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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a very new beginner class XC racer.
My "training" rides usualy consist of about a ten mile loop at the local trails that takes anwhere from 1:15-1:30. The trail has no long climbs, but numerous very short and moderatly steep climbs.
For as long as I have been able to ride the entire trail length I find that when I hit the last couple of miles I have very little left and my energy levels are pretty much gone. I am not talking about my legs being pumped, I don't seem to encounter that problem nearly as often as this one except when trying to keep my pace at a higher av speed, I am talking about simply not having the strength to turn the cranks, slumped over the bars, drained and all motivation gone.
I have only been drinking water on these rides and taking no gue or food with me.
My typical daily diet is pretty good with a good amount of complex carbs, I am 25yo, 6'1" and 180lbs. I feel like i am in pretty decent shape overall. I run about 15 miles a week, rock climb.....etc.

From what I am reading in the archives it sounds like this bonk is due to glycogen depletion, given the timing and feel, and my body not being very adept at burning fat for fuel during aerobic activity. If this is the case, I am under the impression that things like gatorade, a couple of cliff shots or similar sugars to help keep the blood sugar levels out of the gutter while riding is the solution to keep me on the trail longer so I can train longer and get more miles under my tires.
Oh yeah, this also seems to be worse in cold weather for some reason... maybe it's just in my head.

Does any of this make sense to you?:confused:
 

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There's a difference between blowing up and bonking. You shouldn't bonk at 1 hour. If you eat something before the ride, you'll be fine. I would worry more about stacking some base miles to get yourself into *cycling* shape. I wouldn't worry about drinks or gu if you are only doing one lap (except water of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the thing...I have been riding on and off for three years+ on road and MTB. I have been off of the road for about a year since I sold my road bike. I have been riding about three times a week for the last six months on the same trail at about the same pace listed above with about the same amount of fatuige everytime.
As far as the food thing goes, I try to make sure I eat a few hours before the ride as I can not stomach too much solid food right before I ride.
 

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I would suggest to first make sure you aren't empty going into the ride. Normal healthy eating is fine. You mention a meal 2hrs prior, that should be good.

It wouldn't hurt to take an energy drink (powerbar endurance is good). A gel is probably not needed, although if you are hammering super hard, then taking a gel at 45min wouldn't hurt either.

If you consume too much gel and energy drink, you'll feel a little off, so pay attention to not take too much. Also factor the additional calories into your daily diet, especially if your trying to reduce weight.

And of course, get in as much riding as you can, your endurance will continue to grow.
 

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Flatlands said:
That's the thing...I have been riding on and off for three years+ on road and MTB. I have been off of the road for about a year since I sold my road bike. I have been riding about three times a week for the last six months on the same trail at about the same pace listed above with about the same amount of fatuige everytime.
As far as the food thing goes, I try to make sure I eat a few hours before the ride as I can not stomach too much solid food right before I ride.
Boy, that just doesn't sound right. 6 months of riding this 1:15 - 1:30 timed loop at 3x per week and you are still running out of gas by the end each time you ride it. Have you considered going to your doctor to get a physical and discuss the situation? Might be worth a health check to see if there is any underlying issue. At the very least - to rule out health as an issue.

Outside of that, there are ways to work on your stamina/endurance/strength and ability to produce power throughout your ride to get faster (weights, base building, intervals, etc...). Tell us about your routine for this ride. Do you warm up? Are you going all out from the get go? Or do you have sections of the loop where you are able to recover from the harder efforts?

My typical daily diet is pretty good with a good amount of complex carbs, I am 25yo, 6'1" and 180lbs. I feel like i am in pretty decent shape overall. I run about 15 miles a week, rock climb.....etc.

What is your weekly schedule if you run 15 miles per week, do 3 bike rides on this loop per week and rock climb? Do you have rest and recovery days - or are you at it pretty much every day doing some physical activity (riding, running, climbing)? How many calories are you consuming per day? Hard to answer without knowing more, but it would seem that 6 months of riding this loop ought to have you in shape enough not to be getting to the point where you are simply not having the strength to turn the cranks, slumped over the bars, drained and all motivation gone
.

That has me worried with regard to a 1:15 - 1:30 ride and I would advise seeing your doctor before anything else.

BB
 

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If you're only riding off-road, you probably aren't getting the base work (aerobic) you need to stay fit. When I ride off-road, I'm either anaerobic or recovering. There's no steady cadence on the trails. I would never count on trail riding alone to keep me in racing shape.
 

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I'd say take BruceBrown's advice and maybe go see a doc and get a physical, 'cause you shouldn't be feeling tanked after that little time especially if you're eating right and had a good meal 2 hours prior. Try taking a long a snack bar and eating it just before you head -15 mins or so - and see if that helps.

Another thing you could try is reducing your rides to twice a week and making it two 2 loop rides a week, hence increasing your overall mileage per ride and in term this should help increase you stamina. Also don't put anything in place of the ride you're not doing, have that as a rest day with all your other activities. Accelerade is a good sports drink to try - I like the orange - it has some calories to it as well as some proteins in those calories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Typically no warmup, maybe a little stretching. I do not run, bike and climb that much in a single week. More like run 15 miles in a week and ride once, or ride three times and run a total of 6 miles in a week, climbing is rarely more than one day a week.
On the time part, I am not trying to set a personal best. Sometimes it is more of a casual than others. I just listed the time to show how long we were on the bikes.
As far s the doctor goes, it has been a while but my last checkup was about six months ago and everything was good to go...don't remember any specifics.
The ride consists of lots of short ups and downs and not many flat sections. It could also be that my inability to pace myself burns me out early, but I try not to go all out from the start if I can help it. That is much harder to do when riding alone.
 

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I would say it's base as well

Get out there and ride a little bit harder gear for more time than you usually do. Rest at least one day in between rides and don't be discouraged. It will come to you and when it does, you'll know. It's the rush after the ride and the desire to go a little bit further.
 

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assuming you fueled up well prior to starting, try taking 1 shot of Gu or Hammer Gel (my favorite because it tastes MUCH better) about 1/2 way into the ride, its only 100 calories but could be just the little edge you need. I get the same way sometimes on a ride, even though I had plenty to eat several hours before a ride, I still need to top off prior/during the ride. How much water are you drinking? The body only has 60-90 minutes of glycogen(generic figure) so it is possible you are just a fast burner.
 
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