Picking up a few extra calories before a ride is ok. The definition of long changes for each rider. When I tell people that I did a short ride of about 30 miles or so they look at me like I'm crazy. If 15 miles is a long ride for you then you will have to increase your calories and make them count. Some good carbs or protein will really go a long way to help you keep from hitting the wall. Don't over do the calories though. Take in enough to keep you going but not that you are really filled up. I did a 55 mile and only ate a couple of m&ms, PB&J and a ton of water. That was all that I needed to keep going but then again my body was used to doing more with less. I recommend that you take some time and find what your body needs to go. Good luck and I hope all the advice on here has helped you out.
If it was a proper bonk then you definitely didn't eat enough. I was reading somewhere that bonking is classed as a "medical emergency" and it takes a good week to recover from it. I properly bonked once - all of a sudden I couldn't pedal at all. Even going downhill was an effort. I was woozy, a little bit delirious, and no matter what I did, the legs didn't want to respond. At all. After stopping at a convenience store and stuffing my face with chocolate bars and energy drinks, I got home and proceeded to eat the fridge.
If it was a "oh man, I'm really tired and I don't want to go on anymore, I'm suffering" then it could be a number of factors. Not eating enough is high on the list. If it's hot and humid, a sports drink is going to be more beneficial to you than water as you get both carbs and salt. I don't do well in the heat so if I underhydrate I cramp big stylie.
Take stuff to eat and drink on the ride as well - my on-bike fuelling strategies are posted somewhere else. If I eat properly on the bike then when I get home I'll eat a bigger lunch/dinner than normal and then normally for the rest of the day. If not, then anything's fair game.
You may want to recompute your cal intake on Spark just to make sure that you're eating enough too. You could eat at the top end of the range when you ride long and at the middle/bottom end when you don't?
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Definitely, I increase, but it depends on how long the ride is. Anything under 25 miles, I am usually o.k. My own formula is my usual amount of calories (for me around 1700 calories) plus half of what my monitor says I burned. I can't go by what SP says I burned as that is way too high and I would definitely gain weight!
I had a PBJ sandwich 1 hr prior to the ride. And I know I drank enough water. It was very hot and humid last night. And after a 1 mile long hill with absolutely no breeze, I was just done. But I was discussing my knew weightloss program with SP with them. And they said most weightloss programs do not take into consideration the amount of calories you burn during a long bike ride. Do you increase your daily allowance during longer rides?
I agree, it is not necessarily the total calories but their quality and when you have them and your physical condition before you start. It also depends on how hard you are riding, the wind resistance, grades and the climate you are in (ie staying hydrated can take effort). Also how much riding do you do and what condition are you in? When I first started riding I'd come in from a 30 miler and collapse all day. Eventually that got to be an easy ride. I'm in a very flat, hot an humid but often windy environment and my normal range is 1200 to 1400 calories. I ride at a slow pace (sure hope that will pick up as I lose weight). On days I bike ride I might eat up to 1550 if I get hungry. I always make sure I eat a good breakfast with carbs and protein before I ride (oatmeal, peanut butter and fruit.) Having enough fluids on the ride is the critical factor. There were some great fueling advice given on the electrolyte thread. I generally have a snack tucked in my Bento Box but I don't use it on short rides. HTH Sara
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My usual ride is from 20 to 25 miles and according to my HRM I burn from 600 to 780 calories...some fierce hills are always part of my ride. For maintenance my suggested range is 1480 to 1800 calories a day. (I burn a total of 3000 to 3500 calories a week)...so hope that helps for figuring out your range a little. I think it depends on how hard your ride, climb etc and what you are eating. I am mostly on a vegetarian diet but do sometimes eat fish (pescatarian) whichever way I make it a point to have enough protein etc.
Edited by: REBCCA at: 6/25/2008 (22:23)
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Your calorie intake seems a bit low. In a 21 mile ride, my heart rate monitor would say I burned around 500 to 600 calories, almost half of what you ate that day. Did you have a meal or snack less than 2 hours before your ride? You probably should have. I can't say for sure that this is why you bonked, but it certainly could be.
Mac: You are leaving out a lot of possible variables. You could also be dehydrated, sleep deprived or just over-heated. There are so many things that go into what makes you hit the wall. I would say that the first thing you should asses is what kind of calories you are taking in. What you are eating is a important as how much you are eating. If you have more to offer in terms of what you are taking in please post it and I will give more advice as will others on this great team. I hope what I have told you has helped.
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