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So tired after road biking...

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So tired after road biking...

Old 07-11-21, 09:56 AM
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lyle.coop
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So tired after road biking...

I recently started biking in NYC again. Some background - I have mountain biked for years with some road mixed in. Recently I started road biking about 20miles in the morning. Yesterday I did 40 miles at 16mph pace with 1000ft of elevation gain. When I got back I ate pasta bolognese and was immediately exhausted. I had to lay down. I couldn't sleep, just laid in bed for a few hours and read.

I drank over 70oz of water before, during and after that ride.

Today, same thing 35 miles at 15mph pace, I ate an ommelete and some yogurt. I'm again in bed - really tired. 80oz of water today.

Prior to both rides I eat a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. I'll have a bar on the road.

What can I do to prevent the onset of exhaustion after riding? I was thinking maybe some type of sports drink.

I'd like to ride in the morning and have a normal day.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:10 AM
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Had a health check up recently? It doesn't sound normal to be so tired after 35 flattish miles. A Clif bar, candy bar or cookie at about half way should be enough food.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:19 AM
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That's interesting. I haven't had a health checkup in years. But when i was riding 2 hours on my mountain bike (pretty intensely) id feel bonked afterwards. This was years ago. Back then I was getting health check ups with normal results. Slightly low vitamin D levels.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:35 AM
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It’s just conditioning, I think, and perfectly typically to be exhausted after a couple of hours of hard effort.

Keep at it, and you’ll get more fit and less tired afterwards.

Unless you’re extremely lean, I’d not worry about fueling for those distances. Perhaps some of the fatigue is from burning through glycolitic energy without the aerobic endurance to support it, so working on stamina and getting your body to run on stored energy may help prevent the energy peaks and troughs which make you feel fatigued in relatively short periods.

I’m no physiology expert, though, so I’ll defer to those who are regarding the mechanics of it, but certainly fatigue following exertion is normal, and fitness improves your ability to do work before the onset of fatigue.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:44 AM
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What is your overall fitness level like? Age? You said you recently started riding. You're doing 2 or 3 hours of riding which is a fairly long ride/exercise.

For a very long I've felt tired or sleepy after vigorous exercise. I do some bike commuting (morning and afternoon/evening) which is fine. However, I prefer to do vigorous exercise rides in the evenings (make sure you have good visibility clothing and lights if you get out too late).

In some cases,I can roll off the bicycle and into bed within an hour.

In your case, if you were doing well with 20 mile morning rides, then go ahead and keep that up. Perhaps slowly increment them longer. Anything longer, plan on afternoon, evening rides, or longer day rides.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:47 AM
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Oh, I might add mental stress can also be tiring. So, an NYC ride might be more stressful than a Hudson Tow Path ride.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:53 AM
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I would have the same reaction as you if I tried what you did without previous conditioning -- your reaction is completely normal. Especially in the hot of summer you need to slowly work up the length and strain on your rides. Either ease up on your pace, add more breaks, or shorten the rides until you adapt.

I would include electrolytes in your water. It also helps to have a heart rate monitor and you will know if you are over-exerting that way so you can ease up or take a break before you wipe yourself out.
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Old 07-11-21, 10:58 AM
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I use that as a measure of fitness-

if I can do a hard ride & not have to take a nap after, it means that I'm fit. I could not count the number of times that I've been useless for hours after a tough ride.

So the ride intensity can be scaled back, & gradually increased, or keep the intensity and the naps until fitness catches up.
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Old 07-11-21, 11:12 AM
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You'd been doing 20 mile rides and then went twice the distance and were exhausted? Does this surprise you? It shouldn't.
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Old 07-11-21, 11:48 AM
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Maybe try eating some food during your ride. You are probably burning up around 4-5 hundred calories an hour and you could just be getting depleted.
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Old 07-11-21, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post

Unless you’re extremely lean, I’d not worry about fueling for those distances. Perhaps some of the fatigue is from burning through glycolitic energy without the aerobic endurance to support it, so working on stamina and getting your body to run on stored energy may help prevent the energy peaks and troughs which make you feel fatigued in relatively short periods.
5'9", 163lbs. So leanish. But I can definitely reduce some fat around the waist line (front and back).
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Old 07-11-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What is your overall fitness level like? Age? You said you recently started riding. You're doing 2 or 3 hours of riding which is a fairly long ride/exercise.
Fitness is pretty good. I'm 47.
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Old 07-11-21, 12:08 PM
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Sounds I need to either get fitter or reduce my intensity / ride length to avoid napping after my rides. Fair enough. I'll go back to 20 mile rides and build up from there.

Thanks
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Old 07-11-21, 12:37 PM
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Yeah, build up the distance/speed incrementally. Try to get down 20g of protein straight after the ride eg 3 eggs or a protein shake. Try electrolytes in your ride drinks too.
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Old 07-11-21, 12:39 PM
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You may not have the BMI of the top pro tour riders, but I wouldn't be overly concerned about your weight unless you have a goal to be a top hill climber. Lose 10 lbs over time?

Mix it up some. So some "routine" 20 mile rides. And, some 40+ mile rides knowing you'll be beat afterwards. Afternoons and evenings?

You could likely push it even longer... 50 miles? 100 miles?

Being tired after a hard workout may actually be a good thing.
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Old 07-11-21, 12:51 PM
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Eat something before you ride. Do you drive your car without Fuel?
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Old 07-11-21, 01:02 PM
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I tend to associate not hydrating well with prolonged tiredness and fatigue after a ride. But it sounds like you hydrated reasonably. I also tend to feel that under consumption of carbohydrates during the ride also contribute to that same feeling to a lesser extent. But you need to make sure you are getting the carb's you need both during the ride and immediately after.

So how many carb's did you consume while on the ride? A 2.5 hour ride for me will have me consuming 300 to 400 Calories. Almost exclusively what I put in my bottles. I seldom eat anything while riding. When I get finished, I usually get another 300 Calories, mostly carbs and some protein fairly soon after the ride.

I also don't worry much about a "pre-ride" meal. Riding with too much in my stomach has always seemed more detrimental to my performance than not having anything in my stomach.

Mostly it might just be you are doing too much too soon since you said you just started back. Also, if you are riding in a group trying to keep up with them, then you might be over reaching at the moment and fully exhausting yourself just so they don't make fun of you. <grin>
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Old 07-11-21, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
Sounds I need to either get fitter or reduce my intensity / ride length to avoid napping after my rides. Fair enough. I'll go back to 20 mile rides and build up from there.

Thanks
Or, you know, plan on a nice nap after your longer rides. Naps are great!
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Old 07-11-21, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
I recently started biking in NYC again. Some background - I have mountain biked for years with some road mixed in. Recently I started road biking about 20miles in the morning. Yesterday I did 40 miles at 16mph pace with 1000ft of elevation gain. When I got back I ate pasta bolognese and was immediately exhausted. I had to lay down. I couldn't sleep, just laid in bed for a few hours and read.

I drank over 70oz of water before, during and after that ride.

Today, same thing 35 miles at 15mph pace, I ate an ommelete and some yogurt. I'm again in bed - really tired. 80oz of water today.

Prior to both rides I eat a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. I'll have a bar on the road.

What can I do to prevent the onset of exhaustion after riding? I was thinking maybe some type of sports drink.

I'd like to ride in the morning and have a normal day.
80 oz of water during the ride???? or 80 oz of water in 24 hrs ? Typically, water intake should be in the 20 to 24 oz an hour range. At 15 mph, you are looking at 2.25 hours or so...so maybe 40 at the most.

But like others have said, could be conditioning. I did 50 on Saturday then came home and did 2.5 hours of yard work in the sweltering heat\humidity of Florida, but I am used to these conditions.
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Old 07-12-21, 05:26 AM
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It could be conditioning, or not...

I've ridden for decades. I competed in my 20's and have always been active in one activity or another. My weight fluctuated but I was never obese. I've always had high cholesterol and have taken medication to control it.

I was doing about 200 miles a week at the time (9 years ago). I live across the river from you and often ride up 9W to Piermont and Nyack. I would be tired after my rides like you. When I bought a Garmin I noticed that I would have crazy high HR during parts of my rides, especially during climbs (Clausland, Tweet, Alpine, etc...), like nutz high (240 bpm/50 y.o.). I never really paid it much mind. I'd roll to the cafe, grab an iced tea and a scone and catch my breath.

My wife, in an effort to get me off of statins, sent me to her Cardiologist, who she thought was brilliant. I tell her my stories and give her my riding details and she's stunned. She can't believe my data. So, I do a stress test, which I am sure I'm going to ace. Within 6 minutes she takes me off the treadmill. I'm a damn cyclist, how do I fail a stress test! After going through a battery of other tests (all complete fails) it is determined that 2 of my coronary arteries are completely occluded and the other three have major blockages. The only thing that's keeping me alive is "The most complex set of collateral vessels I have ever seen"-Head Thoracic Surgeon, Beth Isreal.

Don't screw around. Get checked out by a Cardiologist. My first mistake was letting an Internist guide my heart health and making assumptions based on crap guidance from well-meaning friends.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:03 AM
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Did you skip your morning coffee?

If I'm up early and forgot my coffee I'm extra tired after my ride. Took a bit to figure that out.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by lyle.coop View Post
Sounds I need to either get fitter or reduce my intensity / ride length to avoid napping after my rides. Fair enough. I'll go back to 20 mile rides and build up from there.

Thanks
This seems like the best idea, build gradually. I'm 67 and 200 pounds and I get pretty tired after a hard ride and I love my naps.
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Old 07-12-21, 11:06 AM
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Personally, I'd go for the nap.

Also, if you're riding > 2hours in the heat, don't just drink water.

You need something with electrolytes.
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Old 07-12-21, 01:10 PM
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There is some good advice here BUT before you do any of it, you need to go see your Doc. This could be basic fatigue from being new to road biking or it could be something medical...My wife was having similar issues and was found to be anemic. Some supplements and she is back on track...
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Old 07-13-21, 07:45 AM
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Update --- so the days I was really tired after riding, I'd attempt to nap. Really just laid out on the couch. After a few hours of dragging a$$, I get to the gym and roll my legs on a black foam roller. I'll spend about 10-15 minutes rolling followed by stretching. Then I'll lift weights (nothing heavy). Deadlift, military press, bench, maybe leg press. When I'm finished in the gym, I'm close to feeling 100%. Mentally and physically. My energy level is way up and stays that way until bedtime.

I don't know much about sport science, but I'm wildly guessing the acid built up in my legs after a ride is causing overall body exhaustion. Rolling, stretching and lifting is helping speed up the removal of the acid. Does this idea hold up with current views in sports science?

I'm going to do a ride tomorrow morning, refuel and relax for an hour and then hit the gym. I'm interested in seeing what my energy levels are like during the rest of the day.
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