I appreciate this thread because I'm also new to cycling. I would be interested in what types of "regular food" people eat on longer rides. I'm doing GOBA this year, which will average 50 miles a day for a week. The complication is that I can't have anything that is high in sugar. I can water down Powerade or Gatorade. I can have about half a banana or a third of an apple at a time, otherwise I get sick. What sort of less sweet foods do you eat on longer rides? Thanks!
I agree that you have to find what works for you. I've done several multiple day rides, including week long ones like SAGBRAW and RAGBRAI. Normal food works for me and I average about 14mph on centuries. The big thing for me is the right mix of water v. gatorage. Too much water will flush you out (it ain't pretty). Too much Gatorade upsets my stomach, but I've learned to cut the Gatorade with water and alternate bottles. My experience has been that these kind of rides always have good geared towards cyclists at their rest stops. You only need stuff like Gu, etc if you are looking for speed.
All of the advice so far is really good. You will have to experiment on what works for you. My husband and I both ride and what is a great supplement for him, gives me stomach cramps... so each rider is very individual. Experiment on your training rides that you're doing now though, so you won't have unpleasant experiences on your actual event.
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.” Mark Twain
If you aren't trying to break any speed records, regular food should be fine. As the others said, it depends on how you feel. Some people get an upset stomach easily while others can eat a lot more variety. I have ridden up to 100 miles a day on granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches, and bagels. See what works on a 2 to 3 hour ride and go from there
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You will be burning lots of calories, more than you think. I would carry your regular supplements so you don't have to depend on what they supply. Most of these rides are accustomed to providing food for cyclists and you should be able to find what you need.
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Terri, Even though you have those rest stops, it is a good idea to take what you would on a 3-4 hour ride, where you are at. I use Hammer products, gel and supplements,then I take packs of sportbeans. I've found myself needing these, when my energy storehouse is low. The sportbeans have been invaluable to help friends, when they feel like they are going to bonk. Start training with getting the amount of mileage in a week, that you will go in a day. It doesn't take long. Do yoga stretches, and be sure to take an electorlyte type drink after all the riding. I've found out on planned rides, to carry out, how I'd supplement, if on my own ride and it works for me. Have a Great Ride!
I don't race, and I'm not concerned with going fast, but I'm preparing for the AIDS/LifeCycle, which is 545 miles in 7 days. Since I'm new to road cycling, each weekend seems to be a new "longest ride ever". Now that we are getting up into rides that are 70 miles and over, I realize that how I eat before during and after is a lot more important.
But I'm conflicted because I've spent my ENTIRE life trying to reduce how much I eat, and maximizing the satisfaction I get from every calorie. Do I really need "performance" products? On the ride there will be rest stops with food and electrolyte drinks every 15-20 miles, but if I want supplements, I need to bring my own. My instinct is to blow it all of, and just eat regular food. But I have no experience with this right now, and don't have a lot of time to experiment before the event in June. Will I be able to get the right balance of nutrients just eating regular food?
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