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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 10-06-11, 07:44 PM   #1
Hcampos
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Legs gave up after lunch

Hi,

I was planning to do a 80+ miles ride. After mile 40, I stopped to grab a sandwich. It was chicken salad and a pepsi. After it, I felt that my legs were really bad to the point that I couldn't pedal constantly for more than 3 minutes. I felt lactic acid building in my legs as a pedal. I thought I bunked but after doing a decent climb my legs loose up a little. But they didn't feel As strong as before lunch. I cut the ride short and ended it up doing 70 miles.
I did 65 miles last week with snacks stops only and didn't feel any lost of strength or lactic acid build up. Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 10-06-11, 10:43 PM   #2
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Your blood sugar went in the toilet from eating too much. The Pepsi probably didn't help. This is common. Eat a little at a time, eat frequently or constantly. As you build more miles over the years, you'll find your body becomes less sensitive to stuff like this. Lactate is actually fuel, it's good for you. It's just that too much buildup is bad, which you probably didn't have. Lactate dissipates in about an hour of not riding. Many people don't like to stop for more than about 10 minutes because their legs get "cold." I think what they mean is that the blood vessels in their legs shrink down and it takes some time and effort to open them back up, which is what you found.
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Old 10-07-11, 11:42 AM   #3
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As long as you're doing the exercise, your body is less sensitive to the pain and fatigue and as soon as you take a break you're 10 times more tired. That's my experience anyway. You're not resting up from putting 60 miles in your legs just by taking a 10 minute break and eating a sandwich...so yeah...

The longer you stop, the more tired you'll get if you're in the middle of a ride that pushes your limits. Best to just power through and let your muscles rest up over the course of the next days.
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Old 10-07-11, 12:06 PM   #4
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Any other intake while on the ride? What's your pace/what was the timetable of the ride?

I'm going to guess too much protein, too little carbs, and not enough electrolytes.
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Old 10-07-11, 07:44 PM   #5
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Ate too much?

Thanks guys for your response. I had water 2 bottles. 1 1/2 cliff bars and 2 small raisin/oatmeal bars 100 cal each. My avg was 15. I stopped at mile 40. at almost 3 hrs on the bike.

What should I do.
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Old 10-07-11, 09:27 PM   #6
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I wouldn't over think it - you did 65 without issue, then hit a wall /12 way through the 80 miler - you still made it 70 miles, even with the legs issue. Maybe your pace was too fat during the first 40 and you took too long of a break. Unless you are exhausted, I'd say keep breaks to a minimum until you are sure you can get post break miles in easily. Try another 65+ this weekend and see what happens. Some days I can ride all day and some I feel like I'll be lucky if I make it for 30 mins.
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Old 10-08-11, 06:46 AM   #7
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Insufficient calories and insufficient electrolytes, in my eyes. Shoot for 200-250 calories per hour, and do something to increase the electrolyte intake. That could be Gatorade, bananas, all sorts of choices.
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Old 10-08-11, 10:09 PM   #8
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Ate too much at one time, which popped your blood sugar up and down. Then evidently didn't eat enough the rest of the time, which may be a reason you ate so much at one time. 65/15 = 4-1/2 hours on the bike, plus maybe another hour stopped, total, so say 5.5 hrs.*250 cal = 1375 cal. That's a high estimate. For me, 750-1000 calories would handle a ride of that length, so at least 4 Clif bars, maybe 5, or some other combination that adds up to about that. Back when I ate Clif bars, I'd figure 6/century and maybe have one left over. Two bottles of Ensure Plus is 700.

So next time, eat 1/4 of a Clif Bar about every 15 minutes, something like that, or half of one of those cereal bars, and don't eat a sandwich or have a Pepsi. Coffee, if you feel like a little more go juice. Cola drinks can be OK, but not too much at one time.
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Old 10-09-11, 04:31 AM   #9
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Carbonfibreboy's comments have a lot of merit. Apart from the blood sugar spiking and diving. the body also commands the cardiovascular system to concentrate on digesting the food rather than on the leg muscles.

The need to digest the protein in the chicken may also extend the period. While small amounts of protein on a ride are a good thing, too much can increase the digestive cycle.

A long time ago, I went through the same scenarios on long distance rides, but by evening out my food intake rather than gorging, my energy output is now much more consistent.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:50 AM   #10
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I am very gratefull with your advices! Thanks a lot. I'm fairly new at riding. This is my 1st season but I didn't haPpen before. It does make sense since I really don't eat enough during the ride. I was eating probably every 45 mins. I am afraid also of feeling hungry and bunking if I don't to have a "sandwich" I will try that tomorrow. My heart rate monitor tells me that I burned around 3200 cal. So that's not accurate? Thanks for your help guys.! I usually drink just water should I do Gatorade or something on that nature? I'm riding tomorrow. I will report the outcome. (planning to eat big breakfast, small portions of cliff bars every 10-15 min and stop for a snack rather than lunch.) .
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Old 10-10-11, 08:30 PM   #11
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If you eat a big breakfast, eat it at least 2 hours before you ride. Otherwise just a small breakfast or nothing. Same reasoning.
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Old 10-15-11, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hcampos View Post
My heart rate monitor tells me that I burned around 3200 cal. So that's not accurate?
Probably not. HRMs tend to overestimate the calorie consumption. The rule of thumb that Machka uses is 200 to 300 calories per hour of riding. Much depends on the intensity of the ride and the fitness level of the rider, and those two are interrelated.

For you, probably take the mid-range of 250 calories per hour as your guide. Then try to calculate the intake.
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Old 10-16-11, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Carbonfibreboy's comments have a lot of merit. Apart from the blood sugar spiking and diving. the body also commands the cardiovascular system to concentrate on digesting the food rather than on the leg muscles.

The need to digest the protein in the chicken may also extend the period. While small amounts of protein on a ride are a good thing, too much can increase the digestive cycle.

A long time ago, I went through the same scenarios on long distance rides, but by evening out my food intake rather than gorging, my energy output is now much more consistent.
I tend to eat well the day before a long ride(usually a century in my case), and eat big the night before. Then very little during the actual ride. A light snack before, a sandwich or two, an apple or two, an avocado or two, that sort of thing, during. Never sugar. Cafein is much better. I rarely stop for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time.
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