All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
Having completed my first long-distance ride (160 km) I am considering getting into Audax rides and in particularly 200 km plus rides.
One thing I questioned during my century was the amount of food or rather lack of food I was consuming. I also gave some thought to how to carry sufficient food, or what are the other possible options. So hence this post seeking the perils of wisdom from those that do these sorts of rides.
Audax Australia has some information on their website but it seems fairly old.
My initial questions are:
(1) On these longer rides what level of food intake is consider "good", e.g, 50g of carbs per hour?
(2) What are some suggested forms of food to take?
(3) If breaks are had at roadhouses etc, what options are considered best in terms of food?
(4) Plain water or energy or electrolyte supplements? Again does one carry extra?
(5) What are the suggested carrying options? Jersey pockets, backpack? Tri-bags? Something else?
(6) Maps. Perry did you little map board work out okay? Other options?
(7) Other things to consider?
Thanks in advance
Looking at your other post you didn't seem to have a lot to eat (or drink) for a 6 hour ride...how did you feel during and after (even up to 2 days after)?.I find on long rides (have done a few but will not be doing many more in the future unless it is a race as it depletes my testosterone way too much... seriously) that I need to eat some real food...for me that is cheese and boiled potatoes in butter,also cliffbars are good as they are they have everything in them and are yummy without being to sugary.1 650ml bottle per hour minimum in normal temps.Normal rules aplly...once you feel hungry or thirsty it is usually too late!.
That is what I am thinking too. Hungry last night and quite hungry today. Trying to fight it
How do you carry it and prepare it for that matter?
I have heard good things of them, but not sure how easy they are to get in Australia. Maybe need to throw a few in on a UK order and try them.
I was probably drinking less than that. Four bottles over 6.45 hours. I do take a swig every ten minutes. Looks like I need to make them bigger swigs.
Thanks for the input. Appreciated.
I go through a 750 ml bidon every 1.5 hours or so.
As the rides get longer, I prefer saltier food and cut down the sweet stuff a bit. Don't even think about carbs per hours, just whatever feels right but apparently >50 grams/hr. I've done 600 km brevets on a burger every 80 km but I don't recommend it. Generally if you've got cravings for a food, it is probably a good idea to eat it.
Gday Andrew, what to eat how much and when was probably the hardest part of my 170km recently which I did in 6hrs 45min.
Hydration for me was the easy part. I knew that with the humidity we were having I'd have to up my intake to around 1 x 750ml bidon every hour, which should have been a total of 6.75 bidons. Actual consumption was a bit over 7.5 bidons.
I used endura in the first 2 bidons (2 scoops in each) and then took another 6 scoops in a zip lock bag to mix when refilling. So basically the first 5 bidons were endura. I then had a powerade and 2 plain water. I'll probably do the same again next time as it seemed to do the job for me, but I'll throw a plain water in to break up the endura and so i'll end up having endura left in the late stages of the ride.
With the food intake, I found it really hard to plan based on carb/protien content, but found the hammer guide very helpful and easy to adopt by aiming for replacing 30% of estimated calorie burn. Based on this I planned on consuming around 275 cal/hr. I took 4 winners bars, banana, & 1 gel (which I didnt use) with me.
The endura has 90 cal/scoop so for me that was 180cal/bidon so I only needed to eat another 95cals or so or half a bar. I also had a short coffee shop break at 65km and grabbed a piece of fruit toast. The next stop was around 150kmish where I grabbed the powerade and a giant sized snickers bar.
I found that this approach worked well for me, but like Toolong suggested, I think I'll make sure I have some more "real food" on the next attempt.
The only downside was that for the next 4 or 5 days after the ride, I ate like a horse and was constantly hungry
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
Thanks Anthony. I hadn't thought of reading the Hammer Nutrition book. Will revisit that. I also hadn't considered the calories in the water as food.
I know I am not as hungry tonight so suspect back to balance now, but I wonder if should have eaten more on the ride thus reducing the after effects. Will looking into the calorie intake along the lines you have talked about.
All good stuff.
Okay according to the calculator here, I burned 5391 calories and I consumed by my estimates using Calorie King about 2460 calories in total. Based on the 30% rule, I should have consumed 1617 calories, so it seems I over consumed.
Maybe I need look at what makes up those calories and consume more energy focused foods (e.g, Cliff Bars) or just HTFU or is the 30% rule unrealistic?
[edit: Corrected numbers]
Last edited by Aushiker on Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
According to this article from UMCA (date unknown) calorie intake should be around 300 to 500 calories per hour.
[I have converted the imperial measures to metric].
As I am a larger bloke, I suspect my calorie intake should have been in the higher range. According to this article say up around 3225 calories which about 1000 calories more than I did consume. Maybe a comprise is needed here
Hence my comment that working out a nutrition plan for during the ride was probably the hardest part of the ride
There seems to be pretty big differences in the "expert" opinions but the one constant seems to be you will never be able to replace what you burn during the ride.
Too little you bonk, too much you bloat. for me I was pretty close to getting it right, but not quite right, and will up the intake a bit next time.
I think the main thing to do given how individual a thing this is, is to be really anal and log everything, so that over time you can get a pretty good picture of what worked and what didn't. Not ideal but at least you can get some benefit from the trails and errors!
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
Having finished 3 x PBP, 1 x LEL and 1 x GSR, I think you are over-analysing things.
Sorry mate, but you lost me there, whats a PBP, LEL, & GSR????
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
That is the tack I will take I think. Just play with the amounts until I get it pretty right for me.
Thanks for your constructive input ...
Silly silly long rides ...my arse would get up and leave me if I decided to do any of those!.
Sounds like too many people have been reading too many textbooks and massively overcomplicating things.
Ive ridden lots of 200km plus rides, including races, Audax rides and just-for-the-hell-of-it. My simple recipe is drink every 15 min (only a mouthful if its not that hot) and eat every 30 min. I eat - peanut butter sandwiches, jam sandwiches, honey sandwiches (wrap in alfoil to make them easier to eat while riding), bananas, museli bars and dried dates. Who cares how many calories are in them, they taste good and stop me from feeling hungry! For a 200km ride my jersey pockets will be full of food. If you have designated stops along the way or stop at shops eat at these as well and eat more than you think you need (ie force food down). I avoid all the expensive junk sold in bike shops (power bars, gels etc), they make me sick and drain the hip pocket. And if you feel hungry or thirsty during a ride you arent eating or drinking often enough.
The simplest thing is to take lots of different food on rides and see what works for you. Forget calorie counting/analysis, just eat regularly and eat lots. The secret to long distance riding is keeping fuel in the engine!
BTW - PBP is Paris-Brest-Paris the mother of all Audax rides held in France, GSR - Great Southern Randoneur (1200km in about 3 days, held in Victoria)
Thanks. This is the sort of information I was asking for. Since you bothered to answer I can only assume it wasn't such a stupid question after all
Interesting too that your choice of foods are good calorie suppliers, so maybe having an understanding of same is not so silly after all
I would be interesting in knowing how many sandwiches you carry if that is okay. Do you carry enough for the whole 200 km ride or just enough for the first planned food source stop? If the former can you get enough into your jersey pockets or do you use a bag?
I believe that is what Anthony suggested early on. Good to see another vote for that approach.
Firstly, I don't think you burned over 5000kcal on the ride, and for the reason of you not knowing how much you burned, I wouldn't give yourself a bout of OCD in fuelling yourself to a tee.
A big +1 on tweaking things to work out what works for you. I used to ride 160-200km every saturday (no stops, except for peeing)
I read the hammer thing, sounded like a sales guide to me.
As far as water intake goes, I tried doing 1x750mL bottle per hour, as recommended by dietitians and a heap of people, but I was stopping to pee way too much. I just slowly fiddled with the amount to find a happy compromise. I probably have somewhere between 3 and 4 bottles for 6 hours, humidity dependant. I just drink whenever I feel like it. Remember, glycogen is stored with 2.5 (or something like that) times it's weight with water, so burning glycogen frees water.
As far as electrolytes go, I take salt sticks, http://www.saltstick.com/ , I haven't noticed a side effect if I increase my intake of them, but feel kinda woozy and have feelings of "get off the bike and catch the freakin' train home" if I don't have enough... I take one per hour. The reason I take these, is because they're tablets - awesome. I don't need to worry about gatorade or any form of powder, because carrying powder is a hassle, buying gatorade from a service station is not something I enjoy doing, neither is having 4 or so bottles, in order to last the distance, mounted to me and the bike. Tic-tac container in the jersey pocket with some tablets in is just too convenient.
Now what's left is carbs. A good benchmark is 1g per kg of bodyweight per hour. Or so they say. Start with that, see how that goes, then aim for more, see how that goes, then less. Keeping a diary/blog, like you're doing, is your friend with that.
Vary your food. As a person who bought 3 boxes of carbo shotz gels, I can advise against doing that
Jam/nutella/honey/peanut butter sandwiches cut in half and put in zip lock bags, dried fruits, gels, bananas, brunch bars, etc. To try and deplete my gel supply, I take more gels along with me than anything else put together, and everything fits in my jersey pockets. I'm not sure how you'd go for space if you went for sandwiches. Look into getting a bento box? Handly little things, too bad it's a sin to velcro one onto a cervelo
It can be all be a bit finicky if you're shooting for a bit of weight loss aswell.
Can you point to a reliable means of calculating this? The one I used seems more accurate than BJ or Garmin as it is based on time and average heart rate and my body weight.
That said I am interested in other calculators.
PBP = 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris
LEL = 1400 km London-Edinburgh-London
GSR = 1200 km Great Southern Randonnee
With a comfortable saddle (B17 Standard in my case) and a relaxed bike position, no significant discomfort with any of them. After 2 PBPs, I went cycle touring in the Loire Valley and Normandy. 2 days after finishing LEL, I rode a 200 km brevet. If it hurts noticeably, you are doing something wrong.
I'm in the same boat as Andrew on this one and would love to know how to get a more accurate estimate of calorie usage.
Currently I use the calorie data from my polar. Now I know this provides nothing more than a generalised guestimate based on my weight, HR etc, but it does seem to be fairly consistant in its readings based on my percieved exertion on each ride.
08 Avanti Quantum Team
Trek 4300 MTB
Here is what I use.
Previously, an expensive polar heart rate monitor/bike computer told me I was doing 1000 +/- 150 kcal on a 43km commute, which was very similar to the $40 bike computer numbers I first had. Now I know it's more like 700-750 (up to 950 with unfavourable wind).
Average heart rate was anywhere between 165 and 130, depending on the day, which of course, gave me fairly different kcal expenditure numbers, but in reality, there was no way I was burning off anymore than ~750. In fact, for my first few weeks of riding to uni and back and continually running late, it told me I was doing 1500 per trip, just because my heart rate was sky high the whole time. Now that I'm fitter, and my heart beats less on the journey, are my legs consuming half the amount of energy?
Overall weight doesn't matter as much as you'd expect, unless you were doing Kalamunda road repeats for 160km
I'm really no expert on the matter though. I just love riding
(1) The guys who ride Audax in WA are mostly very laid back and don't do a lot of analysis of things like 'how many carbs reqd. per hour'. Most guys do use gels (I don't) but only as supplementary energy when they really need it. Mostly, lower fat , 'normal' food (as Toolong suggests) either purchased from food stops or carried extra if you have the storage capacity.
(2) & (3) I've found on rides of 200kms + that lots of sweet foods and drinks cause taste fatigue and also hydration problems not to mention stomach/bowell discomfort. So basically more water and more normal food is the answer, preferably fresh food (eg. salad & protein roll)supplemented by gels or sweets to alleviate the bonk. I also carry my dried bananas with added table salt. (Source of NaCl & Mg) In winter I might take almonds and some chocolate bars.
(4) I take a magnesium supplement the day before any ride 200+kms in hot weather and any ride of 300+kms regardless of weather. This alleviates cramps for me. I also carry sachets of Staminade or Gatorade powder as my form of isotonic rehydration, I take a bit extra for hot weather and extra long rides. I only use these when I stop so that I can flush the sugar/acid off my teeth (not to mention keeping the sticky off my CF bike!) In hot weather I use a 3 litre hydration pack with iced water to ensure enough fluid intake but always have 1 bottle in the bidon holder to mix the isotonic drinks in. Other guys get by with 2 or 3 750ml bottles, but I prefer more carrying capacity especially with very hot and/or humid weather.
(5) In winter I carry all extra foods/puncture spares/mobile in my saddlebag with perhaps some sweets or a muesli bar or 2 in my jersey pockets togethor with windproof jacket /arm warmers/beanie. (if I'm not using them) This is my saddle bag(2.7L vol. & waterproof)
(6) The map board works really well. I just put the printed schedule inside a transparent zip lock bag with the unused portion of the bag folded over. The zip lock seal stops it sliding out of the perspex holder even at high speed. It is a Polaris Map Trap I don't place maps in it, just small tabled route schedules giving directions, road names, intersection types, distances between each point & cumulative distances, all derived from Bikely.
Last edited by cavebear2 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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