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How many days prior to century to go off diet?(7 posts)

How many days prior to century to go off diet?rpicayo
May 8, 2002 9:41 AM
The century is in two weeks. I'm currently consuming about 500 calories less a day than I would normally. My question is how many days before the century should I return to normal calorie consumption. Is the day before sufficient? Two days? More? Would just a big night-before-carbo load do the trick?
re: How many days prior to century to go off diet?mixinbeatz
May 8, 2002 10:00 AM
Why are you reducing calories for a century ride? If you are hoping to get a competitive edge in a recreational century, maybe you should think about getting into racing. My personal plan is to reduce calories during the winter to keep weight gain to a minimum. Just by riding more during the preseason and racing season seems to enable me to drop more weight with normal calorie intake. At this point reducing calories may hurt more than the 1.2 pounds you may loose. Good luck.
Absolutely unscientific opinionMcAndrus
May 8, 2002 11:28 AM
I'm assuming you're on a general diet but don't want to be in some kind of nutritional deficit for the century. I'd say four days prior.

I base my opinion on stuff I've read about carbo-loading for a big race. In those cases, I've seen recommendations to start carbo-loading three or maybe four days in advance.
It's just a century.grzy
May 8, 2002 1:06 PM
I'd advise you just ride. Dunno what your objective is, but eating ballanced will do more for you than some goofy diet-of-the-month plan. The key to a century, besides getting in enough miles, is to keep yourself hydrated and with enough food. It's easy to get carried away ride fast and forget to eat and drink. Unless you're doing self supported non-stop event there will be lots to eat and drink. Taking advantage of it is up to you. In the end you're only talking about 500 calorie difference in a day - it will hardly matter.
some of us ride to lose weight or keep the pounds off ...tarwheel
May 9, 2002 4:00 AM
I'm sure that explains the 500 cal/day deficit. Back to your question, I would try to eat more normally starting about 3-4 days before the century, getting plenty of carbs -- pasta, whole wheat bread, etc. I try to watch what I eat to lose weight and have never bonked on a century or other long rides. I always make sure I eat a good dinner the night before, usually spaghetti or other pasta dish, and then 1-2 bowls of cereal and a banana the morning of the ride. During the century, make sure to grab bites to eat at the rest stops, drink plenty of water and supplement with some Gatorade or similar products.
agree with 3-4 dayssalmonwheel
May 9, 2002 9:14 AM
What I've read about topping off glycogen stores is to that the few days before are more important than the night before. If it were me, I would return to a normal diet a week prior to the event. You'll burn plenty of calories riding a century, and you can always return to your diet after. I had stopped limiting my calories by the time I did my first century. I had the cycling bug so bad, I felt like I needed to eat all the time to slow my weight loss.
during vs. beforeDougSloan
May 9, 2002 9:44 AM
I've found that on long rides what I consume during the ride is more important than what I ate before.

I'd just eat normally. Don't pig out the day before or the morning of the ride. That can cause stomach/intestinal problems.

If you have been dieting, I'd bet you can top off glycogen stores easily the day before the ride. Your body doesn't hold that much glycogen, anyway, and it pretty good at restoring it. Eat too much and it's just converted to fat.

I'd focus on getting decent carbs and water the day before and during the ride. That's the key.

Oh, and don't ride too fast.