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Lizzie will ride free
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Discussion Starter #1
OK help me out here. I wonder if I'm not eating enough while riding on long rides.

I don't race anymore. I got back on the bike last year after many years off. Last year I rode about 3500 miles with a few centuries, but nothing too tough. I thought of last year as base miles. I'm 41 years old, 5 11 and 170 pounds (down from 185 a year ago.) This year I have set some harder goals. I would like to do Seattle to Portland in one day -- just over 200 miles. Even harder, I signed up for RAMROD Ride Around Mt Rainier in One Day; it's about 155 miles and 10000 feet. This year I've added hard hills and intervals. Oh, and I'm trying to lose another 10 pounds, so I'm not exactly stuffing my face.

I eat a couple Cliff bars and gels on rides under 70 miles, and this seems fine for most rides. I recently switched from water to Accelerade, and that's a good change for me. On centuries, I'll add a peanut butter sandwich or bagle or something. Sometimes I get home and I can be crazy hungry. I don't like big rest breaks on rides. Sometimes I feel bonked, so I want to make sure I eat right for these much harder efforts.

So, how much food do you guys take in on rides like this? What works for you? Do you stop for a big meal? I'm not fast, and I don't ever seem to have trouble digesting while riding. Should I just try eating a bunch more and see what happens?
 

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Every little counts...
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If you're riding 6-7 hours, try to eat 300 Calories every hour after the first hour. 300 Calories is a powerbar and a banana every hour plus the sugars in your drink. You will arrive at the end of the ride without needing to 'binge' eat, healthier. If you can't carry it all, stopping at a bakery or Italian deli for pastries/panini works on the Continent.

With this as an example, I've seen reports where TdF riders actually eat 1/2 daily calories on the bike.

300 Calories comes from a 1.2g/kg/hour CHO intake calculation in most scientific literature for CHO absorption.
 

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Yup, but . . .

Spunout said:
If you're riding 6-7 hours, try to eat 300 Calories every hour after the first hour.
300 calories per hour is the widely accepted number. A partial exception to this would be if you ride a fairly easy pace. You will get roughly 200 calories per hour from stored fat metabolism, so if you are riding the equivalent of 17 mph on the flats, you're only burning around 400 calories per hour and there would be no need to eat 300. I've done easy rides where all I needed was 200 calories in 3.5 hours - the rest came from fat metabolism and glycogen stores.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Glycogen stores? Aren't those open 24 hrs./day? :)
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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3,156 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm gonna get me an account at the Glycogen store.

But seriously, thanks for the input. I think I have a rough idea what to try next. On some rides, I'm not moving too fast, but now that I'm adding some big hills, that has to be part of it. In any case, I think I was getting pretty far behind even on flats. I had some good luck with the search function last night too, so I got some ideas of what foods to try too.

Thanks again.
 

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STP is a great ride, just watch out for squirely pacelines. If you leave right at the first off at 5AM you will have 16 hours of daylight to ride 200 miles. That means you only need to average 12.5 mph including stops. Let's say you take 1 hour for stops every 100 miles then you only need to average 14.3 mph to complete the ride. Very easy. As for eating and drinking, keep one thing in mind, there is some nasty sports drink (at least last time I rode it) at the Lexington and Tenino stops. So bad it upset my stomach. I recommend you bring some pre-measured accelerade in a couple baggies to cover just such an incident.

Make sure you recover properly between STP and RAMROD. RAMROD is harder, but not where you think it might be. For many, the hardest part is the headwind after you descend Cayuse Pass. Cayuse Pass is steeper and harder than Paradise. You have more miles in your legs and it can be considerably hotter as well. Remember when you arrive at Paradise you are at almost the exact halfway point of the ride with the hardest stuff yet to come. Save yourself for Cayuse and the usual headwind afterward. There is a food stop right before you enter the park, after you descend Paradise and after you descend Cayuse. It is the usual fare most supported rides have. At the base of cayuse, they have sandwiches.
 
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