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eating and breathing

neebneeb Posts: 4,387
edited September 2012 in Training, fitness and health
I often have trouble eating while training at any level above recovery, it is very difficult to breath at the same time as chewing without choking... I guess some foods are easier than others, some brands of energy bars take a lot of chewing. I don't really get on with gels. Any tips for easily chewable, high energy foods that are easy to fit in a jersey pocket and unwrap? I know someone is going to say bananas, but I don't find that a single banana provides enough energy and I don't want to have to stuff my pockets with them...

Posts

  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    What works for me is jelly babies/haribo/liquorice allsorts. I put the opened packet in a tri bag (2 for long events one at stem one at seat post, see below for example) and just have a routine to eat them regularly from the start of the event as little, often and early is better than trying to eat a whole bar in one go when you feel hungry.

    Only risk is when are at max effort you dont want to breathe too hard and suck a jelly baby down whole..I just have habit of tucking them between teeth and gum to avoid this which also helps as it gives you something else to think about and take mind of the pain.

    Even if sweets are not to taste I would still recommend tri bags. They allow you to eat easily and often whatever the situation, not always the case if food is stored in your back pockets. I have also used them with malt loaf, cut up into small easy to eat squares.

    2 bags = 300g, that plus a couple of bottles of sports drink is enough for a 6 hour event as far as food goes (obviously may need to drink more water)

    Just in case also take couple of gels in case of emergency, these I just tuck inside shorts. Keeps them warm/easy to get to when needed.

    example of tri bag, others exist too,,
    http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=tribag&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=441535020119046578&sa=X&ei=qNheUN3NKca_0QX1goHQDw&ved=0CDEQ8wIwAA
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Why not just eat when you're not making a hard effort? Use a carbohydrate drink when it's too difficult to eat anything?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Herbsman wrote:
    Why not just eat when you're not making a hard effort? Use a carbohydrate drink when it's too difficult to eat anything?

    True. It's also worth remembering that for short rides up to around the 90-120 minute mark you dont really need to take any calories in during the ride itself, provided you have eaten sensibly beforehand. A couple of bottles of sports drink should be enough for longer rides up to around the 2-3 hour mark. After that you need to take on food, which if you do is best started little and often fairly early into the ride. That said longer events which require food will typical require hard efforts well into the ride that may also be long lasting. So its good to be able to have a reliable to eat as well as drink when the pressure is on.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,387
    Thanks for the tips. Re: sweets etc, that might be a good idea although I'd want to look at the ingredients if I was getting through a lot of them. Sugar is fine, it's the additives/colourings etc I'd worry about if I was taking a lot of them several times a week.

    It's the +/- 3 hour rides especially that are the main issue for me, much less than that and (as said) eating beforehand is fine, and if it's much longer than that there would probably be periods when the pace wasn't too hard. 2.5 - 3.5 hours on a solo training ride and I'm often still going too hard all of the time to chew properly. I'd usually take an energy drink in one bottle holder and water in the other, but one energy drink isn't quite enough, so about half way through I'd be trying to stuff down an energy bar and half choking on it... I once experimented with slices of cold banana porridge (it goes sort of solid...) wrapped in tin foil, which works great but I'm rarely organised enough to make it...
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    You need to control your breathing, you should be able to eat comfortably at anything below tempo pace, as you shouldn't be gasping for air.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,387
    It's tempo pace where it becomes difficult, I was exaggerating slightly when I said it's a problem anywhere above recovery. I'm not gasping for air, or at least I'm not noticing my breathing until I try eating something.. I can't breath that well through my nose, maybe that's a factor.
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    neeb wrote:
    breath that well through my nose, maybe that's a factor.

    People have come on here to give very good advice, to help you, and you come out later with a little gem like that. It happens quite often where an OP doesn't come out with all the facts. There aught to be a name for OP's like you. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Is slowing to recovery pace once or twice on a 3 hour ride really a big deal? Eat on a gentle down hill where you can still keep your speed up without too much effort. I hate to think how you cope with life in general if this eating while you ride a bike issue has you flummoxed :wink:
    More problems but still living....
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,387
    cyco2 wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    breath that well through my nose, maybe that's a factor.

    People have come on here to give very good advice, to help you, and you come out later with a little gem like that. It happens quite often where an OP doesn't come out with all the facts. There aught to be a name for OP's like you. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
    I think you've got the wrong end of the stick, or maybe I didn't express myself properly. I didn't mean "I can't breath through my nose", just "sometimes I wonder if my ability to breath through my nose might not be as good as some other people's when I am exerting myself". It was just an idea.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,387
    amaferanga wrote:
    Is slowing to recovery pace once or twice on a 3 hour ride really a big deal? Eat on a gentle down hill where you can still keep your speed up without too much effort. I hate to think how you cope with life in general if this eating while you ride a bike issue has you flummoxed :wink:
    I think like a lot of people I sometimes just come on here to casually discuss stuff, it doesn't mean it's a massive issue.. :wink:

    <edit maybe next time I'll post this sort of thing in cake stop...>
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    It's just a bit of a null issue, smaller bites, slower while eating, eating while breathing out, just takes a bit of thought while you are doing it.
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I inhale deeply before eating or drinking, so that I'm breathing out while it's in my mouth. Stops me choking.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    I wouldn't try eating at tempo level, like Neeb I am not that great at eating at endurance level, and tend to avoid energy bars as a result, just too difficult to eat IMO. Bit surprised I do prety well at 12 hours as racing and eating don't really go together with me that well.

    As bazhob has said, easy to chew jelly babies are a good idea when going hardish, but if you are doing 3 hours at an effort where it is too hard to eat, just stick a gel down your throat, for 3 hours you still wouldn't need much as the first 2 hours of the ride would be fuelled by what you have stored in the body. As mentioned above if you really need to eat something solid, just ease off a touch to eat, and then get back to the effort.
  • if you are out on a long training run, just stop for 2 mins have your food, take a pee and carry on. simple. its not a deal breaker.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Fig rolls and jelly babies for me if I'm out on a long ride. Mind you, I'm normally stopping to read the map / have a pee, so eating then isn't a problem.

    On shorter, faster rides in the summer I sometimes take too big a gulp from my bottle and find I have to choose between swallowing and breathing and sometimes end up shooting some of it down my nose...
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    I find the chocolate geobars easy to eat with a swig of drink.
  • CLIF SHOT's are pretty good... bit like jelly babies, but softer and obviously more expensive!

    http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_shot_bloks/

    I don't go though enough of these to worry about the cost. And if I bought jelly babies, the kids would eat them :P
    Simon
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