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85 Miles on successive days - energy requirements

CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
edited May 2009 in Road beginners
So we've opted to go on hols next weekend en famille. I'll go on the bike, they'll drive up & we all meet up on the beach. How cute...

Tot distance is 170+ miles, so it'll be 85 miles, overnight rest, and the remaining 80 odd miles the following day. It's no great challenge - I can do 50 miles in 2h 45 on a Mars bar, a banana & a bottle of squash, and do a 20 mile commute 2-3 days a week without much hassle, but since reading the Lucozade thread which became a discussion on energy levels and how the body has reserves for 3 hours or so, I'm now wondering. I'd expect 85 miles to be around the 5-6 hours mark - so a much longer sustained effort than I'm accustomed to - then do it all again the following day.

It'll be 85 miles reasonably flat on day 1, then 80+ miles on day 2 with the last 40 generally uphill towards the coast so a probable see breeze in my face too. What food & drink intake should I be looking at, esp on day 2? Was looking at a mix of malt loaf, bananas, powerade + a few gel tubes, and water & Mars bars etc from garages en route. I'm now thinking I need to up this with day 2 in mind, or stock up on energy-specific foods like gel / power bars.

Doing it on my nice road bike, sorted nicely with tri-bars for those moments when you need tri-bars.

Posts

  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    It's not distance that matters to eating, it's intensity. If you're going easily enough, then you won't use any of your glycogen stores, you'll just burn fat, which you have oodles of (even if you're skinny and lean, you'll have oodles)

    Assuming you're actually eating a regular meal at night, day 2 should be little diferent to day 1. The thing likely to make the biggest difference is your recovery after the ride, as soon as it finishes get some carbs and protein in you immediately (say 1g of carbs per kilo of your weight and protein 4-1, if that's complicated get a milkshake that roughly gives you 4 calories per kilo) and then within the next couple of hours get your dinner down you.

    If you're taking it easy, you can eat anything, in fact starting on gels / energy bars etc. if you're not used to them is likely to cause you more discomfort and annoyance than eating your regular foods.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    jibberjim wrote:
    It's not distance that matters to eating, it's intensity. If you're going easily enough, then you won't use any of your glycogen stores, you'll just burn fat, which you have oodles of (even if you're skinny and lean, you'll have oodles)

    Assuming you're actually eating a regular meal at night, day 2 should be little diferent to day 1. The thing likely to make the biggest difference is your recovery after the ride, as soon as it finishes get some carbs and protein in you immediately (say 1g of carbs per kilo of your weight and protein 4-1, if that's complicated get a milkshake that roughly gives you 4 calories per kilo) and then within the next couple of hours get your dinner down you.

    If you're taking it easy, you can eat anything, in fact starting on gels / energy bars etc. if you're not used to them is likely to cause you more discomfort and annoyance than eating your regular foods.

    Cheers. Not short of a bit of fat so should be ok on that. As I'm not planning on nailing it for 4½ hours it sounds like plan A was ok. Cheers. Just reading through your DIY energy drink recipes. Interesting...
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Can you explain how the last 40 miles can be "generally up hill towards the coast" :? (Unless you're taking the journey from the centre of the earth.)
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    I did London-Paris last summer and the distances were similar (as was the terrain).

    Had a good breakfast - rode on lucozade until lunchtime - then stopped briefly for some pasta and chicken - and was away again. Good healthy pasta meal at night - up the next day and repeated.

    if you're not planning on stopping for more than water and chocolate bars - bring some good, high-carb bars (gels are good, but may not last as long) to carry with you. Plenty of fluids (they say 500ml per hour).

    Personally - I'd go through a bottle of energy drink of your choice and a energy bar of your choice per hour at the minimum. Banana or two to help prevent cramping. Mars Bars (while tasty) probably won't be your best choice. Sugar spike and can be rough on your stomach while riding. Malt loaf if you've got room.

    You'll probably be burning between 3,000 and 5,000 calories per day while riding (depending on fitness and intensity). You don't need to replace them ALL while riding, but you may want to replace between 2,000 to 3,000 of that on the bike. Between Lucozade, the malt loaf, the bananas and the energy bars - you should be able to replace that no problem.
  • tbutchtbutch Posts: 27
    I did Chester to Swansea last summer - 160 miles over the Welsh hills, all in one day. I'd suggest getting a few long rides under your belt before you set off - the time spent on the bike I usually a big factor. There's a big difference between 3 hours in the saddle and 6-7!

    See what foods your body can take when running low on energy - I found the gels and such very hard to stomach and gave a huge burst of energy then drops you back lower than where you were before.

    I packed a bag a nuts, chocolate (quick hit of energy) and raisens. Flap Jack is also brilliant. As others have mentioned banana's are also great.

    Get some good protein in the night before - but nothing heavy or red meat. Equally important a good meal after.

    Make sure your family know your route and estimated arrival times etc, we were lucky to have a car in close ish proximity towards the latter stages of the ride, and had some meet up points to get a refill of water and banana's!

    Most importantly enjoy yourself! Good Luck
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    pdstsp wrote:
    Can you explain how the last 40 miles can be "generally up hill towards the coast" :? (Unless you're taking the journey from the centre of the earth.)

    If you plot a route from Staffs through Whitchurch to Wrexham you'll note a steady drop as far as Wrexham, then from there to the N Wales coast it's a steady climb, only dropping down the last bit to the sea. Hilly old country ours.

    Good tips there Pokerface. I'm not worried by it, just that the other thread planted some seeds. I think the usual routine should see me through with a bit more planning than usual...

    Edit - thanks too TButch.
  • defdazdefdaz Posts: 37
    Mars bars are low GI funnily enough (all the fat in them) so aren't such a crazy choice as you might think lol, not that I'm recommending them. :oops:

    I think jibberjim hit the nail on the head - just lower the intensity so you use fat as big a fraction as possible of your overall energy consumption and you should last well. Eat plenty, drink lots and enjoy the ride!

    Daz
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Aah now I get it!! Good luck and enjoy
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    Very interesting CiB keep us posted of your progress.

    BTW if you have a Nokia phone you could also download Nokia's Sport tracker which allows you to be tracked online in real time, dead handy for concerned family members and bored forum addicts :wink:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    itboffin wrote:
    ...
    BTW if you have a Nokia phone you could also download Nokia's Sport tracker which allows you to be tracked online in real time, dead handy for concerned family members and bored forum addicts :wink:

    Shame. I have a Nokia but it's not in the list of compatible devices on their site. That would have been useful.

    All sorted - stocked up on my preferred energy drink, foodstuffs + jelly babies & choc raisins for the instant hit when needed, and enough dosh in the back pockets to buy whatever's needed en route - I'm tempted to opt for a nice Pinot Noire on the Saturday lunchtime but probably won't. :) All we need now is to get this next 3½ days of being stuck at work out of the way, and for the weather to turn out nice again...
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Made it, unharmed and in a reasonable time. 85 miles in 5h 0m 57s on the Friday, 89 miles in 5h 37m 18s on the Saturday, which was a lot windier with more hills than the Friday run. It was an enjoyable ride, no real scares en route and sadly nothing of any import either unless hitting 45mph on the run out of Nuneaton counts, but that's still a chunk off my PB on this bike.

    Food wise, I'd be happy not to see another banana for 6 months, but the mix of banana, energy bars, powerade & jelly babies + chocolate raisins kept me going with a bit of a lull around 65 miles on day 1 and at 70 mls on day 2, both resolved with the simple act of stopping for a rest for 15 minutes or so.

    Best bits? Setting off on Friday in sunny but cool conditions and having the wind up my back for the first 40+ miles. That was good. Day 2, knowing that the climb from Eccleshall to Loggerheads was looming and then being ¾ of the way up it before realising that that was it - the hill just melted away. Also on Day 2 hitting the steep climb into Caerwys at 82 miles having suffered the energy failure 10 miles earlier, and nailing it in one. The pub at the top - The Piccadilly I think - was a welcome sight, stopped for a pint and amused a couple of natives, one of whom had read my route instructions on the handlebars and came out with 'you haven't biked from Stafford surely?' in full amazement, and then nearly fell over backwards when he picked the bike up. And being passed by a peach of a MK1 Lotus Cortina in the last mile. If ever there's a car to make me smile and temporarily want to divert the new bike fund to a car, it's one of those.
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