Fatigue?

Peddle Up!
Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
edited March 2014 in Road beginners
I rode a hundred miler yesterday. At about the halfway point I was stuck by a lack of energy making the slightest incline a challenge and slowing pace on the flat to a crawl. I’d eaten a good bowl of porridge earlier, had a couple of flapjacks at the 25 mile food station and had been nibbling rig rolls – one every half hour or so. It felt like a “bonk lite” but I thought my food intake was OK; certainly usual for me.

To be honest if I’d had the money with me I’d have bailed and called a taxi, but a combination of being cashless and sheer bloody mindedness pushed me on to complete the course – at a snail’s pace. :(

There was a strongish and blustery headwind for much of the initial distance so my only explanation is that I’m cycling on marginal nutrition and this pushed me over the top. Either that, or I’m getting old. :)

Any thoughts? Thanks.
Purveyor of "up" :)

Comments

  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    I guess its possible that you just didnt have time to digest the food you took on and just ran out of energy. I take it things improved to get around the 2nd 50 miles? Do you use an energy drink?
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    You say it is your usual food intake.

    Are you riding regular centuries?

    If you are a little out of practice, your body may not be as efficient as it was at dealing with the fuel and fueling itself. I know that I can struggle a little as the distances ramp up as the weather starts to get better etc.

    It was reasonably chilly yesterday as well, so you may have been using calories staying warm.

    I wasn't out yesterday, but Saturday was certainly very tough with the wind - it really does take it out of you.

    If it is a one-off, I wouldn't overly stress - but if it becomes a regular feeling, you need to look at your food intake and so on.
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,424
    I have the 'advantage' of using a blood glucose meter to calculate carbs needed and when there's a headwind I need to eat twice as much as normal, if you eat when blood sugar is low the carbs can get used to replenish lost glycogen and still leave you with low blood sugar, bonk lite.

    But you are still getting old :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    A strong wind over a long distance will really take it out of you if you put in too much effort, especially if it is gusting around. I was out over the weekend and in one direction struggling to get above 12mph and on the same road coming back in the opposite direction clearing 30mph with no problems on the flat.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Simple, you 'bonked' - you hadn't consumed enough food to top-up your energy reserves. Your blood glycogen provides 2-3 hours of energy, your bowl of porridge probably gave you another hour but you'll need to ingest about 500 calories per hour to simply keep you going - a fig roll contains about 60 calories for reference.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Vslowpace
    Vslowpace Posts: 189
    I'm not so sure about a bonk.

    A good breakfast followed by a couple of flapjacks at 25 miles (dependent upon size you could be looking at 800 calaries there) plus fig rolls every 30 minutes and you were done in after 50 miles. Despite not knowing all the variables that would seem to be enough food to me to cover the 1st 50 miles.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you don't start refuelling as soon as you start riding, your digestive systems slows down and therefore it can take longer to metabolise injested food - better to go for the slow-burn otherwise you'll suffer from glycemic 'spikes' that can make you feel worse. For a 100 miles, I'd expect to burn 500-600 calories an hour for 5 hours i.e. 2500-3000 calories - I only weigh 60kg and I'm pretty efficient, so someone heavier / less fit is likely to need a lot more fuel i.e. more than 1 fig roll / 60 calories an hour. If the weather is cold and windy, you'll burn more energy simply to stay warm / keep moving
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ic.
    ic. Posts: 769
    If it's unusual for you, see what happens over the next few days, you may be getting ill with a cold or similar virus.
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  • daxplusplus
    daxplusplus Posts: 631
    Kajjal wrote:
    A strong wind over a long distance will really take it out of you ..

    +1

    I did a century on Saturday in the Cotwolds. Felt like the most gruelling one I've ever done and it was simply down to the wind IMHO. Heart rate wasn't a lot higher than normal but the ride just wore me out a lot more than usual.

    I did a century earlier in the year and felt like I could have done another 100 miles at the end of it .. easiest century I've ever done.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

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  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    edited March 2014
    Thanks for the advice guys. It's looking like a combination of early season (first 100 miler, although I've done a few 70-80 milers), riding against a headwind and (probably) getting old. :)

    I'm curious about Monty's comments on the quantity of food. I know he gives v. good advice, so I'm not questioning it, just trying to work out how I can carry that much with me.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,424
    Second bottle filled with Monty's blood should do it :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • larkim
    larkim Posts: 2,474
    Time to investigate the carbs vs fat debate possibly. Carbs = quick to absorb, effective but short duration, fat = needs to train your body, equally effective as carbs at energy supply, longer lasting.

    If you can be bothered, a decent interview on the subject in this week's Marathon Talk podcast - http://www.marathontalk.com/podcast/epi ... murray.php (1hr20m onwards)

    It's certainly made me re=consider nutrition fundamentals. Though I don't know if this is "right".
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  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098
    team47b wrote:
    Second bottle filled with Monty's blood should do it :D

    ????

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,424
    SecretSam wrote:
    team47b wrote:
    Second bottle filled with Monty's blood should do it :D

    ????

    Monty dog said he consumes 3000 calories on a ride, so his blood would be hi glucose and full of energy, imbibing energised blood is common practice in cycling, no? :D

    It was an attempt at humour that I now regret attempting, I shall return after more practice over on BB where the critics are less discerning :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    It's thick 'n' red, but I'm not sure it's raspberry flavour ;-)
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Monty Dog wrote:
    It's thick 'n' red, but I'm not sure it's raspberry flavour ;-)

    Joking aside, how do you carry that much food with you?
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Depends on how hard I'm riding but for 6 hours at this time of year I'd start with two bottles or energy drink, some extra drink sachets, a couple of bananas and maybe a few gels in reserve. Stop half-way to refuel at a cafe or convenience store - top-up the bottles, stuff some food down my neck, in my pockets and away we go again. I've found that stopping and refuelling for 20 minutes often means I get back quicker than if I try and get around without stopping.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Depends on how hard I'm riding but for 6 hours at this time of year I'd start with two bottles or energy drink, some extra drink sachets, a couple of bananas and maybe a few gels in reserve. Stop half-way to refuel at a cafe or convenience store - top-up the bottles, stuff some food down my neck, in my pockets and away we go again. I've found that stopping and refuelling for 20 minutes often means I get back quicker than if I try and get around without stopping.

    Thanks Monty. One crucial difference is that I ride with water containing a Nuun tablet, as I prefer the taste to plain water and have found energy drinks too sickly. Maybe it's time to reinvestigate the hydration routine. :)
    Purveyor of "up" :)