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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there is a nutrition category but I thought I'd have a better shot here with getting help. I got bit by the biking bug last spring but being pregnant and totally new to cycling and fitness in general took things very slow. Like slow to the point that it took me weeks to be able to ride 10 miles in a hour. Fast forward to now, I'm 7 weeks post postpartum and want to ride a century in the fall. I've been doing tons of research on training and nutrition and logging miles indoors on a stationary bike for now (3 kids under 4 and cold cold weather don't let me get outside) but my question is about the nutrition. I still have nearly 30 lbs to loose to get back to my prepregnancy weight and I have no idea how to balance the nutritional needs of around 100 miles a week, needing to loose the rest of the baby weight and making sure that I am eating right for nursing a baby. Any thoughts at all?? TIA!
 

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Meow!
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Caren, congrats on your new baby and with your goal of doing a century.

I'm not a mother myself, so I don't have much in the way of advice except to suggest that might also want to post your question on teamestrogen.com's forums. Certainly, there are great women on RBR who might be able to answer your question, but you may also find some great advice on TE. As the name suggests, it's a women-centric cycling forum (there are a few men).

Here's a link: http://forums.teamestrogen.com/index.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the link, I'll head over there and see if anyone has any ideas. I'm sure I'll be back though, I've found so much great info already and I can't seem to stop thinking about any and all things bike related. I feel like I would live on a bike if my kids would let me!
 

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Meow!
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Great! I find helpful information (and lots of diversion and amusement) on both forums.
 

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Power Napper
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I nursed both my kids while doing regular training as a master's swimmer. Having three kids under the age of four to chase around is going to take a significant amount of energy. There are several considerations. How long are you planning to nurse? Will the new one be weaned before your event? I nursed my kids well into toddlerhood, so extended nursing is very familiar to me.

Regarding your cycling training. It is still early enough that you can mostly focus on base building for another couple months. I have worked with Team in Training and we pretty much take beginner cyclists and get them ready for a century in 12 weeks.

Your should strive to make your weight loss slow and steady. I never had problems dropping my baby weight when I was nursing, but every woman is different. I suspect smaller frequent meals may work best into a busy schedule. But don't loose track of your total calorie intake. "Small frequent meals" doesn't mean grazing all day. Having healthy food around all the time will help to make sure you are meeting nutritional needs. The amount you need to eat will vary with your training. If you find yourself constantly hungry then you probably need to eat more.

What will really impact your milk supply is adequate hydration. Calorie intake our bodies can compensate for much more than lack of fluids, so make sure you rehydrate well after a training ride. If you nursed your other kids you know the milk supply goes by demand. If you nurse less you will produce less. Luckily nursing is ideal for busy mothers. Nothing to wash, sterilize, mix, store, carry etc. Always there, always the right temperature!

Back to eating. Protein intake as a percentage of total calories is important. If calorie intake is too low, protein will be burned as fuel and not go to muscle building and repair. This could set back your training. A program I have found really easy to use that allows you to track total calories, as well as breakdown into % from protein, carbohydrate and fats is available at www.calorieking.com You can download a free one week trial and the whole thing only costs about $25 if you want the full version. At first use it just to collect data to give you an idea of what you are already eating, then make adjustments as you think necessary.

I won't claim to be a "expert" but I have been a midwife, a La Leche League Leader, and am currently a personal trainer and endurance cyclist.

Best of luck and I hope this was somewhat helpful. If you have questions or want more info, you can PM me, no charge :wink:
 

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theBreeze said:
I nursed both my kids while doing regular training as a master's swimmer. Having three kids under the age of four to chase around is going to take a significant amount of energy. There are several considerations. How long are you planning to nurse? Will the new one be weaned before your event? I nursed my kids well into toddlerhood, so extended nursing is very familiar to me.

Regarding your cycling training. It is still early enough that you can mostly focus on base building for another couple months. I have worked with Team in Training and we pretty much take beginner cyclists and get them ready for a century in 12 weeks.

Your should strive to make your weight loss slow and steady. I never had problems dropping my baby weight when I was nursing, but every woman is different. I suspect smaller frequent meals may work best into a busy schedule. But don't loose track of your total calorie intake. "Small frequent meals" doesn't mean grazing all day. Having healthy food around all the time will help to make sure you are meeting nutritional needs. The amount you need to eat will vary with your training. If you find yourself constantly hungry then you probably need to eat more.

What will really impact your milk supply is adequate hydration. Calorie intake our bodies can compensate for much more than lack of fluids, so make sure you rehydrate well after a training ride. If you nursed your other kids you know the milk supply goes by demand. If you nurse less you will produce less. Luckily nursing is ideal for busy mothers. Nothing to wash, sterilize, mix, store, carry etc. Always there, always the right temperature!

Back to eating. Protein intake as a percentage of total calories is important. If calorie intake is too low, protein will be burned as fuel and not go to muscle building and repair. This could set back your training. A program I have found really easy to use that allows you to track total calories, as well as breakdown into % from protein, carbohydrate and fats is available at www.calorieking.com You can download a free one week trial and the whole thing only costs about $25 if you want the full version. At first use it just to collect data to give you an idea of what you are already eating, then make adjustments as you think necessary.

I won't claim to be a "expert" but I have been a midwife, a La Leche League Leader, and am currently a personal trainer and endurance cyclist.

Best of luck and I hope this was somewhat helpful. If you have questions or want more info, you can PM me, no charge :wink:
Great post. Thanks for posting that. :thumbsup:
 

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Hermia commutes
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I have a friend who is not remotely a cyclist, but had done weight watchers prepregnancy, and then wanted to use it to lose some of her baby weight. She found out that weightwatchers now has a nursing mothers category that adjusts the number of points significantly upward, but still helps keep track. So that's an option if you get stuck...

There's also fitday.com, which is a free program that does what the breeze is talking about in calorie king. My husband has been using it and finds it really helpful. You can use their database for nutrition values or enter your own custom foods based on the labels you have.

I am deeply in awe of you and your goals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of that great info theBreeze! I don't know why I didn't think to call my midwife and ask her.:rolleyes: He won't be weaned before the event, I'm pretty lax about the weaning. My first weaned at a year because I was pregnant with #2 and the 2nd weaned at 18 months because I was pregnant with #3 so I am assuming I've got at least a year before I worry about that. I have been working hard to drink alot of water and that seems to have made a big difference since I did notice a dip in supply the first week. I'm mildly concerned about dropping weight to fast, I know that might sound odd to some but I don't want the weight loss to effect the milk supply at all. I've also been eating really well except for DH bringing home cupcakes from this great store not to far from us, but I reminded him that I really don't want them since I have to little self control when they are in the house.:blush2: I guess I have to take it a day at a time and make sure that he is getting enough to eat and just keep an eye on him. He's a chunk though so I doubt he's starving! I think for now I'm going to do as suggested and work on building my base up and getting stronger and just take it as it comes.

As for the ride itself, I've found another that is coming up in July that if I think I am ready I might go for, but so far I've only found a 8 week training schedule and I don't really know how to convert that into having more than 8 weeks. I don't want to push to hard and rish hurting myself, but I don't want to just hang back and not push at all. The 20 miles I did today was a cake walk and I don't know if I should work more on getting quicker or adding miles. Off to look for more info I guess.
 

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Power Napper
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training schedule ideas

Caren said:
I guess I have to take it a day at a time and make sure that he is getting enough to eat and just keep an eye on him. He's a chunk though so I doubt he's starving! I think for now I'm going to do as suggested and work on building my base up and getting stronger and just take it as it comes.

As for the ride itself, I've found another that is coming up in July that if I think I am ready I might go for, but so far I've only found a 8 week training schedule and I don't really know how to convert that into having more than 8 weeks. I don't want to push to hard and rish hurting myself, but I don't want to just hang back and not push at all. The 20 miles I did today was a cake walk and I don't know if I should work more on getting quicker or adding miles. Off to look for more info I guess.
I think you have a good plan. Your baby will definatly let you know if he's hungry. The one great thing about losing weight while you are nursing is that your metabolism is primed for more fat loss than usual. An added bennie of nursing!

Have you done a century before? If you think you want to do the July event you could use it as a "test." Make your goal to just finish in good shape and not worry about speed and time. Then use the time before September to train for more speed. During this base time build up to doing at least 100 miles in a week with one ride of around 50 miles. Then you can use the 8 week program to build up before the event.

//One thing just occured to me. We used to recommend moms keep taking the prenatal vitamins while nursing. Maybe your midwife did too?
 

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All good points, but remember:

a) A calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie - no matter what the source. Go ahead and eat the cupcakes. As long as you don't over do eating them, what's the harm in a cupcake if you are making the overall goal happen?

b) A balanced diet is what is key here. If you are breast feeding and training, there are tones of resources out on the internet for that. If you want to get "official" spend an hour or two with a Registered Dietitian and work out your nutritional needs

c) Find out what your base rate metabolism is. Search the internet for "metabolic rate calculators." I am certain there are ones out there that take into account nursing.

d) Weight loss is a journey and not a quick race to a particular pound value. Eat less calories than you exert and the weight should come off eventually and slowly. This is the best way to have the best chance to keep it off.

e) Keep a log of what you eat. If I eat heavily salty stuff, I gain two or three pounds overnight. It usually comes off the next day or so as the self-incurred water bloat goes away as the salt levels go down in my body.

f) Remember that you have tens of thousands of years of human history behind you. Women have been having kids for a long time. Over that time, bodies have adapted to dealing with all kinds of threats (saber tooth tigers, wolves (the four legged and two legged kind), drought, famine, disco, grunge, classic rock, smooth jazz, disease, daytime TV hosts, the supposed 40-hour work week, and making certain that your dog had enough cheese in its diet, among others). Heck, there was a time where people really didn't worry about the amount of fat, carbs, protien, and vegetables that they got. They ate whatever there was around to eat. The point here is to not over analyze the problem - your body does a pretty good job of providing energy, movement -and producing milk - if you give it a reasonable diet. No, this doesn't mean getting 90% of your daily calories from Twinkies and Coca-Cola.

g) If you have never done a century ride before, start early, pace yourself, and know how to fuel and hydrate along the way to keep you and your milk factory going. There are many stories of first centuries on this web site. My first century was an 11 hour slog/death march. The next year it was a 6 hour breeze and a lot of fun. (see www.bvbf.org - only the first 60 miles is uphill!).

h) As I said before, don't over analyze this too much. A reasonable, sustainable diet is what you are looking for. Increased carbs for long distance cycle training. Means plates of pasta, correct? Actually, wrong! For most of us the diet adjustment is an extra slice of toast in the morning and a extra roll or two at night about two or three weeks before the big ride. Or maybe a baked potato (actually an amazing piece of fuel mid-ride on a long ride day provided you keep the butter and other stuff to a minimum - yeah, I've tried it - logistics are kind of wonky, but wow! - like putting afterburners on your engine!) The most important part is the balanced diet with the small adjustments and in-flight fueling (and hydration!) needed to keep the bicycle engine running well.

i) You go, girl. It sounds like you are striving for that right combination of healthy living and nutrition to meet all the demands on you. That kind of balance is tough to attain, but once you got it, the world is yours!

Once you finish the century, if this is your first time, make certain that everyone is there to bask in your glory. It's quite an accomplishment the first time you do it. You'll find out all kinds of stuff about your bike, the equipment, how you interact with the weather, and a lot about yourself. The funny thing is, at least for me, that feeling never goes away no matter how many centuries I complete -- each one is you conquering everything that was put in front of you.

ColoradoVeloDude
Colorado Springs, Colorado
 

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Congratulations to you and best of luck in your training.

My old trainer used to tell me that in terms of fat-loss, you want to do very low intensity carido, such as walking, where your heart rate does not rise too much. In your case, if you are going to ride or do other cross-training, you might want to experiment and see if doing a low-intensity workout before hand will make a difference. Because when you do 2 or more workout sessions, it's the first session that sets the tone and influences the effect that the second one will have on your body. That's why people looking to strength train lift before they cardio, and people looking to build endurance to the opposite.
 
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