Long rides – Nutrition, recovery (did my first century)
I’m training for an endurance challenge and did my first 100 mile ride yesterday. This new stuff to me so I was trying to note how energy input and output was working for me. I ate very well before heading out (both the night before and in the morning) and at intervals where I felt hungry in the first half of the ride.
Three quarters of the way through I could feel some kind of energy depletion but not hunger. It’s hard to say what it was – I had hit some hills after a lot of flat riding and felt bouyed by the more dynamic and challenging riding.
I took a few ten minute rests to eat but was in the saddle for 11 hours. I’m looking at 18 – 22 when I do my big challenge that I’m training for. I ate a fair amount of food – a tub of pasta I had prepared, 2x pitta with peanut butter, a couple of cereal bars, about 300g of nuts and raisins and a flapjack (a possible mistake – way more sugar than I’m used to).
I ate a fair amount when I got home last night too. Didn’t go to bed hungry.
So I’m interested to know what other folk do for long rides. Also I’m wondering about recovery. I feel a bit tired today and will no doubt feel a bit creaky when I have to get on the bike later but I wasn’t wracked with aches and pains. I might have been worried about my back (had a larger than should have been rucksack on) and didn’t do any post ride stretches but it seems fine today.Posted 4 years agorewskiMember
Respect due, 11 hours in the saddle is pretty good going, I would say you’re doing a lot of things right. I’m no endurance rider but I’ve done a fair few all dayers, the longest being 12 hours, I mixed proper food (pretty much like yours above) and gels, I also got a two bottle carrier for my saddle, just to get the weight off my back. I used zipvit ZV0 watermelon glutamine electrolyte drink, which I really recommend, I’ve tried a fair few electrolyte drinks, even my own mix of rock salt and fruit juice, zipvit just does it for me.
Recovery wise: eating and sleeping.
Out of interest, what’s the challenge?Posted 4 years agoxc-steveMember
that 100miles on or off road?
Did 85miles last week on the road and was pritty done by the end of it, to help speed my recovery for that I sat in an ice bath, necked a load of recovery drink inhaled a considerable amount of food then stretched and slept on vitamin I. Next day did a slow and steady commute to work and come the next day was pritty much back to normal.
Food wise I find Jelly Babies are best for 24hour races keeping your body fuelled and also keeping your hunger and mind at bay. That combined with Gels and energy drink if your planning on going for it. I also find a chocolate bar and a can of coke really helps me get my body back into reality (after the dreamy mood riding for so long gives) but I think that’s more mental for me.
Hope this helps.Posted 4 years ago
I’d not really thought about energy drink but funnily enough someone has just offered to donate some High5 to the cause. I guess if I’m sipping regularly that it might keep those energy levels a bit more consistent. I had some gels given to me running a relay team in a marathon last year. Didn’t like that much, but if it works….
As I remember it – I was flagging a bit a while after that flapjack so it could have given me a sugar spike. Afteer that, when I got back into the hills I didn’t feel any loss of strength at all. Quite the opposite – though I did wonder if I was getting carried away with myself (it’s a part of my character that I do this).
Feel fine now other than a sore knee while out on the bike. This is from an injury a few weeks ago and seemed to be fine on small and medium rides last week and then a 70 mile ride on Friday so I presumed would be okay for yesterday. Ands it was… until on the bike this afternoon. I’m sure it’ll be fine tomorrow but I’ll monitor it.
I know what you mean about that dreamy state – it is a weird thing.
The challenge is the West Highland Way in a day. Now I know I can cover the distance I’ll have to test myself on the anmount of ascent as another training ride.
Yesterday was mostly about covering the distance – mainly on cycle paths, minor roads but a bit of rougher stuff. Ridden on a hardtail,Posted 4 years agosoulstealerMember
Don’t laugh but chocolate milkshake is amazing! Have it after a tough ride once you can stomach it and it really helps with muscle recovery.
This is one of the many articles about it:
Both myself and my wife who is two weeks away from doing her first marathon swear by it!Posted 4 years agomanton69Subscriber
Over the years of doing lots of different endurance events you have to try different things and find what suits you. If you have a look at the attached brochure from Matt Hart at Torq it will give you the basics of what you are trying to get your body to do on pages 18 and 19. It does give you all of the products that they produce, but the basic strategy for refuelling is all in there. If you approach it systematically then you can work on a strategy of when to eat and drink. Please note I am in no way associated with Matt, but have used some of his products he does know what he is on about.
I have just done an 8 hour event on Saturday and am back training today so it seems to work for me.Posted 4 years agoneilsonwheelsMember
I find a good fry-up in the morning then a lie down for half hour to let it compost a wee bit prepares me for a long day in the saddle. This is not ideal prep if you are going to hammer it around though, far too heavy on the stomach. Snickers and cans of full fat coke are pretty good fuel. Pint of milk after followed by a ham, egg, cheese and potato waffle sandwich. Let that settle and tuck into a well earned meaty dinner. Plenty of protein afterwards is key to repairing the muscles.Posted 4 years agochivesMember
I went out last Monday and did about 91 miles, (c.75 road / 16 off-road – Quantocks) and didn’t get through very much really. I had a good meal the evening before (Sunday roast at the inlaws – just kept off the booze) then a pint of high5 4:1 before I set off in the morning.
I took an 800ml bottle of high5 4:1 and filled my camelbak with water (3 litre) which I used to refill my bottle (using home made pouches of high5 again) twice during the day. Stopped on the way home to buy some peanuts, and later a bottle of coke, just to cheer my mouth up. Other than that, just a few small bags of Haribo, and a couple of gels. Agree with the milkshake afterwards for recovery.
I’m no speed merchant, so I was out for 11 hours, mind you I did stop a few times to enjoy the views!Posted 4 years agochivesMember
I’ve been using High 5 chocolate flavour protein recovery powder recently, but not sure it’s much better than a straight shake – too many variables in my life to easily tell to be honest. I think it makes quite a difference when you start taking stuff after a hard effort (i.e. how soon after) if that makes sense?Posted 4 years agoFuzzyWuzzyMember
Just take on carbs (hi and low GI) at a steady rate during the ride, if working at a high intensity then supplement with energy drink. On an 12-18 hour ride you want as much normal food as possible but it still needs to be easily digestible. Little and often is key, blood flow to your stomach will be reduced so your digestion won’t be as good as in a resting state so don’t suddenly overload it with a big tub of pasta as your first feed 2 hours into the ride. It’s why energy drink and gels work so well, easy to digest and only have the stuff you need in them but they’re high GI and you need more of a balance on a long ride + having just gels & energy drink for 18 hours is going to leave you with other issues :pPosted 4 years agoavdave2Member
The longest I’ve done in a day was 85 miles of the SDW with another 6 on the road to get home. I fuelled that on malt loaf and oatcakes and nunn tablets in my water. Recovery procedure was a quick shower then out for a pizza and a visit to the pub. I took the whole ride at a steady pace taking 10 hours dead for the SDW part and felt good the next day. My build up was a single 45 mile ride and 4 or 5 once a week 25 mile rides in which I pushed myself fairly hard. I also have an off road commute so I think that was a big help as it keeps a basic level of fitness all year round and its easy to build in some short high intensity sessions. I also found a short but quite steep local hill and did a few 10 repeat rides up that. I must have a go at the whole SDW in a day at some point but works so busy at the moment I’m hardly at home.Posted 4 years agolittlemisspandaMember
I use a combination of Nakd bars (made of dates, nuts and dried fruit) bananas, gels and energy drinks.
Personally, I don’t recommend anything grain based while riding, particularly anything wheat based – they can cause you to be sluggish and bloated, or induce indigestion, due to the impaired digestion whilst exercising. But then energy gels have their own issues too!
My recovery drink is made from coconut milk (I don’t tolerate dairy well) raw cocoa powder, blended with a tablespoon of almond butter, a tablespoon of honey and half a banana.Posted 4 years agoAlasdairMcMember
One thing about the WHW is that you’ve got a good selection of pubs and cafes along the way so if you time it right you’ll be able to get all your meals en route. When I did it, I had breakfast and lunch, plus four pints of Coke through the ride (Beinn Glas Farm, Tyndrum, Inveroran, Kingshouse) which work wonders if you’re flagging. Sugar + caffeine = legal steroids.
On the bike, I worked through about 18 cereal and granola bars of varying brands, about 3 to 4 litres of water with SIS powder in it, several packs of oatcakes and breakfast bars (the hard biscuit ones). I think I had some ham rolls at some point as well, and a pack of Sports Mixtures in reserve.
Milkshake-wise, get whatever you can find. The Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum has a good selection of Frijj, but there’s also the place a few miles beforehand at the wigwams that you pass.Posted 4 years agobobloMember
On long rides (100 miles plus), I find I get sick of sweet stuff and need savoury every now and then.
I’m also sure I read somewhere that you can only process ~100 cals of carbs per hour when riding so presumably this dictates how much to take on. Does that make sense.Posted 4 years agosamuriMember
That’s a long time in the saddle 😉
I think my preparation nowadays for a century would be have a few beers the night before, eat some bananas before setting out, stop at a pub half way round. I’d carry some sweets for just in case but typically I’d just ride round on the pub beer/food and then celebrate when I got home with a big slap up carb meal and possibly some more beer.
What I’m trying to say there is that your body gets used to long distance and can cope with more time in the saddle on less ‘proper’ food. get more long rides in. Each one will be easier than the last.
Oh, and beer is for winners.Posted 4 years ago
I’d forgotten that my previous evening preparation hadn’t been perfect with a couple of beers and half a bottle of wine. That must mean that I’ll be more able to deal with a tougher day when I need to without the effects of booze.
I bought some Nesquik and am already hooked on it. Will have some after every gym visit now too.
I guess that pacing is a significant factor in this energy equation. I was just wondering this morning whether it’s it’s best to ride slow, steady with short rest and refuel breaks or to ride faster and reduce the amount of time out in the saddle. I felt more energised when getting stuck into some climbs.Posted 4 years ago
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