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Boy I struggled today!

flyerflyer Posts: 608
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
I normally do 40 miles 3 x a week, however been on hols for 10 days so no cycling.

Yesterday I did a 40 miler and it was fine but I knew I had lost a bit of fitness!

Today I did another 40 miler 2.5 hours ( but 25 degrees), but I bonked about 35 miles into it, not sure why but boy I was glad to get over the last 5 miles at 10 mph. I hade a muffin (In good old starbucks) at 8.30 am, and a ham sandwich at 1pm went on ride at 1.30pm. Last night I just had a green salad.

How important is it what you eat and when you eat before a ride?

My legs felt strong I wasn't out of breath, just lacked stamina

any help and tips appreciated



  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    It can effect your energy levels for sure and anything over 30 miles is even more important. You can load your carbs the day before if you know your going on a long ride, else you should aim to be at least eating a high carb meal some hours before you go to ensure you have digested some.

    I guess just before or during you can eat a dedicated energy bar type food source, why not try it for your next ride and report back!
  • sandbagsandbag Posts: 429
    you want carbs. a bowl of oats for breakfast eartlier the better before ride. drink a pint of water before you set off. carry energy bars and gels. sugary milks, glucose sports drinks etc. eat every 2 hours or in your case 1 hour or have a decent carb breakfast.. the trick is to eat before you get hungry/suffer. carb drinks are ideal during ride as they light on stomach. that dinner will of been slow digesting. more of bodys energy diverted digesting meal like that. stick to liquidy carb meals and drinks. if you push on knackered and/or bonk you ruin your following day rides. my favourite foods on a ride are peanut butter and banana sandwiches. best food for dinner is baked potato.

    carry this home made sports drink and use for emergencys or when you sweat alot. this absorbs into your body faster than plain water.

    bottle of water
    orange juice/whole lemon squeezed(potassium)
    1/2 teaspoon of sea salt(natural electrolytes)
    3 teaspoons of sugar

    you can buy a electrolyte powder and mix with dextrose and maltodextrin sugars which are very fast acting. ... te-powder/
    good to mix with Palatinose ... alatinose/

    alot cheaper than buying commercial sports drinks and can be more potent depending on your measures.
  • DunkeldogDunkeldog Posts: 138
    Can't second enough - eat before you crash! On rides of over 40 miles I just get into a mechanical habit of taking a mouthful of energy drink every ten minutes or so. Off out today around 1pm and just had a high carb sugar cereal breakfast and a banana. Should see me through though I'll be drinking constantly with this sun.
  • flyerflyer Posts: 608
    Thanks for the info, looks like energy drinks are where I need to go. I want to loose a few pounds so don't want to eat lots of cals before a ride as it defeats the object.

    But then I guess it's carbs and not fat/calories that's important for strength?

    Is porridge good?

    Thanks for the advice

  • Porridge is a great way to start, but buy it loose. Those pre sachet'd ones form the supermarket are a little bit small on the portions, plus they can be loaded with unwanted sugars. Wash it down with a banana.

    Something i hadnt considered properly was post ride (i put a thread in training), although i'd get in and eat a heathly lunch, i would crash late afternoon. Diet/fuels so important, so i'd say grab a big bowl of pasta and tuna afterwards to keep you body ticking.

    Maybe take a low cal flapjack or Gel for the sugars.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    flyer wrote:
    Thanks for the info, looks like energy drinks are where I need to go. I want to loose a few pounds so don't want to eat lots of cals before a ride as it defeats the object.

    Concentrated Orange squash with a pinch of salt will see you fine - I literally pour ~ 1.5 inches in the bottom of 800 ml bottle then water - gives a nice "punchy" energy drink (with pinch of salt added).

    If you've got a 40-50 miler, 2 Weetabix with Milk and sugar on top, 1-2 hours before will give a good enough platform.
  • flyerflyer Posts: 608
    Cheers guys for that.

    Because I bonked yesterday I just did a quick 25 miles at a leisurely 15mph, took a lucazade sports drink with me and had an energy bar 1 hour before I went. Got back and felt like I did before I went tons of energy, its amazing what "fuel" can do.

    Don't get me wrong I am 49 years old and don’t race or anything its purely for keeping fit and the good old blood pressure down, but its still nice to feel good and enjoy the riding, I only do about 120 miles per week but I enjoy it much more when I am not knackered afterwards. More attention to what I eat before and “after” looks like it keeps the engine burning!

    I will have a decent breakfast and do 50 miles tomorrow.


  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    If you want to get the necessary electrolytes in a drink, but not carbs, try the NUUN tablets:

    Then you can monitor your carb intake via the foods you eat on the ride.
  • DunkeldogDunkeldog Posts: 138
    Good to hear you felt better today Flyer. I know I'm a sceptic by nature and when I started to ride I rarely treated the before and after part of the ride with respect. It's only when you see how incredibly different you ride when properly fuelled, warmed up, hydrated etc it all becomes clear. Took me a while to cotton on but you just can't avoid doing things right if you want to see results. I'm 41 soon and still enjoying regular improvement to my cycling thanks to treating it all with more respect.
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