Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.

Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Psamathe » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:45 pm

I'd generally been riding around 30-35 miles 'ish. I've often noticed I'd start off feeling tired yet after a few miles my energy levels would pick-up (2nd wind ?)

Then I started stopping at my local supermarket (after 10 miles) for a cakes and free coffee and suddenly I am doing 50 mile rides no problems.

Today I started out really tired and was convinced it was to be a 10 out+10 back trip. Coffee and cakes and chose a longer route (total 40 miles). After leaving supermarket, still really tired and rather regretting the choice of longer route. Then after an hour or so, suddenly my energy levels pick-up and I'm working out de-tours in my head to make the ride longer.

So, getting more energy a few miles after starting out - is that 2nd wind ?

After cakes, how long until that fuel would get to muscles to boost your energy ?

Ian
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby wirral_cyclist » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:53 pm

My legs often feel like they'll never 'spin up to speed' at around the 6-8mile mark - then all of a sudden I've done 25m - that's when I refuel and apart from 'cafe legs' in first few hundred yards of restart I'm then good for another 25miles (repeat at 50 for a 75 too!). Being able to do it and enjoy it (all) are two different things as well ;-)
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby jezer » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:07 pm

Refuelling the body is often overlooked, especially by newer riders. We have a cycling friendly cafe we visit sometimes on our club rides. On leaving they offer us free gels and electrolyte drink sachets. We fly back from there :lol:
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Psamathe » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:58 pm

wirral_cyclist wrote:... I've done 25m - that's when I refuel and apart from 'cafe legs' in first few hundred yards of restart I'm then good for another 25miles (repeat at 50 for a 75 too!).

jezer wrote:Refuelling the body is often overlooked, especially by newer riders. We have a cycling friendly cafe we visit sometimes on our club rides. On leaving they offer us free gels and electrolyte drink sachets. We fly back from there :lol:

Appart from caffeine (which I imagine has a pretty fast effect on the body, I would have thought with "cakes" (and similar) there must be a significant delay between eating and energy being available to muscle. Body needs to go through several processes to break it down (physically and chemically, convert "raw" materials into different forms, etc. before the muscle can use the ingested fuel. This must take some time?

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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Flinders » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:23 am

Psamathe wrote:
wirral_cyclist wrote:... I've done 25m - that's when I refuel and apart from 'cafe legs' in first few hundred yards of restart I'm then good for another 25miles (repeat at 50 for a 75 too!).

jezer wrote:Refuelling the body is often overlooked, especially by newer riders. We have a cycling friendly cafe we visit sometimes on our club rides. On leaving they offer us free gels and electrolyte drink sachets. We fly back from there :lol:

Appart from caffeine (which I imagine has a pretty fast effect on the body, I would have thought with "cakes" (and similar) there must be a significant delay between eating and energy being available to muscle. Body needs to go through several processes to break it down (physically and chemically, convert "raw" materials into different forms, etc. before the muscle can use the ingested fuel. This must take some time?

Ian


I vaguely remember something about sugars being absorbed from the mouth....I'm sure someone here would know if that's nonsense. :oops: We used to carry glucose tablets on group walks in case anyone got tired. It may have been all in the mind, but they seemed to work quite fast- faster than the main digestive system could have had any effect, I would have thought.
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Ayesha » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:59 am

"So, getting more energy a few miles after starting out - is that 2nd wind ?"

No.
That is your vascular and pulmonary systems dilating in response to some exercise.

"2nd Wind" is the release of adrenaline in response to sustained exercise. This condition can be fuelled with simple sugars such as glucose.

When you get endorphins and any sensations in your legs disappear, that's 'flying on wings'. Putting sugars in your stomach now is like 'tipping the nitro can'.
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Ayesha » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:08 pm

Judging the amount of CHO to eat before a bike ride is tricky for the newbie.

It is dependent upon the cyclist's capability ( Watts for 1 hour ) and the Watts demand of the ride ahead.

The greater the cyclist's capability and the lower the demand of the trip, the less CHO the rider needs to eat beforehand.

A seasoned Audax rider who was a TT racer, with a 60 minute 300 Watts, will be using approx. 25% of that capability to ride a 200 km Audax, so the cyclist might eat 25% of the physics calculated CHO.
On the other hand, a newbie cyclist who can keep up 150 Watts in the 1 hour test, will be utilising 50% of his capability on the same ride, so will be encouraged to eat 50% of the physics calculated CHO for the ride.
Really newbie riders would not be advised to attempt a 200 km Audax without any idea of what they could sustain for 60 minutes on an ergometer.
If they do attempt the ride, they would be wise to eat 100% of the physics calculated CHO.
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby cotswolds » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:53 pm

The other effect that hasn't been mentioned is that the body can burn fat for fuel as well (even a skinny cyclist has some) but most of our bodies aren't used to doing this. I know a hardcore ironman triathlete who does 80 mile training rides without eating before/during and only drinks water. He reckons this gets his body used to burning fat, so he doesn't suffer so much when the carbs run out in an event. He gets good results, so he must be doing something right. For us mortals who keep shovelling in the cake, the fat-burning path isn't well enough developed to sustain reasonable cycling speed.

If you've carb loaded effectively, you should have enough fuel for around 2 hours of activity, which is why marathon runners hit the wall at around 20 miles.

Sugars can't be absorbed in the mouth, but I think an Australian research group showed that as soon as they were detected in the mouth, the body would release more reserves. Eating something sweet certainly seems to produce a response faster than anything could get through to the blood stream.
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Re: Energy, Fuel, 2nd Wind, Motivation

Postby Mick F » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:13 pm

I've noticed that I get tired after a certain distance - maybe 30miles or even 40miles - but even if I don't stop or eat anything, by the time I'm up to 50 or 60miles I get my legs back. I finished yesterday at 85miles, but I could have gone on for miles more.

I rarely stop at all on a ride, maybe after 40miles for leg-stretch, and rarely eat much either. I prefer a good breakfast before I leave and eat well when I get home/destination.

2nd Wind?
I usually get it and put it down to relaxation after the stress of the start of the journey. It's me getting in tune and calming down, rather than being like a bull at a gate.
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