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Nutrition for unpredictable rides.

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Nutrition for unpredictable rides.

Old 06-14-16, 04:31 AM
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Nutrition for unpredictable rides.

I've learned a bit over years about proper nutrition, but my lifestyle now has me stumped.

Background: Recently O.K.'d to ride again after fractured vertebrae and ruptured discs.
Goal is to get up to at least 30 mi. by fall.
Most rides now will be 1 hr. working up to 2 hr., before I begin working on 30 mi. rides
Will ride Cannondale Synapse for "training" days, and Cannondale Quick CX3 on paths for "leisurely" days.

I don't think I will need any strict pre-ride, or during ride nutritional for rides up to an hour, other than eating wisely to begin with.
I think it's the time working from 1 to 2 hr. rides that I might need supplemental food during the ride. Do you agree or disagree?

Lastly, the monkey in the mix is, I can't always predict what time of day I can ride, until maybe an hour in advance. (complicated).
So, let's say I eat some oats with raisins and a banana for breakfast, maybe even a couple of scrambled eggs, in the morning but find I can't ride until noon. I suppose it might be wise to eat a little something before I ride, OR, throw a few snacks for a 2hr ride in the back of my jersey, rather than trying to fit a lunch in before my ride.

Any suggestions? Most people I know have a strict nutritional regime, but, they are much younger, are training and train hard and eat on a fairly tight schedule. I'm 58, and after a long recovery from my neck injury, just want to get back in shape for 50 mi, and an occasional century, but mostly want to ride at whatever pace I feel, on a particular day.

Sorry this is so long and convoluted, buy trying to figure out a schedule for eating, and how long should my rides be before I need to worry about a couple of gels, or whole food snacks during the ride.

Thanks ahead for any advice, again I know this is sort of a convoluted situation, but it is what it is, and for now I can't do anything about it.

Thanks again,
J
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Old 06-14-16, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
.............. Recently O.K.'d to ride again after fractured vertebrae and ruptured discs......Goal is to get up to at least 30 mi. by fall................
At 61 the cracking noises I heard upon sticking the landing following a 10 flip in the air, so I am told--were C-6 and right clavicle with 16 weeks in neck brace 24/7. Got the OK to ride and hopped on bike, rode easy for a week and then got back with the guys just following. I have oats plus added stuff-nuts-cinnamon-banana-blueberries-almond butter-organic coconut oil but not the eggs. I bring gels on every ride, maybe a banana, sometimes a Pop Tart, Ritz with pb&j......It wasn't more than a couple of weeks and I was riding 50+ miles just not at the intensity or out front as long as before.

Just ride your own flow and challenge yourself when you feel ready. If you tire too quickly, simply rest and rebuild for a couple of days then get out again. Your nutrition is what's good for you not me or someone else. I have a friend who will go out for 75 to 100 and stop for BBQ and beer half way. I'd puke.

Welcome back and ENJOY!!!!
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Old 06-14-16, 05:32 AM
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Don't over think this. You shouldn't need to eat while riding for up to two or three hours. You might want to but it's not strictly necessary. Just throw a bar in your pocket and eat it if you get hungry. Worst case, you can stop along the ride and have a coffee and pastry.
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Old 06-14-16, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
At 61 the cracking noises I heard upon sticking the landing following a 10 flip in the air, so I am told--were C-6 and right clavicle with 16 weeks in neck brace 24/7. Got the OK to ride and hopped on bike, rode easy for a week and then got back with the guys just following. I have oats plus added stuff-nuts-cinnamon-banana-blueberries-almond butter-organic coconut oil but not the eggs. I bring gels on every ride, maybe a banana, sometimes a Pop Tart, Ritz with pb&j......It wasn't more than a couple of weeks and I was riding 50+ miles just not at the intensity or out front as long as before.

Just ride your own flow and challenge yourself when you feel ready. If you tire too quickly, simply rest and rebuild for a couple of days then get out again. Your nutrition is what's good for you not me or someone else. I have a friend who will go out for 75 to 100 and stop for BBQ and beer half way. I'd puke.

Welcome back and ENJOY!!!!
Thanks!

Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Don't over think this. You shouldn't need to eat while riding for up to two or three hours. You might want to but it's not strictly necessary. Just throw a bar in your pocket and eat it if you get hungry. Worst case, you can stop along the ride and have a coffee and pastry.
Great! I guess all of that, my OP, just boiled down to how many hours should I ride before I start munching on an energy bar, and it seems like that magic number is around 3 hours, but now I see how I'm over thinking this. Just toss a couple of bars, or something else suitable, and don't sweat it until I feel a bit weak, or needing a bite, then I have them. Logical, good advice.

Thanks.
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Old 06-14-16, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
Thanks!


Great! I guess all of that, my OP, just boiled down to how many hours should I ride before I start munching on an energy bar, and it seems like that magic number is around 3 hours, but now I see how I'm over thinking this. Just toss a couple of bars, or something else suitable, and don't sweat it until I feel a bit weak, or needing a bite, then I have them. Logical, good advice.

Thanks.
Sorry to disagree, BUT my system at 66 next month, needs something 1 to 2 hours into a ride. Just the way I am, NOW. I am kitted up and ready to ride in a couple of minutes. 75 miles hopefully and I'll pop a gel shortly. The guys who should show up will be going 22+mph after 1.2 miles and then 22mph to 28mph for 40 miles. I will hold on as long as I can and have a gel about 1 hour into the ride. Even on a solo ride I still have something between 1-2 hours. I'm not the way I used to be and know what's best for me, so IMO, let your body tell you what-when-how much to eat for the given ride you are on.
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Old 06-14-16, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
Most rides now will be 1 hr. working up to 2 hr., before I begin working on 30 mi. rides

I don't think I will need any strict pre-ride, or during ride nutritional for rides up to an hour, other than eating wisely to begin with.
I think it's the time working from 1 to 2 hr. rides that I might need supplemental food during the ride. Do you agree or disagree?

Lastly, the monkey in the mix is, I can't always predict what time of day I can ride, until maybe an hour in advance. (complicated).
So, let's say I eat some oats with raisins and a banana for breakfast, maybe even a couple of scrambled eggs, in the morning but find I can't ride until noon. I suppose it might be wise to eat a little something before I ride, OR, throw a few snacks for a 2hr ride in the back of my jersey, rather than trying to fit a lunch in before my ride.
You don't really need to eat anything up to about a 2-hour ride.

However, if it happens that you haven't eaten for a couple hours and then you're getting ready to go, have a granola bar or banana before you go out ... and bring a granola bar with you just in case.


When you get up to 2 - 4 hour rides, you might want to aim to consume about 100 cal/hour.
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Old 06-14-16, 06:51 AM
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I stick with Clif bars. 250 calories, and I can tolerate them very well on a ride.

I'll often eat one 90 minutes into a brisk ride, maybe just a half of a bar. I almost always bring one, even on a shorter, easier ride, "just in case".
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Old 06-14-16, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I stick with Clif bars. 250 calories, and I can tolerate them very well on a ride.

I'll often eat one 90 minutes into a brisk ride, maybe just a half of a bar. I almost always bring one, even on a shorter, easier ride, "just in case".
Quoted because this is pretty much exactly my method as well. I don't buy into the "You don't need to eat on any ride below XX length/duration." If you feel hungry, eat. If you're don't, don't. I've done 3.5 hour metrics on no food, and will also stop and eat a sammitch on a 30-miler. There is always a Clif bar in my bag. Better to have it and not need it...
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Old 06-14-16, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
I've learned a bit over years about proper nutrition, but my lifestyle now has me stumped.

Background: Recently O.K.'d to ride again after fractured vertebrae and ruptured discs.
Goal is to get up to at least 30 mi. by fall.
Most rides now will be 1 hr. working up to 2 hr., before I begin working on 30 mi. rides
Will ride Cannondale Synapse for "training" days, and Cannondale Quick CX3 on paths for "leisurely" days.

I don't think I will need any strict pre-ride, or during ride nutritional for rides up to an hour, other than eating wisely to begin with.

I think it's the time working from 1 to 2 hr. rides that I might need supplemental food during the ride. Do you agree or disagree?
Yes. Lots of people don't need food for rides under four hours.

I don't eat under four hours unless I get a late start so my ride overlaps with lunch time, and have one Clif bar at 4 hours on 4-5 hour rides. In both cases that's because I'm getting hungry which makes it time to eat whether I'm riding or sitting on my couch. I bring one Clif bar on rides over 2-3 hours or when I'll be late for a meal so I'm ready for that.

It's self-limiting. Longer rides limit intensity, and the lower intensity shifts your energy substrate utilization to be more fat and less glycogen so you can ride farther without eating.

I suppose it might be wise to eat a little something before I ride,
If you're hungry eat so you don't get too ravenous and overdo it.

OR, throw a few snacks for a 2hr ride in the back of my jersey, rather than trying to fit a lunch in before my ride.
I eat half (125 Calories, 22g carbs) a Clif bar per hour on rides over 5 hours from the beginning. You don't need "a few snacks" for two hours.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 06-14-16 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 06-14-16, 03:39 PM
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Thanks all. There seems to be a general consensus among you concerning less than 3 hr. rides. I should have emphasized that during this stage in my recovery, I'm riding for duration, not intensity or speed. I'll work on that later. I think your recommendations will work just fine, and I slightly suspected that your answers would be in the range that they are, although I had no confidence in that, especially knowing that I would be riding on an obscure schedule. I believe, now, at this level, that just keeping one bar or gel on hand "just in case" should suffice.

Thanks again,
J.
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Old 06-16-16, 11:05 PM
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I don't know if hunger dissipates with better aerobic fitness, or you just get used to it. Starting out I tended to get hungry during shorter rides, but after a couple years and eating healthy and training I find I can go a few hours easy with nothing to eat - as long as I ate a good meal before.

Sometimes I carry a little baggie of grapes or medjool dates. Grapes are just enough to get a little moisture, sweetness, and a little something in your stomach just to calm the cravings a bit (but don't add up to much calories). On the other hand whole medjool dates are very calorie dense and I use them on harder efforts and long runs and races including marathons. No need for all the manufactured products, natural dates work great. Just test em first to see how your body reacts to the fiber, some people don't tolerate fiber while working hard, but they have been fine with me.
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Old 06-16-16, 11:18 PM
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Carry some Breakfast bars and eat one every hour.
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Old 06-17-16, 05:36 PM
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In my experience, if I'm on a calorie restricted diet and losing weight, I need to eat on rides approaching 2 hrs or longer. That means starting to eat at 1 hr in. If I'm fat and happy, I don't need to eat for rides of 3+ hrs.
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