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Poor performance after lunch

pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,043
edited August 2011 in Road beginners
Hiya!

A couple of weeks ago I went for a ride into Belgium with a colleague from work. Set off at 09.00 and by 11.30 we had reached Jalhay, about 45km away. I was feeling fine but hungry, although I'd been eating flapjack en route. We stopped for about an hour and I ate a baguette, small cake and drank 2 cans of still juice. After lunch we set off up Baraque Michel and I felt awful. It seemed like my legs had no energy and I couldn't keep up on the climb (around 6.5km at about 4-6%). I picked up a bit on the downhill and we eventually got home having done about 105km.

My question is, why so tired after lunch? Does anyone else get this? I normally ride distances of between 40 - 70km but have done over 100km before with no major problems. However, on those occasions I did not stop but ate on the move. Is stopping mid-ride a bad idea? Any suggestions to stop it happening again?

Cheers,
Steve
Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs

Posts

  • Maybe pushing a bit hard on the first leg of the journey, but with 45km in 2.5 hours I can't imagine that would be strenuous, unless it was a very hilly route.

    Could also just be lack of sleep or proper hydration from the days before, or anything really. i've had that happene, and it normally only happens if I have not slept well, and taken a pause for an hour or so from riding.
  • 1 Flapjack on the first leg isnt enough... And it sounds like a big lunch with little in the way of good nutrition for a long ride! (except the cake of course 8) )

    Cans of still Juice usually equates to censored loads of sugar, which will give you a decent burst of energy in the short term, but you will quickly hit a downer and feel worse than you did prior to drinking them.

    What was your hydration like on the first leg? Maybe look at supplementing your water with some decent energy stuff.

    Also you say you were feeling hungry.. thats usually a sign that you are in for a painful return home!

    Lots of variables it could be, but I would first question your hydration/nutrition
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  • I'm often involved in conferences and delivering training and we call the first session after lunch 'the graveyard shift' as everyone is as good as dead or dropping off and incpable of functioning normally.

    It comes down t the body diverting blood flow to the stomach and intestines to digest the meal, and the bigger the meal the more lethargic you'll feel so little and often when on the bike is better. Here's a full explanation;

    http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Feeling-Drowsy-After-Lunch
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Belgium? "Juice"? It wasn't essence of hop, by any chance? :D
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Gut diversion (blood is being diverted to your stomach to digest your stomachful of food).
    More problems but still living....
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Exactly. All the energy is being used to digest the lunch. Eating little and often is the key. You never see tour riders stopping for a big feed.
  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,043
    cougie wrote:
    Exactly. All the energy is being used to digest the lunch. Eating little and often is the key. You never see tour riders stopping for a big feed.

    Thanks for the replies, chaps.

    Blood diversion did occur to me, but my riding partner seemed unaffected, even though he ate about the same as me. I think that little and often is the way to go in future.

    Peddle Up - not on that occasion, although I am currently enjoying a glass of Abbaye Val Dieu blonde, brewed by the good monks about 20km from here. It's VERY nice! :wink:

    Steve
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    At last, a subject upon which I have deep knowledge and expertise! I am a member of a cycling club (40+) which is organized to meet at a pub at Noon on each Wednesday. It is best to arrange for the main part of your ride before the pub. The return trip is, at best, a struggle against all odds, at worst, torture! I cannot imagine why I bother :wink:

    A busy digestion and a modest level of alcohol intake must be recognized as an inhibitor of athletic performance.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    At last, a subject upon which I have deep knowledge and expertise! I am a member of a cycling club (40+) which is organized to meet at a pub at Noon on each Wednesday. It is best to arrange for the main part of your ride before the pub. The return trip is, at best, a struggle against all odds, at worst, torture! I cannot imagine why I bother :wink:

    A busy digestion and a modest level of alcohol intake must be recognized as an inhibitor of athletic performance.

    Yep. Alcohol is a mighty muscle relaxant. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes that's a bad thing. :D:D
    Purveyor of "up" :)
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