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40 mile ride

craigus89craigus89 Posts: 887
edited January 2014 in Road beginners
Hi guys, I know 40 miles might seem like a walk (or cycle) in the park for some of you but I'm just looking for a bit of advice.

I have got a few hours spare tomorrow and want to up my mileage a bit, I have been doing 25 miles fairly consistently averaging about 14.5 - 15mph and the last few times have felt like I could keep going. I want to start increasing my distances though and am just wondering how often I should be feeding. I have read quite a few conflicting things about how often and what you should eat? Any advice from people who have worked up like this in the past would be great.

Any other tips appreciated!


  • motogullmotogull Posts: 319
    I've done that. A nakd bar every 10 miles worked for me.
  • gingamangingaman Posts: 576
    I'd say you probably won't need food for that distance/time, just have a nice breakfast and enjoy your ride!
  • fatsmokerfatsmoker Posts: 638
    But take something just in case, or money for something. Nowt worse than being hungry. And remember your drink.
  • If you think about it its only 15miles more than your current 25mile rides.

    Have a decent breakfast - porridge is excellent, and remember your drink. If your worried take a snack bar or something but you will do 40 miles in about 2.5 - 3 hours at the pace you posted so home for lunch.

    If you live in a hilly region, pace yourself. You don't want to be on your last legs if you have a big climb to do towards the end.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I did 50 miles on Sunday and just took one bottle of water and 4 muesli bars. Drank most of the water and only ate a couple of bars. Main thing is you don't run out of food or you will end up dragging yourself back. Different people need to eat / drink different amounts to keep going at normal speed so best to be sure the first time you up a distance and carry a bit too much.A good breakfast is helpful as well.

    As above pace yourself especially if like me there is a long climb near to the end. I didn't the first time and it was painful going uphill hungry and having over done the pace earlier on.
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,127
    Probably a litre of fluid, a High-Carb gel and an energy bar. But it's dependent on you, I don't usually have breakfast before riding and I drink far more than my club mates in general.
    Pick a route with a couple of cafes or corner shops and just keep riding!
  • I honestly wouldn't eat during that ride at all, just an electrolyte drink and a decent breakfast beforehand
  • I would take 2 x 750ml bottles of electrolyte drink and one flapjack - I'm trying to lose weight though.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I would take a banana, an energy bar and a gel and maybe a few haribo type sweets and at least 1 litre of drink. Have the banana after 1 hour and ensure you are sipping your drink regularly. After 2 hours (or about 30 miles at your current pace) have the bar and keep sipping away. If you are really struggling then you have the gel and the sweets for a mental/physical boost. You might find you dont need the bar, but better to take it home then not have something you need.

    Keep doing this until you learn how your body copes, 3-4 more rides at that length and youll not need the sweets or the energy bar as most likely your pace will start to speed up to 16-17mph then 40 miles will be coming up in 2 hours 30mins so the banana at 1 hour and a gel will see you just fine.
  • For a 2.5-3hr ride I'd probably take a couple of cereal bars to eat and 750ml water, but I drink a lot less than most. One word of warning - be careful which bars you get, I've found some far too dry to eat on the move. My favourite is Cadbury's brunch bars (6 for £1 from poundland), I tried cheaper supermarket brands but they were far too dry.

    On energy gels - I use them for longer rides or events but they are very expensive, and not needed for short-mid distance stuff, especially if you don't care about time (lot less faff then cereal bars).
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Everyone is different ... and even different at different times of the year.

    If you're doing 40 miles solo then you can pace yourself so you're not pushing too hard - you can then lay off the drink and food - providing you've had a decent breakfast. If you're doing it in a group with faster riders then you'll need all the food and drink you've got - as I rediscovered on Sunday when I used all my 750ml drink, cereal bar, gel & some jelly beans.

    I think the most important thing is to eat before you're hungry (unless you're trying to lose weight as well - then perhaps not?). Last year I did a test 40 mile ride eating a jelly bean every 10 minutes and found I was able to keep the pace up for longer.
  • Have a decent breakfast e.g. if you have two slices of toast normally, then have that toast and something else. Take a cereal bar with you, and eat that once you get to your half way point.

    If you're doing 20 miles at 15 mph then you aren't doing badly so just ride further :)
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    I ride that sort of distance regularly but can still remember back to the first time i stepped up from 25. I remember doing one 40 mile and then the next ride was a 60 mile.

    The 40 mile was fine and altho i felt tired afterwards it wasnt as big a shock as i thought. But the 60 mile i really felt it after about 45 miles.

    I would say you would be fine and whatever you do in regards of drink and food for the 25 should be ok for the 40. I always take two energy gels and a bag of jelly babies with me for anything 40 miles +. the majority of times i come back hardly touching either but for me i know they are there if i need them
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0
  • dnwhite88dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    You may or may not need food over that distance and time, as others have said everyone is different. Best to bring something food wise though just in case, when you suffer hunger knock it comes on fast and is not something you'll want to repeat.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • Bo DukeBo Duke Posts: 1,058
    I don't get 'hungry' per se during a ride but I know that my body needs fuel so its not food but fuel - gels and a grain bar whatever. I take a gel every 45 minutes, but I'm old and big so I need more than the young racing snakes out ther.
    'Performance analysis and Froome not being clean was a media driven story. I haven’t heard one guy in the peloton say a negative thing about Froome, and I haven’t heard a single person in the peloton suggest Froome isn’t clean.' TSP
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    I agree with Supermurph. Have a good breakfast first.
    Take a bit extra out with you, make sure you keep drinking. Eat the banana after an hour and see what your body says.
    2 and a half hours generally on roads in the UK isn't going to be overly demanding on your body. It will be tough at first, but soon you'll be back discussing your first century.
    For me personally riding 40 miles, just a good breakfast (porridge), hydrate before hand (why I always need a pee once ive got my bid shorts on and loaded my jersey pockets is beyond me!), I would also take a banana and a gel. I'd likely come back with one of them, probably the banana as the gels are gross!
    But it will be trial and error, only riding it a number of times and gauging now you felt you performed will tell. For example, i'm only 73kgs, I imagine my body would need less fuel than a 95kg man performing the same exercise at the same level.
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