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Thanks for the tips everyone. Some of this was above my head (it's my first week on Spark), but I will try and digest it. (no pun intended)
It's hard for me to calculate my weeks burned calories in advance. My life is a little hard to predict at the moment. I guess after a few weeks, I can take some averages and help predict the next week.
It's just doing the math as other have stated. All the advice is good. I'll try to add some.
For a 3 hour ride at 75 to 80% HR I really don't do much different except replace what I've used.
Know your BMR, What is your height, weight, age, sex. I have a spreadsheet. Then I would pick a macro nutrient ratio, Carbs, Protein, fat and each body will have a different requirement. My body is good with 40, 30, 30. Sparks it too high in Carbs for me. I do increase carbs to 50 or 55 day before a long effort like a metric century or century. I need about 3500 calories a day to maintain my weight at my activity level. I'm carbo sensitive and try to eat foods lower in the glycimex index. That is for me and my body type.
Hydrate, now I only drink water. In the past I have used energy drinks.
I don't know your fitness level. For me at eating 1500 to 1800 cals would be a huge calorie deficit and I would not last too long with out a bonk. That is when your muscles start to be burned for energy and all you stored glycogen is gone. This causes loss of lean body mass. I don't cut when doing a hard effort. I cut calories when the demands are not too great.
If I'm doing a 50 -60 mile easy ride I don't need to eat any different. What kills me is the hard 2 hour efforts where you HR is in the 90% zone a lot. I'll do a few more carbs 50 - 55 % and then crank up the protein to 35% for a few days after.
Do it by math. Learn your body and always test your eating while training not on the day of the event. You will learn what you need to eat from history and logging.
Send me a message and I'll email you my BMR/Macro nutrient spreadsheet.
I don't increase the number of calories prior to big rides, nor do I change what I eat. The morning of a long ride I have oatmeal or other high-carb cereal, a banana, and then, if necessary, eat again about an hour before the ride starts--half a bagel, maybe half a Clif Bar. Throughout the ride, I eat about 100 calories every 60 to 90 minutes--usually an energy bar of some sorts, but sometimes I'll pack dried fruit, esp. apricots & dates, for added potassium, or take some Gu. Be sure to hydrate often--that is as important as eating during the ride. After the ride, be sure to eat a mix of carbs and proteins (4:1 or 3:1 ratio) within 15 minutes to an hour after the ride. The sooner the better. The combination of protein and carbs will start repairing your muscles quicker.
"It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides." George Sand
Eastern Standard Time
This is what I do.
1. Calculate my expected Calorie burn for the week.
2. Go to the Start page for Sparkpeople
3. Go to my Goals and Progress.
4. Click on the Change Goal link under Calories to Burn this Week.
5. In the box - "If you know how many calories you burn each week, enter it here:" enter the # of calories you think you'll burn.
6. Save your changes.
This SHOULD change your calories to eat each day.
If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon
If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
My plan has me eating 1,500 to 1,850 cals a day. I am not quite sure yet how to tell the system that I am burning quite a bit riding my bike.
Saturday I logged a route that calculated 1,400 cals burned.
For the long term, I'll figure out how to tell the system what I am burning, but for the thee next two weeks, I am looking for advice.
June 8-9 (two weeks) is the local MS tour, and I am riding. It will be about 80km (50 miles) a day.
I want my body to have enough fuel for Sat the 8th, and Sun as well. When is the best day to start eating more? How much, and what should I eat?
Any advice on this topic would be very appreciated.