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Really long bike rides - how to sustain energy levels

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  • #16
    Check out Mark's recipe for primal energy bars:
    Primal Energy Bar Redux: Making a Better Bar | Mark's Daily Apple
    Going to try making these for myself soon

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    • #17
      I play hockey every other day and since going primal a couple of months ago I've hit the wall a few times while playing. Actually just in the warmups I hit the wall once. So I tried adding carbs the day of playing, in the morning to "carb up" a bit and it seems to work pretty well but still I can feel a decrease in energy later on in the game.

      Before going primal I used to eat mostly carbs, so now I need to manage them for optimal performance only.

      With these drinks and powders and bars what is your routine for before races. Or are these just enhancers for during long endurance.

      Also how long does it take an ingested drink or bar to become usable fuel?

      Thanks.

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      • #18
        several friends have done PBP, (not me - yet) and all have got sick of energy gels after a day or so. Can you ride on 'normal' food only, with carbs to keep the fuel levels up and save the caffeinated gels for 3am when you get the dozies?

        the other gross generalisation I remember them saying was that a lot of state-side riders struggled with the rain because they werent used to it. PBP '07 was pretty nasty, so hopefully you wont have that problem! There's a great cycling forum with lots of PBP discussion here: Paris-Brest-Paris 2011

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Reacher View Post
          I play hockey every other day and since going primal a couple of months ago I've hit the wall a few times while playing. Actually just in the warmups I hit the wall once. So I tried adding carbs the day of playing, in the morning to "carb up" a bit and it seems to work pretty well but still I can feel a decrease in energy later on in the game.

          Before going primal I used to eat mostly carbs, so now I need to manage them for optimal performance only.

          With these drinks and powders and bars what is your routine for before races. Or are these just enhancers for during long endurance.

          Also how long does it take an ingested drink or bar to become usable fuel?

          Thanks.
          i usually do my long endurance trainig first thing in the morning and i've found that, before i start my ride or run, less is more for me. if im training longer than two hours i take some whey protein and maybe a banana about a half hour to 45 minutes before starting out, which is usually when im right out of bed. i start taking perpetuem about a half hour or 45 minutes in and then about every half hour during the training session. i use a little more than half the recommended serving amount per hour, based on trial and error. i usually train long twice a week. one time a took a power bar (or similar) about 3 hours in to a long ride and the workout was over very quickly. solids sit in my gut like a rock at that point which is why is doesnt work for me. my body doesnt seem to want to spend the energy digesting anything solid like that. for training under an hour, i use nothing. for 1-2 hour range, a little energy drink or gel does the trick. i stick to hammer products becaise they work for me, but they are grain based. i avoid grains when not training.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by secretlobster View Post
            Check out Mark's recipe for primal energy bars:
            Primal Energy Bar Redux: Making a Better Bar | Mark's Daily Apple
            Going to try making these for myself soon
            Wow, thanks for this link. DH and I are doing RAGBRAI in July, and I've been wondering what foods to pack. I'm sure lots of grilled meats will be available, and of course plenty of carbs & junk, but it'd be nice if I can feed myself part of the time.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by me jane View Post
              Wow, thanks for this link. DH and I are doing RAGBRAI in July, and I've been wondering what foods to pack. I'm sure lots of grilled meats will be available, and of course plenty of carbs & junk, but it'd be nice if I can feed myself part of the time.
              cool, I'd never heard of RAGBRAI! I'm doing LEJOG in 3 weeks, 120 miles / day for 8 days. I'll need plenty carbs, I think...

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              • #22
                120 MILES a day? How on earth can you do that?!!! Whew!

                Just from brief reading on the internet, it looks like you don't *have* to finish LEJOG in 8 days, is this right?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by me jane View Post
                  120 MILES a day? How on earth can you do that?!!! Whew!

                  Just from brief reading on the internet, it looks like you don't *have* to finish LEJOG in 8 days, is this right?
                  that's right, it's been done in 2

                  (most people take about 14, I'm not sure why I agreed to try and do it in 8!)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by me jane View Post
                    120 MILES a day? How on earth can you do that?!!! Whew!

                    Just from brief reading on the internet, it looks like you don't *have* to finish LEJOG in 8 days, is this right?
                    Check out the Race Across America. Those folks cover 3,000+ miles in 8 or 9 days. Granted they also usually get delusional and only a couple of hours of sleep a day. Bicycle Dreams follows one of the races and is a great movie if you're interested in such things.

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                    • #25
                      I would suggest you dip into the book "paleo diet for athletes" by Loren Cordain and Joe Freil. I have coached several athletes for Ironman on the plans in the book with a great deal of success. Basically, you live your life in a paleo manner but the feeding windows immediatley before, during and immediately after long workouts and events are places where the diet is modified to accomodate for the needs of endurance athletes. We basically live Low Carb, train mostly low carb, but race and do our long workouts in a higher carb state. We do eat a lot of rasins, cashews, dates and bananas on long rides too. Over time I have found that athletes caloric needs decrease by about 1/3 when their metabolic efficiency increases and they burn a higher percentage of fat during moderate intensity efforts. Have a great ride! Chamios butter is your friend!

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                      • #26
                        Don't forget to include coconut water in your experiments with nourishment for your ride. You can get it in smallish cardboard boxes that might work well in place of some of those drinks such as gatorade.

                        I rode my bike from San Diego to St. Augustine Florida a couple years back but I was not primal then. I found I could not eat much while riding during the day. The best energy drink I found then was Starbucks Frappacinos in the bottle or the Dove chocolate drinks that you could find at any convenience store (or gas station) along the way. They are high in sugar though.
                        I wish I had known about coconut water then.

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                        • #27
                          The problem with rides/ events like this is that you do get to the point where you don't want to eat. You simply are not hungry. So train yourself to take a bite of something, every time you take a sip of water - every 10-20 minutes or so. I don't know how much room you have to carry things, but when I do distance hiking (18-24 hours at a go), I carry almond butter and jelly on bagels (bread does not hold up). I also carry hard boiled eggs that have been peeled and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I carry trail mix that includes dried fruit in a pocket that I have easy access to so I can pop a mouthful every 15-20 minutes or so, as I remember. I have found that the true key to handling long distance/time events is eating a bit at time, not a lot at once. You need a steady stream of energy. If I were on a bike, I'd probably fill one of those Bento boxes with trail mix and pop a handful in my mouth every time I took a sip of water. I find a mix of protein, fat and carbs works best for me. By YMMV. Even during long endurance events, I prefer real food to anything artificial.

                          I've done a 140 miles on my bike at a go, but that was a supported event, and 140 miles (or 7-8 hours) is so totally different than what you're doing. You'll also have to carry socks and gloves. I understand that what feels wonderful at mile 150, hurts like hell after 250.

                          Good luck. I hope you post a link to your ride report.
                          Last edited by Andtckrtoo; 06-04-2011, 07:16 PM.
                          Christine
                          Wag more, bark less

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                          • #28
                            Build up your glycogen stores and condition your body to burn fat for fuel.

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                            • #29
                              Right. I'm off on a 1000 mile bike ride, starting tomorrow, about 120 miles / day for 9 days. Will try and stay low carb (ish) and let you know how it goes!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mikeyt View Post
                                Right. I'm off on a 1000 mile bike ride, starting tomorrow, about 120 miles / day for 9 days. Will try and stay low carb (ish) and let you know how it goes!
                                All I can say to some of this stuff is YIKES!! Better you than me!
                                Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

                                - Robert Louis Stevenson

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