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Energy Help - Post ride crashing

Rouge PenguinRouge Penguin Posts: 347
Hi All,

I dont post very often, and usually find out what i need by searching and investigation (its usually common stuff and already has a ton of threads on the stuff).

I'm not a serious rider, and although i can ride 30+ miles at a half decent pace, the problem starts later in the day when i suffer a massive energy crash. My diet's good, plenty of slow release carbs for breakfast, properly hydrated, protien and carbs post ride, but it doesnt stop the brickwall in the afternoon.

Other than 30 minutes sleep and a another meal, any ideas on a fix or what do you do to combat the 'tigue.

Thanks for any help, the wife will be grateful for a less snappy husband.


  • richaricha Posts: 1,634

    What do you eat/drink on the ride? What do you have for recovery afterwards?

    A 30 miler is approx 2hrs? I wouldn't expect you to have a big energy crash/require a sleep after a brisk 2 hr ride.

    Consider a recovery drink when you get back. For Goodness Shakes are my favourite (Available from Tecso, etc).
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    I've had some fantastic afternoon kips after a long ride.
    Enjoy them.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    I suffer from this as well, sometimes for up to a few days after a big ride. I think the technical term is 'being knackered'.
    I don't think there's an answer here, apart from getting used to the level of effort.
  • Yeah, about 2-2.5 hours and throw in a few hills.

    On top of the powdered drinks i carry on the bike, mostly its isotonic/loserade drinks from the LBS etc, or fresh orange, fizzy water and pinch of salt. Normally with a Banana or something.

    Its not a big problem, and i guess it'll go the further i go (planning 40-50 this weekend), but its annoying that i'm feeling drained by late afternoon. I can't be doing something right as i get it after swimming 30 lengths at the pool as well.

    Maybe i'm just not eating enough of the right stuff.

    Thanks for the tip on the shakes, will scoot down at lunch and pick a few up.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    If it's not a rude question, how old are you, Rouge Penguin?

  • The wrong end of 32.

    Like i said, its probably under eating and not enough stamina for a newbie/casual rider.

    Just wanted to get away from the mid afternoon knackeredness.
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Ah, OK, can't blame your age then. My dad was saying just the other day that he needs a nap after his hard swimming workouts, but he is 72!

    If you are a newbie/casual rider then I should think Edwin is right with his technical explanation. For how long have you been doing these rides?

    (Sometimes it's worth remembering that cycling often tends to be a life-long sport and when keen cyclists pop out for a 50-mile ride and think nothing of it, they could have been doing that for 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years. I'm not sure there is really any other athletic endurance sport to compare which has individuals participating for decades in the same way as cycling.)

  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    I'm assuming you have a meal when you get back as well?
    After 2 hours I always like to grab a small meal to top up the energy reserves, then have lunch!
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    +1 for Nolf's tip.
    I'm the same age as you and have to admit I often feel tired in the afternoon, even if I haven't exercised earlier in the day (although I train most days and fatigue does build up, meaning I often feel worse on a rest day).
    One thing I would recommend is eat small amounts but more regularly. Otherwise, if I have a big meal straight after training, I'll feel great for about an hour or two then get the sudden crash later on. Low blood sugar could be a factor here, so I tend to eat every few hours or more, even if I don't feel hungry - once the hunger pang strikes it's often already too late. If you're watching your weight, then low fat stuff like rice crackers, fruit and dried fruit is the way forward. Try to avoid stuff that produces a quick sugar rush then wears off, for example chocolate, biscuits, cake etc. You probably know this already, but you do need to eat more than normal if you've trained, depending how hard you ride, you could have used anything up to a thousand calories so you'll need to put more 'fuel in the engine' later on.
    If you can be bothered, try to work out roughly how many calories you need, and then analyse what you might typically eat. I'll do 3,500 - 4000 a day when I'm training really hard, which is way over the recommended amount for a 'normal' person, but remember most people don't ride a bike for hours at a time and consider 45 minutes in the gym as a big workout!
  • Ha ha ha, i think you've all opened my eyes to how wonderfully ill prepared i am.

    The rides vary, usually time rather than miles, from 45 minute sprints after work, or 2.25hrs at the weekend. Most of the time i'm pushing as hard as i can (the same with swimming), for as long as i can.

    As i'm also in the gym and playing footbal, i reckon i'm hugely short of calories on the intense days when weight lifting and cycling. I wouldn't think i was putting much more in than normal.

    Ok then, dietary tips. Keeping it lean, what do you suggest?

    Thanks for the help, and for making me look like a tool ;-)
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    It sounds like you are doinf everything right and it is simply that you need to eat more! Try increasing portion sizes and see if this makes a difference without you putting on weight. Keep increasing the food intake to a level where you start to put on weight.

    The other thing is simply that if you are fairly new to riding and don't do it all that often then you will certainly feel more tired. The more you do (up to a reasonable level) the easier it gets. For instance, when I start the year, I feel exhausted after 50miles, but now I can go for longer and harder without feeling tired after. Your body will adapt.

    On a side point, are you a vegetarian? My brother was for a short while and was constantly feeling tired. He started eating steaks a couple of times a week and felt much better. I think it relates to iron deficiency which can make you tired all the time.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • Tom BartonTom Barton Posts: 516
    Up the food. I don't 'train' as such but I get at least 3 big rides in a week, bit of cycling to work (its not that far though and then supplement this with strength building at home (situps, pressups etc.)

    I'm 6'3 and 90kg and I'll eat upto 4000 - 4,500 calories a day. I achieve this by quite literally eating double sized portions.

    A average day for me:

    8 - 12 wheetabix for breakfast (best part of a pint of milk)
    2 apples as snacks
    2 large sandwiches, crisps, yogurt + chocy bar for lunch
    afternoon snack (fruit, cereal, chocolate bar - whatever I fancy)
    Double portion evening meal varying between lean red or white meats with rices/pastas/ loads of veg/potatoes and so on - all sorts of dishes. Curries and heavy cheese meals (lasange etc) are treats as they are very heavy on the fats. Also don't fear the suger when your riding! Chocolate, energy bars, gels etc will get in your system quickly and will be used first by your body so they get burnt off!!
  • frenchfighterfrenchfighter Posts: 30,642
    8-12 Wheetabix :shock: You kidding :lol:

    Must be a record!

    But still it sounds like you have your energy requirements sorted...
    Contador is the Greatest
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953

    I agree with the others that this is a food problem
    Have something carboyhydrate rich after your rides

    Some people like a bottle of chocolate milk
    Some people like special recovery drink mixes like SIS Rego or All Sports Amino Load
    Some people like a bagel
    Some people like a bowl of porridge

    Remember, it's getting the Carbs in that is important.
  • I used to ride for hours without thinking about it, then dropped it in favour of football and the gym etc.

    It was only this year i went out, bought a new bike and started riding every other weekend or so and the 10 miles to work and back. So 30-40 miles isn't that bad

    Even though i'd consider myself fit, it appears you can't just jump on a bike, ride for a couple of hours and expect you're usual healthy lunch to provide enough energy. Lesson learnt.
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