get enough protein.
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Old 02-28-19, 09:54 AM
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Soy milk might be a good choice too. Soy nuts and roasted edamame are good high-protein snacks. Cultured dairy products like yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese are also high. You can find non-fat, low fat, and some good flavors in each.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:55 AM
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Thanks. I have soy milk for breakfast. I'll buy some yoghurt too (not a big fan of cottage cheese).
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Old 02-28-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Wozza2014
I rode double what I'd ever rode before (70 miles).

I'm not a big fan of meat so I will have to packed some soft boiled eggs into a cooler box on my next trip so I get enough protein.
During endurance exercise you mostly need carbohydrates, some protein won't hurt, but you do not want to have too much fats during exercise. Eggs are almost free of carbohydrates, most of the calories in an egg are from fats. So, eggs might not help much during the ride. I mentioned above that if I have a meal with a lot of fats, it slows me down for several hours.

And the carbohydrates during a ride are best if they are a mix of carbs, you need some complex carbs that are slower digesting than the fast digesting sugars. If you are new to endurance forms of exercise, it might be best to avoid too many sugars and rely more on the complex carbs as you are less likely to have up and down spikes in your blood sugar levels.,

The eggs after the exercise make more sense, after you are done you want protein to help in recovery. Protein won't hurt during the ride, but it is best used to rebuild your muscles later. The protein for recovery is best within an hour, preferably less.

Small amounts of fat during exercise won't hurt, so the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is ok. And if you wanted an egg now and then, that probably would not hurt at long as you do not over do it. And I previously mentioned an ice cream sundae, that has a lot of carbs, some protein and some fats, that would work too. But if you are sweating very much the ice cream might not have much sodium in it.

The proteins are really most useful for recovery.

If you are not used to endurance riding, it can take some time and effort to build up to it. After several hours of exercise you are operating on a combination of the foods that you are intaking and also somewhat on your fat reserves. If your body is not used to endurance activities, it is not going to provide those fat reserves as fast as you might need. It takes time to train your body for endurance oriented activities.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:45 PM
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Until four years ago, I hadn't had a leg over a bicycle in 30 years. Within 90 days I rode my first century, and about four months later, double century. I hired a sports nutritionist to get my diet figured out.

When I rode doubles, my goal is to eat about 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour while on the bike. That works out to be about one cliff bar per hour, or a banana and a coke, or something. I don't do well with high fat stuff on the bike.

There is a time to diet, but it's not when you are riding your bike. You gotta eat. Bonking sucks.
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