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Tired In Middle Of Rides - Why?

amcamc Posts: 315
Help - i keep getting tired and slow (legs turning to jelly and thus getting 2-3 mph slower) in the middle of rides.
The last two 100 milers i did i really struggled at around 40-70miles. Strangley i was ok for the last 30 mile or so.
After the 1st time this happened i though it may be me not eating enough on the ride so yesterday when i went out a made a real conscious effort to eat a lot during the 1st half of ride. After a good breakfast, i had a ceral bar, banana, nearly two peanut butter and jam sarnies (washed down with a bottle of High 5 energy drink) . I felt full but i still had this slump in the middle 30 miles or so. But strangly the last 30 miles (which were hillier) i was a lot stronger, fed on a couple of gels.
I naturally have a fast motabilism but i'm a confused as to whether i should be trying to eat even more food, try a stronger concenrate of energy drink or what. I's appreciate any suggestions.



  • andyBcpandyBcp Posts: 1,726
    You dont mention whether you're used to riding this distance or not, but it might be worth experimenting by adjusting your pace for the first half of the journey. Start out ave.1mph slower and see if this helps. If you are looking at overall speed averages for the full ride, starting out 1mph(ave) slower might make your overall average higher if it eliminates your slump mid ride.
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    I thought I had the same "experience" until I got a power meter. It turned out that the part of my ride where I would become "tired" was into a headwind and a false flat ... the power meter told me my power output has gone right up although my speed had dropped.

    Alternatively it could be that you are knackered and the hillier 30 miles are using different muscle groups making you feel "stronger" towards the end? Although re-reading that it sounds quite tenuous....

    Either way just try swapping the ride around a bit and see if anything changes?

    Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated.
  • BooboocpBooboocp Posts: 1,156
    My initial thoughts given your comments: Nutrition. You are having a good breakfast which is lasting you up to the 40 mile mark, then slumping, then picking up again. Are you eating early enough in the ride, or are you riding for the first few hours before eating? if this is the case by the time you start eating, it's going to take a while for that energy to become available, which would explain why you pick up again.

    I could be well off the scent here, but it does sound the most likely cause.

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  • amcamc Posts: 315
    Thanks for the sage advice - you ALL make good points.

    I'm that used to 100 miles as i've only done two this year so far and need to get more miles in as i'm training for GF Campag (usual problem of finding the time).

    After my first century when i was knackered in the middle, i was convinced it was nutrian. But this weekend i did seemingly eat a lot more but perhaps i still need to eat more (and more energy-giving foods) earlier on AND there was a 10 mile period where i was going a little bit too fact than was comfortable which perhaps was why i ran out of energy.
    Next time, i'll eat more and go a bit slower so perhaps that will help.
    But as i have a naturally fast motabilism (i was skinny before i started cycling) do you think a slihghtly higher concentrate carb drink will help?

  • Hugh AHugh A Posts: 1,189
    You may need to eat even more than this, or possibly try using more gels as they are easier to digest.

    I get that slump at about the same distance and then usually start to feel stronger. Eating more seems to help but the faster you go the harder it is to eat and digest food. It is all too easy to leave it a bit too long till eating - by the time you are hungry or weak it's way too late.

    For what it is worth my strategy has been to try and eat all the least digestible things I am carrying with me first while I can still get them down, then resort to gels later on.

    More miles in the legs also helps a lot but sadly only becomes apparent with me shortly before I am scaling down riding in the autumn!

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  • amcamc Posts: 315
    More food and more gels (not to mention more miles and more training it is then).

  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    It's base miles - you need more steady base miles.

    I don't get the time to do more than an average 25-30 mile training run, When I raced I used to TT 10 and 25 miles with a few 50's, so that was just speed stuff, no major distance rides other than in winter on club runs.

    Most of the roadies (i.e. road racing guys) actually do loads of training miles but at lower speeds - with specific speed/interval training on other days, but the main point is lots of miles. Same goes with training for running marathons - you need to be running on a regular basis say probably up to 75% of that distance - so if you are planning to do a few 100 miles rides you need to do say 70 on a regular basis.

    I don't do much more that 90-120 minutes of riding (high effort) but it takes a different pace to do 4 hours, and of course nutrition. Your body will get used to the distance.
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    I find two reasons for speeding up at the end of a ride, Ive pace my self too well, kept too much in reserve or the motivation factor, I'm almost home.

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  • You have breakfast. This digests while you are warming up. You power away.
    You eat far too much (peanut butter sandwiches?). This digests while you have a bad patch.
    The second batch of food becomes available. You are fine again.

    Stick to bananas and gels and other stuff that is easy to digest next time

    Drink your souplesse
  • amcamc Posts: 315
    Interesting Vorsprung - your theory is worth a try. Bananas never quite seem filling enough but i'll happily take some. What other easy/fast digestable food are there?

  • SpineretteSpinerette Posts: 9
    Have a good breakfast (Low GI) 2 hours before the event with some strong black coffee - don't drink coffee for a week before the ride - Caffeine is great for endurance. During the ride start eating after the first 20-30 miles - jam sandwiches are good. Then continue to eat little and often and keep your energy gels to the last part of the ride to give an added boost towards the end. Carry 2 bottles full of energy drink - whatever your preference and top up when you can and drink little and often. Avoid stopping and just rest and eat on the bike. I have found by changing the way I eat has helped my cycling + generally cycling more has helped.
  • cosmocpcosmocp Posts: 24
    I've suffered from this and i'm fairly sure it was down to cramming too much food in too quickly, causing vital blood to be diverted to the stomach and leaving me feeling weak ? Little but often seems to work much better.
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