- What to eat immediately before a big ride?
Actually if it’s a 4hr non stop XC style ride by yourself with no pratting around waiting for people etc I think you’re on the right track just with the wrong ingredients.
Pre ride meal – convert to carbs – ie porridge and toast
Ride snacks – assuming some drinking then use an energy powder in your bottles. That’s a lot of solids to eat so consider changing one of them to a gel an hour and possibly intersperse with half a banana.
A decent 4hr ride is going to be in the region of 2,000-3,000kj. It’s generally accepted that that’s the same number of calories expended. Doing that on a decent base and topping up is both wise and accepted practice.
I do the same on a Saturday morning – I neck a bowl of porridge have a couple of bits of toast and head straight out. I’m generally doing Z2 for the first hour so I don’t feel sick.Posted 3 years agoflangeSubscriber
Regarding the comments around fat, have a look at the suggestions for ‘long day in the saddle’ in this article
Specifically this bit
“As the ride gets longer and at a lower intensity, I recommend upping the fats. Fats provide a long, slow release fuel source that can keep us going for hours and hours,” said Marsh. “It is important to consider though, that we do need to get used to running on them and many people are very reliant on carbohydrates and sugar instead. This transition can take some time for the body to adjust to.
Marsh’s suggestions: Roasted sweet potato, mixed veggies and eggs. Or something like a high quality toast with smashed avocado and eggs. For a bonus probiotic, you can add some fermented veggies or Kim Chi.
Now when she talks about fats, clearly she’s not talking about the sort that leeches out of a Big Mac. But makes interesting reading..Posted 3 years agoDrPMember
It’s funny to read the above comments… especially the ones highlighting ‘you’re eating too much’.
I suppose it all depends on teh rider. I ride with people who don’t eat ANYTHING before or on a ride, and manage just fine.
Me..I’ll eat tea, then probably have a bar or two, and some sweets, and STILL be hungry.. I’m known for being a hungry rider…
I think it’s (surprise surprise) all individual – yes, there are generic suggestions, but each to their own..
DrPPosted 3 years agoadshMember
@adsh don’t you mean “KCal consumed”? The body is somewhere around 20-25% efficient at converting food to energy and it just happens that there’s approximately 4.2Kj per KCal so it’s relatively easy to work back from energy expenditure to required intake.
Nope I mean KJ of energy expended as measured by a power meter. My understanding is that the body is inefficient enough at converting food to forward motion on a bike that the 4.2 goes out the window and it’s parity. So 2,000KJ of work requires approx. 2,000Kcal to fuel if you don’t want a deficit.Posted 3 years agoFunkyDuncMember
3-4 hour rides can be done as ‘base’ miles much of the time, just ride steady on minimal fuel (ie try no breakfast if you’re riding early) and get used to fat-burning over carb intake. Means that some weeks you could do 2hrs at a brisk pace, others do 4hrs at a slower (Z2) pace. Ideally, 3-4hrs at Z2 every weekend over the winter, 1x 1hr really fast ride mid week. By Spring you could be a far more efficient fuel burner with a better top-end as well as a brisker base pace. Much depends where you’re starting from really.
So whilst now I can ride a long way on a couple of gels, I couldn’t when I was younger. Changes in diet and training changed that.
Both kind of saying the same thing.
I used to eat like a horse before exercise, because that’s what you need to do? Well now I don’t and feel much better for it and ironically can go further.
I think its definitely getting used to using body fuel rather than relying on food taken immediately prior or during exercise.Posted 3 years agoxyetiMember
Some interesting reading aloft there, most noticeably the OP, that’s not bad going donkeying that for bkfst after Fish N Chips, my guts swilling around just thinking about that,
As others have said everyone’s different, I personally cannot stand porridge and don’t usually feel like anything to eat until mid morning. So if I go out for a 45 miler at pace on the road bike I take a gel incase I bonk, a Cliff bar incase I bonk spectacularly and need to Sleep in some ones front garden, only happened once but it’ll stay with me forever.
And the thing that’s gotten me through most rides, Bergen bread with Peanut Butter and Jam, crusts cut off to aid digestion and cut into quarters so they fit in nicely. 4-6 hours usually double fluids one High5 4:1 and the gel goes with about 15 miles from home.
I don’t pay much attention to carb loading, especially after the pasta parties throughout the 90’s? I tend to eat mostly white meat and fish, veg, rice etc. Not through choice but because I cannot cook and the Wife cooks relatively healthy food which I never complain about, apparently.Posted 3 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
Why not replace the fish & chips in the evening with the 4-egg omelette?
Then in the morning you have porridge / cereal / banana which will probably save you an extra 30 minutes over making and eating that massive omelette!
Seriously, it’s a 3hr ride, not an expedition to the North Pole!
One energy bar or some homemade healthy granola should keep you going on the bike instead of all that fat & sugar in the malt bars.Posted 3 years ago
Pasta the night before then 2 eggs 2 wholemeal toast and a banana in the morning for a 4 hour ride with a few gels and a pork pie mid ride usually does me up to a 5 hourer. The pork pie is slow release and lines the stomach to stop yo-yo blood sugar that gels sometimes give me.Posted 3 years agocorrodedMember
Before a 3-4hr road ride: homemade muesli with lots of nuts, seeds etc. Plus apple or banana and yoghurt (mango if I’m treating myself). I find I burn through porridge too quickly.Posted 3 years ago
During: one Clif bar (with another as back-up). Have tried training myself to eat less on rides, with some success. For a century or more then I would eat every hour or half hour.schmikenSubscriber
Before a long ride I generally have two rashers of bacon, two eggs, mushrooms and then go. Train your body to burn fat more efficiently (lots of stuff out there about it), and don’t worry about it. I’m a little eater, I’ll have two flapjacks see me through a 4 hour XC ride.Posted 3 years agojamesoSubscriber
Anyone got any good links to ways of altering metabolism to be better at burning fat when riding? I’m presuming fat burning stops being feasible at higher intensities?
Look up fasted rides, the benefits of zone 2 ‘base’ miles and the arguments for base miles for endurance riders. I posted something basic along those lines above. I found 1-3 rides a week before breakfast, black coffee only first, for 1-2hrs at a steady pace made a real difference over time but it’s not something that happens quickly – maybe 12 weeks plus needed as part of a training cycle that includes fuelled rides of 4-6hrs in Z2.
Fat burning does become a lower (near zero? unsure) percentage of your energy source as the intensity goes up, how much / when I’m not sure, probably depends on the individual and training?
Train your body to burn fat more efficiently
more efficiently than carbs and glycogen?[/quote]Fuel can depend on the pace and most ‘normal’ rides will involve a mix of both fat and carb stores. Use fat more readily and you have more glycogen left, makes a difference on a long ride.Posted 3 years agoalpinMember
sure this has been done before, but…
At the moment I’m eating a 4 egg omelette with some cheese, tomatoes, a bit of leftover chilli and then eat 2-3 soreen “lunchbox” bars every hour of riding – each one has 19g of carbs so probably the max my body can absorb.[\quote]
3 bars every hour?
on a recent ride with 1200m of climbing i had pumpkin soup with a bit of bread the night before, then 6 or more beers and several ciggies. that morning i had a schnitzel roll and a bananna. during the three hour climb i had a croissant and about 4ltr of water (was a bit dehydrated!). a musli bar at the top and that was it.
however the two guys i was riding with were constantly munching on pastries, energy bars and some wierd “power balls” his mum made.
surely you’ll come back weighing more than you did before setting off?Posted 3 years agojonbaMember
I eat what I would normally eat. Maybe a little extra carbs. Nothing too heavy or massively over normal as I’ll just need the toilet half way through.
Nibble on stuff as I’m riding. Up to about 3 hours (little ride) a cereal bar or something to give me a little boost. Anything longer and I’ll eat a variety of things depending on how long the ride is and how hard I’m riding.
Full on races and I tend to go for drinks and gels. Long endurance rides and it is more normal food – ideally junk.
Longest ride this year I manged this year had a cake stop, pasta stop, pasty stop, macdonalds stop, sandwich stop and about 20 cereal bars, some flapjack, few bottles of energy drink, a gel or two, some jelly beans plenty of coffee and some redbull. Got to the end and was so hungry I could have chewed my arm off. But I was out for 36 hours and over 440miles so I worked up an appetite.Posted 3 years ago
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