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    Mr Far's Avatar
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    Question Really long bike rides - how to sustain energy levels

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    Towards the end of 2009 I began training for a 1200k (k=kilometre) bike ride that starts in Paris, France this year in August. We have 90 hours in which to complete the event, and that includes sleep time - the slower you ride, the less time for sleep. Prior to that, qualification for the event includes doing a series of 200k, 300k 400k and 600k rides. In addition to these rides, there will be a hilly 600k to see how prepared we are for the French ride.

    I have been reading the other threads about what people are eating/training for triathlons and century rides but the longer rides I am undertaking last over 24 hours. I didn't want to hijack one of those threads as I am looking for something different. On these events, it seems that fuelling comes solely from what you eat during the ride.

    Does anyone else undertake events similar to these and are the manufactured energy drinks/foods or high carb foods the only way to go? I have also read that endurance events and a paleo diet are not very compatible but it can be done.

    Hoping someone can answer well.

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    Never done cross-country biking, but I am an endurance athlete.
    You will need lots of carbs, but they don't have to be frankenfoods. Instead of Clif bars and gatorade, why not take Larabars and juice?
    Subduction leads to orogeny

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    Mr Far's Avatar
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    Thanks, AmyMac. I think I have seen Larabars being sold in Trader Joes but have not considered them before. I checked out their website already. I normally have one bottle of water and the other bottle of energy drink and keep filling up on the way. On last year's 600k, I felt sick of all the energy drinks I was gulping down. Juice? I need to read up a bit more on that.

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    Analog6's Avatar
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    Are nuts practical on a bike? Macadamias are excellent for an energy boost, I find.
    Odille
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    Organic dark chocolate bars, steamed sweet potato\yams, some white rice if you are not allergic to it, bananas for the glucose and potassium.

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    Boston biker's Avatar
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    Forget pb for the week

    Hi Mr Far,
    I know I'll probably get some flak for this but if there's a time element, stick with the carbs. Your muscles must have the carbs to keep going at that kind of pace. When I do endurance events, I eat cliff bars, nuun tablets, larabars, and even the pb& graham cracker sandwiches. You WILL bonk without enough easily available sugar. Mostly I train on a vlc diet, with long rides before breakfast. But I am at least 20% slower than I am with sufficient carbs.

    Your body is burning that sugar as fast as you can take it in. Your blood sugar will not spike while your muscles are crying out for the glycogen. For those 90 hrs, stick with what you already know works for your body.
    Good luck!!!

    Ps where are you training for the hills? I've found the east end has some decent climbs - Hither Hills out to Montauk, but I imagine you have to leave LI to do any real training.... That's tough.
    Last edited by Boston biker; 01-08-2011 at 05:13 PM.

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    Mr Far....good luck preparing for Paris-Brest-Paris! You can experiment somewhat while riding the brevet series, but I would want a good back up for fueling just in case (like Perpetuem or some other energy drink). As you know, you have to finish all four rides. Having been to PBP, I can tell you that things can get pretty crazy and throw a wrench into your plans. Personally, I wouldn't obsess about being primal at this event. Do the best you can, but go with the flow as far as food goes. You can't afford to run out of energy on this ride.

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    Catherine's Avatar
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    it looks gross but I've found that the pemmican bars from US Wellness Meats are good on the bike for long rides. I tried it for a 50 mile and an 80 mile on/off road ride (done on mtb). Those aren't nearly as long as the ride you're going to do. But I liked the combo of nuun & pemmican + something sweet. We use those gel clif blocks or other gel product in a flask sometimes & yesterday I had a small 8 oz can coca cola mid-ride. I was thinking it might be a bad idea, but it was perfect, like i needed that sugar.

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    Catherine's Avatar
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    in the past i've also used Perpetuem in combo w/ Heed & gels with good results.

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    Mr Far's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. 8 months down the line, I think I should be aware of what my body needs for this event and if my primal lifestyle will support it. This is a once only attempt at doing it and I don't think I will be too upset if I have to bear a non-primal diet for the event. What I am looking forward to is seeing how I perform on the qualification rides this year. I shall be trying everyone's suggestions to see if I can find a best fit.
    @Boston biker - yes, the struggle here is training for the hills. On the Northshore there are some short climbs around Port Jefferson which I loop around to repeat on a ride but other than that, not much. I do the brevets in New Jersey which is probably my only exposure to proper hills. Where I grew up in England is all hills so they don't scare me and I just bought a new bike towards the end of last year with better climbing gears.

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