looking to mix things up this season: long rides with a lunch break?

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

so last year I switched to shorter, but more intensive riding, doing 80-100km rides flat out. while I was flying where previously I'd suffer (OK, maybe a tad bit faster... :oops: ), I found it hard - both mentally, physically and - erm, calling Tom Dumoulin - digestively, to endure 4-5 hours on a bike. I just did a handful of longer rides but they weren't as rewarding as I'd hope for. it wasn't any fun..

so my idea for this year is to go back to doing more longer rides (there are a few 150km+ routes I'm really looking forward to do), and in order to that, I need to start putting them miles straight away (obviously!). now - while my legs will get back on track no problemo, I fear my stomache is an issue here. gels, bananas, rice cakes - they all work fine up to 3,5 hours mark - after that a ride becomes kind of a torture. so my idea is to break a ride in half - with a lengthy meal inbetween.

the question for you guys, is whether you practice something like this? say 2-3 hours on a bike, lunch, restroom (duh!), back on bike again. I know my legs don't like making any kind of breakes (which is why I only stop if I run out of food/water, no coffee breakes for me) so that might be an issue, but other than this it looks pretty promising on paper, no? any thoughts? :noidea:
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onemanpeloton
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by onemanpeloton

If you have digestive issues then maybe you should address them directly rather planning your rides and training around them.

If gels, bananas and rice cakes don't sit well with you then try something that does? Unless you're racing gels aren't really all that necessary. Why not carry food that gives you energy and satisfies your stomach?

I used to go out and carry half a picnic hamper in my back pockets for a 50 mile ride. Gels, bananas, "cycling specific" energy bars. I've suffered from IBS most of my life and these foods did nothing to help that. As soon as I backed off the excess sugar in my day-to-day diet I've found my IBS symptoms to be much less and I'm also a lot less dependent on sugar during a ride. In fact, I don't eat anything if im riding for less than 50 miles. I'm not suggesting that not eating for 50 miles is your best option, just highlighting what kind of changes are possible if you address the bigger picture
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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

I eat very little during rides, but like I said - 3,5-4 hours in and I'm starting to a) get really hungry b)eating doesn't correspond very well with effort. sure, sugar - both fructose and the artificial shit in bars. gels and candy, is probably one of the main issues, but then carrying a chicken sandwich in ~30C... I don't think so. I guess if I do a proper break to eat and digest (at least a bit), then things should get better
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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

You don't really say what this issue is. You mention Tom D so I guess you end up needing to take a dump mid ride? Not sure what your morning routine is but I need a serious breakfast and coffee an hour before I head out to guarantee that I "empty out". This is weightweenies, I spend a fortune on light gear, no way I am carrying around a couple extra pounds of crap.

This past season, and this coming season, my standard training weekend rides are/will be 200 - 280 kms. Basically all day affairs. It simply cannot be done without proper food intake. I do 200 calories per hour plus regular meals - lunch, usually a sandwich, and dinner as well (another sandwich) if 5:00 PM rolls around and I am still out. When I do get home I will have another full dinner.

As to breaking up the day into two rides, I say go for it. We have days where we start on fenders in the morning due to wet roads and it's nice to drop by the house, eat, drop off extra clothing, and grab a fast bike. Stopping and sitting for too long does upset the legs, but after a few kms, everything gets going again.
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AJS914
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by AJS914

The last episode of the Semi-Pro Cycling podcast was on fueling before a big ride. The protocol was:

3 hours before the ride
wake up and drink 1/2 liter of water (you get dehydrated at night)
eat some simple sugar to immediately replenish liver glycogen
eat a large low glycemic carb breakfast (you should be uncomfortably full) - include some fat in there
sit down and relax / digest
eat a medium glycemic index food 1 hour before to top off glycogen (a banana is perfect)

I've been trying this before my club's big Saturday group ride and it put me on another level. I've been breaking all my PRs on Strava segments. We ride at 8am and I'm loath to wake up at 5am so I compress it into 2 hours and I eat that banana just went I leave that house so it's kicking in an hour later. I will also eat a few hundred calories on the ride. And, of course, I will go to the bathroom before leaving the house. :-)

Give that big ride with a lunch in the middle a try. It can't hurt.

dim
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by dim

I've found that if I ride any route greater than 150km, I need sugary foods such as a mars bar, or a Cadbury's flake etc (I don't enjoy gels because I hate the taste of aspartame ) .... I also find that I need foods like Kentucky fried chicken, burgers, milk shake, coca cola etc

A lot of ultra distance riders do similar, and on the first IndiPac ride in Australia, we saw guys eating magnum ice creams etc .... you need lots of calories, and these are not in gels .... you get cravings, and your body will let you know what it needs
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PokojniToza
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by PokojniToza

Fueling up midway is ok, just mind what you eat.

dricked
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by dricked

I find taking a long break is hard. A quick break and some real food (a small sandwich, nuts, a Gatorade) then back on the bike before I cool off completely. I still use a couple gels during the ride but don’t think I could manage to make it on them alone. If I sit too long and get completely cooled down it seems to take much longer to get back into my rhythm and my muscles warmed up. Fueling before the ride like AJS914 said is imperative but I assume you’d do this already.

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by bm0p700f

Long rides are something you get used to. I don't get to do 200+km rides very often when I do I normally burn up to 700kcal per hour. My food intake in huge. On a 3hr ride I tend not to eat anything. Up to 6 hrs a cake stop is needed and more than one bit of cake. Longer rides a meal is needed. Fish and chips does it with full fat coke or a big McDonald's meal. Then back on the bike.

The 12hrs TT or MTB races are hard to fuel though. Dried fruit, flapjack and coke seems to work well.
Fueling beyond 12hrs is a real challenge. You get sugar lows...

A mix of long and short rides are needed really. I love long days on the bike and eating well before the ride is essential.

M&ms are favoured buy long distance cyclists and coke. A stop a a petrol station has me necking both.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

I'm surprised people are suggesting fatty foods for a mid-ride lunch. Not only does it prevent efficient digestion/absorption of carbs and proteins at a macroscopic level, but it also takes a long chain of metabolic processes to convert *body fat* into glycogen. In short, leave the fat for your regular meals the day/night before, and try to avoid fatty foods for lunch breaks in the middle of endurance rides. Stick with a nominal amount of protein and more low-medium glycemic index carbs until the home-stretch when you should switch to high glycemic index carbs. Post-ride, again a bit of protein and a lot of carbs because that's when your body will be most efficient at replenishing your glycogen stores.

Marin
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by Marin

I couldn't stop for that long, and I definitely couldn't eat a real meal. I use maltodextrin in a drink bottle, and bananas. On long (10h) rides I carry all my energy supply - note I'm not calling it food - and only plan 2 watering and 1 coffee stops.

dim
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by dim

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:28 pm
I'm surprised people are suggesting fatty foods for a mid-ride lunch. Not only does it prevent efficient digestion/absorption of carbs and proteins at a macroscopic level, but it also takes a long chain of metabolic processes to convert *body fat* into glycogen. In short, leave the fat for your regular meals the day/night before, and try to avoid fatty foods for lunch breaks in the middle of endurance rides. Stick with a nominal amount of protein and more low-medium glycemic index carbs until the home-stretch when you should switch to high glycemic index carbs. Post-ride, again a bit of protein and a lot of carbs because that's when your body will be most efficient at replenishing your glycogen stores.
I've tried doing that on rides of 200k+, but It does not work as I end up feeling very hungry from half way ... I've seen many guys riding Audax who do the same.

I have a large bowl of cooked Scottish oats for breakfast but still need sugary foods during the ride, aswell as fatty foods. For rides of 100km+ I have no problems and can ride at fast pace with just water and perhaps a chocolate bar along the way.

Shorter than 100km water is enough

As mentioned, I do not enjoy the gels ....

I read a blog from a guy who rode London-Edinburgh-London Audax, (1400km) and he rode at fast pace . He basically rode using GU Roctane Energy Gels and ate very little solid food

If I'm very tired, I find that the thick chocolate milkshake (Frijj) peps me up
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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

thanks for replies. I'm aware many of you apply the "holistic" approach towards cycling, where nutrition is one of key factors. for me, cycling is - amongst other things - a way to make up for rather common and not-entirely-healthy lifestyle. I haven't developed a taste for food that ticks all the 'healthy' boxes, and because riding isn't my job or anything, I don't suppose I have to submit my eating habits to riding. sure, I've tried it, but that wasn't very rewarding.. that said, when preparing a meal before a ride (depending on a day, it's either a breakfast or a lunch) I try to eat as sensibly and 'lightly' as possible - so I won't have a burger before a ride, but after one - hell yeah!

last season most of my rides were slightly south of 100km. for such distance and time (3 hours tops) I haven't really packed anything into my back pockets. if I skipped a meal, then sure - a bar or a banana or two was my way to avoid a hunger knock - but other than this, I didn't bother. but like I said, throw another hour and 30+ kms, and things would get tricky..

I just went to my parent's in law for a week (hills! :mrgreen: ) and tomorrow I'm planning my first 100km+ this year - should be around 130 with some solid climbing, and I've already picked a joint for my mid-ride pasta 8). I'm expecting my legs to give me hard time after the break, especially since it's still an off season here. however- the temperature should be around 10C, sun's shining like crazy so I figured I'll push a bit more and a bit sooner.. but I guess I'll see how it plays out!
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Lewn777
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by Lewn777

For me fats work really well, nuts and the like. For example a Snickers works much better than a Mars bar. Ignoring fats is simply ignoring an energy pathway. Gels do very little for me even with plenty of caffine in them, overly sugary things just make me feel sick and those kind of simple sugars don't work on long rides for me, I need foods that are broken down more slowly, like medium and slow burn carbs like berries or brown bread and oats or potatoes. But I think everyone is a little different.

dim
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by dim

stroopwafels are my latest favourite .... sweet and fills you up

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