What did i do wrong and why?



slowfoot

New Member
Jan 18, 2008
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I am looking to understand more about food and training.

i figured i'd try to train my system to work on non-glycogen energy sources. no breakfast no caffeine and went for a 32 mile L4 ride.
During the ride i was a little drained but not to terribly sucked out.

When i finished i had horrible quad aching ( not cramping just unrelenting pain, and felt totally "sick". after some carbs and caffeine 2 hours later felt fine. mainly some quad soreness that i usually have.

Was i out of my mind to try this?
I don't think i'll try it again but would like to understand what was going on

thanks

dave
 

Mr645

Member
Jun 22, 2013
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Your body needs energy, it's a machine and without fuel it cant work properly. By taking in carbs and sugar, your body can quickly turn these fuels into energy. Sugars are quicker, carbs last longer.
I have learned that by the time you feel thirsty, or feel a little sluggish, that's way past the point where you should have eaten and drank something. I just finished my first century and felt pretty good after 100+ miles, even sprinting away from my group the last 2 miles. I credit a lot of it to planning what I was going to eat and drink. I made sure I drank 24 oz per 30 miles, I ate 4 clif bars with caffeine, and 6 Energy gels with caffeine, and 1 peanut butter sandwich cut into quarters along the way. Sure, I legs ached on the climbs, but it never took long for me to get some energy back once the climbs were over.

We lost a few riders along the way to SAG and pretty much they either ran out of liquids, or simply did not prepare for the amount of energy they would need to deliver to go over 100 miles and climb a few 11° and 15° hills.
 

slowfoot

New Member
Jan 18, 2008
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sure,

but i wanted to force my body to exhaust it's carbo stores with an overnight fast, a long aerobic ride, and no calories during the ride.

i was thinking this would force utilization of the enzyme systems used in fat metabolism and maybe improve my endurance.

well, assuming that my crash was from carbohydrate depletion, my conclusion is that it is not worth it! it was pretty bad.

as will rogers said, "
“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” i know where i stand among men....

dave
 

Mr645

Member
Jun 22, 2013
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Even when eating and drinking properly for a ride, you can take in 1200 calories while using 2500 to move your bike. Using fat reserves is just not efficient and while you will use some, your body can't covert fat into energy quickly enough for strenuous activity. That's why moderate activity, heart rate in the 12-120 bpm range is considered best for fat loss
 

bmoberg337

Member
Nov 29, 2012
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Quote: Originally Posted by slowfoot .
sure,

but i wanted to force my body to exhaust it's carbo stores with an overnight fast, a long aerobic ride, and no calories during the ride.

i was thinking this would force utilization of the enzyme systems used in fat metabolism and maybe improve my endurance.


There has been a lot of research conducted to determine whether or not "fasted" training results in better fat utilization and ideally enhanced endurance performance. So far research has been inconclusive. Some studies show that high fat diets, and fasted training lead to better fat oxidation but this doesn't necessarily translate into better performance. Furthermore, some studies show that fasted training and high fat diets can impede glycogen storage and utilization.

Improved fat metabolism is a natural adaptation to cardiovascular training. Your better off focusing your efforts on improving your training to get the adaptations you want vs. irregular dietary practices.
 

danfoz

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2011
2,432
184
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Quote: Originally Posted by slowfoot .
sure,

but i wanted to force my body to exhaust it's carbo stores with an overnight fast, a long aerobic ride, and no calories during the ride.

i was thinking this would force utilization of the enzyme systems used in fat metabolism and maybe improve my endurance.

well, assuming that my crash was from carbohydrate depletion, my conclusion is that it is not worth it! it was pretty bad.

as will rogers said, "
“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” i know where i stand among men....

dave


Dave, I'm a big fan of first hand knowledge as well. I don't make the same mistake twice, it takes me four or five times.

Some years back I had read an article from a race oriented bike rag on the supposed benefits of occasionally running down glycogen supplies during longer rides and it got me doing some reading. I'm pasting below from a post I made some time back on this forum which may provide food for thought:

"I6 (Interleukin 6) - which has been termed by some as the "endurance" hormone. This is found in high levels in cancer patients, but also in endurance athletes where it functions slightly differently. Some evidence suggests that riding to glycogen depletion can spur an increase in this hormone. I believe in part this is what Allen was refering to even though he didn't use these terms (I was replying to a thread on Hunter Allen's Next Level). But he did use the term "leg shattering" rides, and that one should get home with legs shaking and exhausted and completely spent on the long days. I6 was measured to be 100 times in greater abundance after these glycogen depleting rides. It is not necessarily how long these rides are but how they are ridden. Completing longer rides with a fuel tank always topped off seemed to minimize the subsequent fitness gain. Getting home with the fuel tank on "E" was the key. Anecdotally this notion is somewhat supported by something I read by Gilbert Duclose Lasalle or some other french hardman that after some long ride where he ran out of food he was absolutely destroyed when arriving home but a week or two later was able to ride like the wind."

It's a priority to make sure we remain as fueled as possible on rides that matter, but aside from finding yourself in a field eating rotten apples off the ground or riding into oncoming traffic from a glycogen depletion induced delirium whats the worst that could go wrong with a little experimentation?

When I tried these workouts (which are pretty much the same as my usual longer ride with the exception of the eating part), my formula was to start with light breakfast, maybe a couple slices of turkey on some toast with a little mayo and a coffee (life is too short to suffer needlessly, plus a little protein has been known to get the brain going, which is especially good when surrounded by traffic), then head out for 3+ hours of L3 with a few 10 and 20 minute segments really hammering thrown in to run down the stores. Just an energy gel at the halfway mark (after all we have to make it home and bonking is something very real) along with plenty of good old fashioned H2O and some salt replacement like Nuun, especially if it's really hot out.

Good luck with that electric fence.

Edit: it's important to mention, after any of these strategies it's recommended to refuel after the ride. No study anywhere has shown fitness to benefit by post ride starvation but I believe there is some evidence to indicate glycogen replenishment within the 30 minute post ride window was beneficial in replenishing depleted stores. My strategy is to slam some sort of sports drink even a soda immediately after a hard ride (it's all about the sugar), shower, and then just have a nice dinner, or whatever meal follows the ride schedule.
 

An old Guy

Active Member
Feb 12, 2011
1,380
42
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Quote: Originally Posted by slowfoot .
I am looking to understand more about food and training.

i figured i'd try to train my system to work on non-glycogen energy sources. no breakfast no caffeine and went for a 32 mile L4 ride.
During the ride i was a little drained but not to terribly sucked out.

When i finished i had horrible quad aching ( not cramping just unrelenting pain, and felt totally "sick". after some carbs and caffeine 2 hours later felt fine. mainly some quad soreness that i usually have.

Was i out of my mind to try this?
I don't think i'll try it again but would like to understand what was going on

thanks

dave


Rough numbers:

2000cal glycogen.

Less then 2 hour ride. 80% glycogen/20% fat. Lot less than 2000cal.

You did not deplete your glycogen.

---

If you want to feel good after workouts like that, you need to do a lot of workouts like that.
 

slowfoot

New Member
Jan 18, 2008
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AOG,
thanks for prompting me to do this!
i am sure someone has done this calc before but i got these datum on the web, anyone feel free to edit!

-liver glycogen (this is after full meal) + 400 kcal
-muscle glycogen (74 kg) +1400 kcal
----------------
+1800 kcal reserve (generous)

-cal spent during sleep
(harris-benedict equation) - 500 kcal
-------------------
+1300 kcal m of carbohydrate available in morning
- 2000 kcal ride
-----------------------------------------------------
deficit is at least -700 kcal

i ran these numbers with several different formulas and always i have a large deficit in my CHO stores , let alone my plasme glucose.
this is merely an academic issue, there is lots of literature as that has proved this is not a good training strategy. it is bad for your performance, bad for your head, bad for your recovery, .. i get it.
i was just wondering how it would feel and what others thought ( i like to stir the pot).

gotta say i was surprised at how little the liver has, and how much the muscle has.

dave
 

Viking55803

Member
Oct 3, 2013
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Duluth, MN
Quote: Originally Posted by bmoberg337 .
"Improved fat metabolism is a natural adaptation to cardiovascular training. Your better off focusing your efforts on improving your training to get the adaptations you want vs. irregular dietary practices."

I think you nailed it - improved fat metabolism is an adaptation to training. This means it happens over time, and I don't know of any certain way of stimulating that adaptation. I've read some reports on fasting exercise, but as you said - not enough information to draw a conclusion.
As a diabetic, I have had to determine how many carbs to take on board before and during a ride and I am surprised at how few it takes to keep my blood glucose stable. However, if I take no supplement, my blood sugar will INCREASE due to the liver "dumping" glucose into the system. So, for example, if my blood sugar is normal before a 1 hour ride, I don't need to supplement at all. For a two hour ride, 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrate at 1 hour will keep my BG stable. The message is that we have a pretty good supply of glucose in our liver and muscles, but when it's gone it's BONK time!
 

JibberJim

Member
Aug 25, 2009
146
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Quote: Originally Posted by slowfoot .
-cal spent during sleep
(harris-benedict equation) - 500 kcal
-------------------
+1300 kcal m of carbohydrate available in morning
- 2000 kcal ride
-----------------------------------------------------


I think it's very unlikely that the cal's spent during sleep are from the glycogen stores, you'll be "fat burning" at that low intensity.