Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Training & Nutrition
Reload this Page >

Trouble getting past 50 Km

Notices
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.

Trouble getting past 50 Km

Old 01-08-15, 08:28 PM
  #1  
FedericoMena
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
FedericoMena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Posts: 197

Bikes: Viruela, Piccola

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Trouble getting past 50 Km

I live in a hilly area. I've found it very hard to ride past around 50 Km, and I'm suspecting that I'm not eating correctly during my rides.

Yesterday I did a 48 Km ride, and Strava says it was 580m elevation - Bike Ride Profile | Café, Coatepec near Xalapa Enríquez | Times and Records | Strava (I forgot to turn on the app until about 5 Km into the ride; there's some climbing in the initial missing part, too.)

I started feeling pretty tired at about two hours into the moving time of the ride (I did a few stops for errands first). I stopped to eat at around 2:30. The rest of the ride, up to slightly above 3 hours, was rather frustrating. I don't know if that's what bonking feels like, but I had to do a large section in the lowest gear.

This time I forgot to make lemonade with sugar and salt - I was just carrying plain water.

I'm seeing that people recommend eating at shorter intervals, from each 30 minutes to each hour. Is this a likely reason for not being able to go past 50 Km generally?
FedericoMena is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 08:47 PM
  #2  
ljsense
Senior Member
 
ljsense's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Madison, Wis.
Posts: 647
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 52 Posts
yes, I think you are on the right track hauling around a pitcher of salty lemondade to prevent yourself from bonking around the third hour of your 50 km ride.

My suggestions would be plenty of natural foods. Do you have a basket on your bike? I would stock it with a large cobb salad, as many extra hard boiled eggs as you can fit, and a jar of kosher dill pickles. Of course, you will want a liter or 2 of coca cola.
ljsense is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 08:47 PM
  #3  
Up North
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SW ONTARIO
Posts: 525

Bikes: P1 Domane Di2, SLR Emonda Di2, Trek Farley 9 Fatbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
What Heat are you riding in? What is your height and weight? Normally a 50 km ride should not require any big calorie intake, providing you fueled up a couple of hours prior to the ride. My guess is you may be over exerting yourself and not hydrating enough. If you are dehydrated you'll bonk fast, heat will excelerate this.
if there is a lot of climbing in high heat this is likely the culprit. Drink more before and during ride. Replace electrolytes as well.
Up North is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 08:57 PM
  #4  
tarwheel 
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,900

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
How long have you been cycling? Do you drink plenty of fluids while riding? Are you riding at hard or fast pace?

I too am baffled as to why you would energy so quickly unless you are new to cycling. I regularly ride much further than 50 K without eating anything during the ride. When I first started cycling I ate more often, but that was probably because I thought I needed the food more so than actually needing to eat. However, I could see dehydration affecting you much sooner.
tarwheel is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 09:18 PM
  #5  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,759
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 190 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 30 Posts
First off, people are different, so how much I need to eat and when doesn't necessarily apply to you.

Generally, riding 50k, I'm not going to eat anything along the ride. On our randonneuring rides, we'll have stops around every 50k, and that works for most of us. And we can stretch that to 40 or 50 miles if needed, the main issue is if it's hot, water becomes a problem.

If you're a new rider, I'd say it's likely just a fitness issue. Eat when you get hungry, but don't assume you need to, to ride 50k.
If it's hot and you're sweating a lot, it may be heat issues.
It could be a pacing issue, if you're really working hard going as fast as you can early on. In that case, you just slow down at the start and finish easier.
Note that what is best for training is not necessarily best for a recreational ride.
It could be fit issues- in particular, a saddle too low can kill your legs.
It could be gearing issues, if you're having to do the climbing in too high of a gear.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 09:25 PM
  #6  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
When you bonk for real, you know it. You'll have problems standing up. You'll get so hungry you'll want to chew your arm off. You won't have problems continuing - you won't be able to.

It sounds to me like you're a new rider and simply running into endurance limits.

Just ride more. You'll figure it out - this isn't rocket science, and you're not training to be a pro rider.
achoo is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 09:32 PM
  #7  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,138

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3201 Post(s)
Liked 548 Times in 315 Posts
Originally Posted by FedericoMena View Post
I live in a hilly area. I've found it very hard to ride past around 50 Km, and I'm suspecting that I'm not eating correctly during my rides.

Yesterday I did a 48 Km ride, and Strava says it was 580m elevation - Bike Ride Profile | Café, Coatepec near Xalapa Enríquez | Times and Records | Strava (I forgot to turn on the app until about 5 Km into the ride; there's some climbing in the initial missing part, too.)

I started feeling pretty tired at about two hours into the moving time of the ride (I did a few stops for errands first). I stopped to eat at around 2:30. The rest of the ride, up to slightly above 3 hours, was rather frustrating. I don't know if that's what bonking feels like, but I had to do a large section in the lowest gear.

This time I forgot to make lemonade with sugar and salt - I was just carrying plain water.

I'm seeing that people recommend eating at shorter intervals, from each 30 minutes to each hour. Is this a likely reason for not being able to go past 50 Km generally?

After cycling for many years in the flatlands of Manitoba ... I now live in the midst of an abundance of hills in Tasmania. My most recent ride was 40 km with 450 m elevation and it was one of the flattest routes I could find. If I did another 8 km that day, I could easily be doing as much climbing as you did. And it is exhausting!

I can cover 40 or 50 km in no time on flat ground and not even think about eating ... but put me in these hills and it's a whole different story.

The general recommendation is that if your ride is less than 2 hours, you probably don't need to consume any additional calories. But if your ride is over 2 hours, it is a good idea to eat.

Roughly and generally ...

If your ride is between 2 and 4 hours, aim to eat about 100-200 calories per hour.
If your ride is over 4 hours, aim to eat 200-300 calories per hour.

And yes, you can start nibbling 30 minutes or an hour after you start ... then nibble every 15 minutes or so.

I don't use sports drinks of any sort ... just plain water. And what I eat on the bicycle is usually granola bars or cookies. Decent ones with oatmeal, fruit, nuts, etc.
Machka is offline  
Old 01-08-15, 09:59 PM
  #8  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,746

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4771 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 761 Times in 475 Posts
Everyone is different and has a different range without water or fuel. I, for one, have the "camel" gene and have always go for long stretches without food or water (unless it was extremely hot). My fastest times for 50-60 miles have always been without food or water. For longer ones, I do try to eat, and almost always need water, but it can be problematic because food in the belly always seem to cost me speed. If I plan to keep riding after eating, I either eat a real meal, killing at least half an hour, then ease back into the ride. Or I eat on the fly, focusing on fast fuel like fresh or dried fruits, french fries, or sugared beverages.

Given that you're having an issue with a wall at 50k, I'd say take a break at bout 40k, refuel and rehydrate, rest a short while, then strike out for another 20k. If that works tweak the distances and food stops until you find the best combination and can comfortably break through to longer distance.

BTW- on long trips of up to 150 miles, I always tried to take the first half at a single stretch. Take a break, and do the next quarter, to a short break, then finish. I've found that if I stop before the halfway point, I start running into progressively shorter intervals toward the end. The formula breaks down with longer distances, but I still try for longest legs in the first half and end up needing shorter legs near the end.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 01-09-15, 12:27 AM
  #9  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,787

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3531 Post(s)
Liked 1,526 Times in 1,112 Posts
Most important thing would be more mileage. To get more mileage, reduce your effort. You're going through your glycogen too quickly.

There are reasons for this:
#1 : You aren't burning enough fat. This is probably because you don't have enough aerobic base. You get aerobic base by riding a lot of miles per week at a comfortable pace, not necessarily in the form of long rides, just miles (hours, really) per week.
#2 : You're going too hard. Back off a little.
#3 : You aren't eating enough. While it's true that a conditioned rider can ride a century without eating, a less conditioned rider may need to start eating in the first hour. So that's what I'd do: start eating a little after 15 minutes. You can cut a sports bar into quarters and eat a quarter maybe every 1/2 hour. Or use bananas or dried fruit or bagels. Snickers are great if you can carry them without melting. Don't let yourself go until you get like in your OP. Be proactive: eat prophylactically. If you can ride enough, the fat burning thing will fix itself. It takes time.

I recommend eating small amounts while riding as much as possible.
Carbonfiberboy is online now  
Old 01-09-15, 07:42 AM
  #10  
FedericoMena
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
FedericoMena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Posts: 197

Bikes: Viruela, Piccola

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I will try to eat more frequently.

Since Up North and tarwheel asked - I'm 38 years old, 1.80m tall, and weigh 68 Kg (about 5' 11", 150 pounds, I think). I don't have years on the saddle - I took up cycling again a year and a half ago. I've learned not to ride hard all the time It does look like I need more weekly mileage; last year I only did about 700 Km during the year.

It is comforting to know that doing shorter legs as the trip progresses is normal.

(I just came back from visiting the family in Mexico City - the central part is flat, and I took my folding bike there, and it seemed soooo easy compared to here... I did bring back a couple bagfuls of dried figs and dates, so I guess that should be my bike food for the weeks to come.)
FedericoMena is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
luddite_68
General Cycling Discussion
104
09-27-20 10:53 PM
calliebear9
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
4
08-18-14 06:09 PM
gforeman
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
24
09-30-11 11:08 AM
Cujo2811
Road Cycling
49
09-13-11 04:18 PM
worldtraveller
Training & Nutrition
10
07-02-11 08:23 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.