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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 05-27-08, 08:11 PM   #1
JasonC
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Tips for a 50-mile ride?

Hello,
I am just starting to do "longer" rides, and am starting out with 50 mile rides. Not a long distance I know, but I'm just getting started

I did one 50-miler last fall and crashed really hard when I finished. The last 25 miles featured a good headwind, I was really dragging at the end. When I got home I felt like death. For energy during the ride, I think I had about 2 liters of water, a Clif bar, and a couple of PowerBar gels.

Is that food intake about right, or was something out of whack? What would you do for energy during a 50-mile ride?

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 05-27-08, 08:16 PM   #2
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Until this is a distance you are very used to, aim for a decent breakfast, and then approx. 250 calories per hour while you are out there.
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Old 05-27-08, 08:28 PM   #3
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I did a 60 miler yesterday. My daily rides are usually 1/2 or 1/4 that distance. I had 2 plain croissants before the ride. During the ride, 2 Clif bars and a pretzel. For liquids, 2 water bottles on the bike's cages and 2 more on a handlebar bag, all filled with plain gatorade. I was fine during the ride but felt very very VERY sleepy driving back home. Got home and went to sleep right away.

I've done that same ride before with 3 bars, 3 gels, 2 ham & cheese sandwiches and accelerade instead of gatorade and a 2ltr camelback with plain water (and lotsa ice)... felt a LOT better. But duno what made the difference, the extra liquids or the extra carbs (or both).
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Old 05-27-08, 10:31 PM   #4
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Everyone's body responds differently to "taking it up a notch" and you are no different. It sounds like you are asking the right question but it may take a while for you to find the right answer. For example, I have fellow riders who enjoy Gatorade but I find that I crash pretty quickly after one. I think it has to do with how your body is regulating that sugar. I agree with what has been said about an ongoing regular 250 calorie intake. What you take in may need to be less simple and more complex carbohydrates. I found that Acellerade is an excellent product and so is Propel. That breakfast is really important too. Also understand that when you are stretching yourself ALL of the stresses in your life affect your ride, and conversely your ride affects them. Being "worn out" and a great nights sleep is just what I need most. Happy trails to you!
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Old 05-28-08, 05:21 AM   #5
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Hammer Nutrition Pertetuem gets my vote for rides lasting greater than 2 hours. I routinely do 63 miles in about 4 hours with 3 flasks filled with a pancake-like viscosity mix. I never feel hungry and eat very lightly before I head out. Three years ago, I thought I would die after 50 miles. BTW, I'm 59 years old.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:40 AM   #6
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I think the wind was what got you. It is really easy to ride too hard into a stiff breeze and beat the living daylights out of yourself. Been there done that many times. I suspect that if you ride 50 miles at a pretty moderate pace, you will do fine.

As for eating, well that is individual. I know people who can not keep down solid food when they ride. I can do 50 miles getting up in the morning and going out the door and not eating at all. But it is not something I would recommend. Take some extra stuff with you. Remember eat before you are hungry. By the time you have broken down, it is too late to eat and recover.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:45 AM   #7
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Water, water, water!!! Stay hydrated!! Take a couple of granola bars and you should be good to go.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:18 AM   #8
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I like to load up on carbs before I ride, I started to eat whole wheat waffles with peanut butter and jelly before I go on a 40+ mile ride. For sure though, you need to load up on food before you go out.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:31 AM   #9
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I take it the headwinds were really strong. You are half way to a century. I think power gels and Accelerade makes a huge difference. Were the first 25 miles easy or hard. Any hard climbs. Start out your breakfast with a banana and lots of carbs. Keep at it. When you get stronger, many call just riding about with little exertion, trash miles. With determination, you will get there. Come home and take a 40 minute nap. You'll be ok.
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Old 06-06-08, 03:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.W. View Post
Water, water, water!!! Stay hydrated!! Take a couple of granola bars and you should be good to go.
Water is the wild card on unsupported centuries. On hot days, I will go out of my way to make sure I stay hydrated, changing routes on the fly to fill up water bottles.

Also...I've heard the expression "trash miles" before on road cycling forum and occasionally on the training and nutrition forum. I suspect this term is used by the "young un's". At our age, their ain't no such thing as trash miles.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:23 AM   #11
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From personal experience, a lot depends on your age and your condition. When I was about 25 I lived in Milwaukee for a year. I probably rode 50 to 80 miles a week. Frequently on a Saturday I would ride up to Port Washington and back. We lived near Hopkins and Hampton. The round trip was 50 miles. I took no water bottle and no snacks. When I got to Port Washington, I sat down in a restaurant and had a doughnut and a cup of coffee. There was often a tailwind on the way up and a stiff headwind on the way back. The total riding duration was around four hours. 50 miles was just a pleasant diversion then.

At age 62 I have been a long time working up to 50 miles and I feel it for a few days afterwards. Still, I am hopeful of doing a century again before too long.
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Old 06-06-08, 08:56 AM   #12
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You need to listen to your body and find what works for you. On 50 miles of flat, I don't need much at all, just a couple of water bottles with HEED in them. On 50 miles of climb, I add some gels and will definitely need refills on the bottles and probably one energy bar (I like Hammer date and almond).
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Old 06-06-08, 03:58 PM   #13
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for me gatorade and power gels, i do keep one of my water bottles filled with water tho to wash teh gels down, hour or so before i ride i take in some whole grains, then bout 10 minutes before i take in a apple or banana. then the power gell keeps me going the rest of the way. but i am pretty tired about and hour after my ride is over. make usre to take in some carbs and protein right after your ride. 4(carbs) to 1(protein) ratio is best apparently.
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Old 06-06-08, 04:17 PM   #14
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For any hilly 2.5+ hour ride, I prefer to eat a light breakfast with protein and some fruit. I did a semi-hilly 52 mile traininging ride this morning, and had 1 cup of non-fat cottage cheese, and 2.5 cups of fresh watermelon (water, fiber, fructose/glucose, potasium and trace minerals...).

All that I usually drink during my rides is water, unless it is over 100 degrees F. and I'm craving salts and electrlites, and then I stop at a gas station and pick up a fast sports drink. I prefer gu-gels and real food for my calories. Unless I've been riding for over 3 hours, my stomach sours if I eat more than about 150-200 calories per hour, though.

If I'm riding over 3 hours, I find that it is best to just eat some semi-bland and not too sugary real food sometime around the half-way point, usually when I stop to stretch and/or use the restroom. For food, I like fig bars, fresh or dried fruit, some of the more whole-grain-based nutrition bars (Cliff/Luna/Odwalla), etc. If it is really hot outside, salty snacks like potato chips and roasted and salted nuts also hit the spot.

Keep it simple, make sure to drink enough, and don't eat too much. You should be fine.
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