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Jsnyd
07-07-2011, 05:12 PM
Today was my first day unemployed. I'm not officially out of the Navy, but I donít have to go in anymore. Anyways. I went on a very long (for me) 50 mile ride from my house in Suitland, to GW's Mount Vernon and back. I'm riding 75mi on Aug 20th in Tour De Lion so there will be more trips like this. I am spent!! It was a blast though and I canít wait to do it again, my butt can. Are there any tricks of the trade for recovering or fueling up before or during? I know about the gels and heard bananas are good. Plus hydration of course.

CCrew
07-07-2011, 05:22 PM
Chocolate milk is the best recovery drink there is. Congrats on the ride. Personally I have yet to find a saddle that's 100% comfortable after about 30-40 miles.

Jsnyd
07-07-2011, 07:20 PM
Thanks, I love chocolate milk!!! Good to hear about the saddle. I was a little worried that maybe it didn’t fit my sit bones. It's a new seat and I was told it'll take around 100mi to break in? That and 2 weeks for my back side to toughen up. Feels like I just rode a horse across the pony express.

PotomacCyclist
07-08-2011, 04:56 AM
Fuel up before the ride. If you plan to ride fast, then eat a little earlier than usual. Make sure you get your usual amount of calories and water in the days before the long ride too. You don't have to "carbo load". Just don't start fasting that week.

Start fueling soon into the ride. I like to wait until I've warmed up, maybe 20-30 minutes, before I start eating anything on the bike. I don't seem to be able to handle gels on an empty stomach unless I'm warmed up. After that point, I can take in regular amounts of gels, carb chews, sports drinks, Clif bars, etc., depending on how long the ride is.

While there might be some reasons to delay calories in some longer rides (to help teach your body to better utilize fat as fuel), that plan can also result in low energy on those rides. I would figure out a regular calorie schedule, maybe every 30 or 45 minutes. The harder you are pedaling, the more calories you'll need. The heavier you are, the more you may need. Your fitness level will also come into play, with experienced cyclists better able to burn fat during long rides.

Once you start getting into the really long rides, you may want to separate calories from hydration, i.e., don't rely on sports drink for both hydration and calories. You might drink a lot more on a hot day. If you're drinking sports drink, this could cause you to take in way too many calories. That would lead to bloating. On a cool day, you might not drink that much because you aren't sweating a lot. If you don't eat anything, you might not get enough calories from the limited quantity of sports drink that you consume.

So for the long rides, you could bring plain water for hydration, and rely on other sources for calories (gels, carb chews, bananas, granola bars or whatever). Eat on a regular schedule, and drink when you are thirsty. If it's really hot out or you tend to sweat a lot, you may want to consider adding electrolytes. Some carb gels have extra electrolytes (like GU Roctane). Gatorade Endurance has higher amounts of electrolytes than regular Gatorade, if you choose to bring sports drink.

You'll have to experiment a bit, both with the types of food and also the amount. There is no set formula that works for everyone in every situation. Start out with a rough plan and see how it goes. Keep a few extra gels on hand, just in case.

Last summer, when I was doing some long rides out on the W&OD, I would run out of Gatorade Endurance and water about halfway out. So I would stop by the 7-Eleven near Herndon (?) to re-load on Gatorade and/or water. I have two bottle cages on my main bike.

When you try out new distances, it might be better to have a little extra water and calories with you, instead of not having enough.

Remember sunscreen for the long midday rides.

Tim Kelley
07-08-2011, 07:33 AM
PotomacCyclist gave a great primer!

The only thing I would add is that gels and other sports nutrition is good, but can get really old fast. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a ride and not eating because you don't like the taste.

Experiment with "real" food too--a few of my favorite include fruit, PB&J sandwiches, Fig Newton cookies, beef jerky, Combos, potato chips, pizza, and bbq from Carolina Brothers.

And I'd like to emphasize the hydration as well. Especially on these hot summer days, drinking lots of water (separate from sports drink) is highly recommended. I'm a large individual so I try to consume a bottle for every 10 miles I ride. Extra bottles in rear seat cages work for some people, but I like keeping an extra bottle in my jersey pocket.

brendan
07-08-2011, 08:14 AM
PotomacCyclist gave a great primer!

The only thing I would add is that gels and other sports nutrition is good, but can get really old fast. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a ride and not eating because you don't like the taste.

Experiment with "real" food too--a few of my favorite include fruit, PB&J sandwiches, Fig Newton cookies, beef jerky, Combos, potato chips, pizza, and bbq from Carolina Brothers.

And I'd like to emphasize the hydration as well. Especially on these hot summer days, drinking lots of water (separate from sports drink) is highly recommended. I'm a large individual so I try to consume a bottle for every 10 miles I ride. Extra bottles in rear seat cages work for some people, but I like keeping an extra bottle in my jersey pocket.

For weekend distance rides, especially during the hot season I usually carry packets of Gatorade G2 mix as a compromise: half the calories of original gatorade, but similar electrolyte profile. During really hot days, I alternate that and Propel powder which is essentially calorie free. Why don't I drink plain water? Two reasons: the citric acid, sweetness and slight saltiness of the sports drinks encourage me to hydrate better and the electrolytes are necessary as I am a *heavy* sweater.

I prefer to get my calories from non-drink sources: cliff shots (sometimes caffeinated) primarily and clif shot rocks (if i can't find a lunch sport or don't want to stop). And real food. With the big dummy, I can get a platter at carolina brothers, have the sandwich and some chips there, and then have the sides when I get home! :)

When whites ferry's shop is open, I often pick up a can of coke there, breaking the above "rule", but it's a COKE! That's more of a pleasure-based reward than hydration. Also: caffeine.

On century+ rides, nothing beats cheeze-its and caffeinated full-sugar sodas with some peanut m&ms thrown into the mix. But make sure you take in lots of plain water and/or reduced calorie sports drink if you go that route.

Brendan

Tim Kelley
07-08-2011, 08:24 AM
For sports drink, I like the customization of Infinit (http://www.infinitnutrition.us). I add extra calories and make the flavor kind of weak. Plus they sponsor a mountain biker I know (http://www.infinitnutrition.us/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?pageStyle=h&ProdSort=19&page=2&idCategory=6).

Coke is a great pick me up drink, as is the really cheap 24-ounce extra sweet iced tea from the gas station.