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I recently completed my first sportive of the summer, 52 miles starting at 8am. I am not normally a morning person but I duly got up and had breakfast. I normally just have a bowl of cereal and get off to work as soon as possible. That day I had some rice pudding thinking it would be a bit heavier, then a Kellogg's elevenses bar before the start. Even so after 30miles I was famished. I normally training after work or weekend afternoons. I had a big gulp of water and pushed on rather than stop at a food station and loose time. However, I have 100 and 92 mile events coming up and won't just be able to push through to the end.
Can anyone suggest a good breakfast before sportives for a not normally early riser? Porridge you say? Anything other than porridge?

15 comments

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dunnoh [212 posts] 3 years ago
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Porridge with dried fruit and honey I'm afraid. Then a pint of SIS Rego just before I start. Some gels and snickers and whatever I can lay my hands on later on

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Nzlucas [128 posts] 3 years ago
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I am not an a real expert but I would have thought what you had was a bit too surgery and rice pudding probably sits in the high GI type of rice.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/267455-the-glycemic-index-of-rice-vari...

Cereal bars are packed with sugar and I would avoid them too.

Don't neglect eating on the bike too. I try and have a mouth ful of something every 20 mins, starting with complex carbs working towards high GI shots etc as the ride goes on. Try one bottle water and a second bottle electrolyte or energy drink too, makes a big difference to me how I feel during and after rides.

Cheers

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Simon E [3018 posts] 3 years ago
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What you eat and drink during the event - little and often BTW - is far more important than what you eat beforehand, both the quality as well as the quantity.

I would avoid processed breakfast cereals cereal bars, they'll just give you a sugar spike and no sustained energy. Try a good quality muesli or granola, adding a chopped apple/pear/banana, dried apricots & raisins or sultanas and some nuts & seeds. Soak it in milk or juice.

@dunnoh - a pint of SIS Rego before you start? Yikes!!!

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pashda [15 posts] 3 years ago
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Poridge for breakfast then take a load of energy bars in your jersey pockets. Works for me eating one every 20-25 miles. Still get tired after a long ride but it helps delay the fatigue. REGO is supposed to be a recovery drink for after your long ride. SIS SP22 is the energy drink I think.

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Hector Ch [55 posts] 3 years ago
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Recent article on Bicycling.com mentions 1 cup of dry oatmeal (cooked in water, no sugar). 2 eggs cooked however you like them, and a serving of fruit.. Sugar to be avoided.

Tried it this AM, found the 1 cup of oatmeal to be too much, so I would personally cut it down to 1/2 cup. 2 eggs would be for every other day. Also had some almonds for "good fat".

Did a hilly 40km ride with a medium climb, and only needed 1 gel..

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Hector Ch [55 posts] 3 years ago
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Also, when on the bike, instead of sugary gels and energy bars, go for a "François" ala Allen Lim : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UiuqIWGe_s

According to my brother, who used them on a 88km arse-buster climbing ride last Sunday, they work a TREAT !

I'm also curious to try this: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/12/news/begin-race-day-with-chef-bij...

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dunnoh [212 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

What you eat and drink during the event - little and often BTW - is far more important than what you eat beforehand, both the quality as well as the quantity.

I would avoid processed breakfast cereals cereal bars, they'll just give you a sugar spike and no sustained energy. Try a good quality muesli or granola, adding a chopped apple/pear/banana, dried apricots & raisins or sultanas and some nuts & seeds. Soak it in milk or juice.

@dunnoh - a pint of SIS Rego before you start? Yikes!!!

That's only for big rides. And a pint might be a bit much. More like half a pint! Just gives me buzz and seems to get the legs working on early starts

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CraigS [129 posts] 3 years ago
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Granola with yoghurt does the trick quite well, particularly in the summer heat when you don't want hot porridge, but it still isn't quite as good as porridge.

For a long ride I'll have porridge and scrambled egg afterwards (read somewhere once it's good for a bit of energy after the porridge runs out) with enough time for it to go down then a flapjack very early into the ride.

On the bike what I eat will get progressively more sugary, moving from slow burn energy to quickly absorbed boosts to get me over the line.

dunnoh wrote:

Then a pint of SIS Rego just before I start

Why before out of interest? I know the fruitflow gels you're supposed to have before but I thought Rego was a post-ride recovery drink?

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Bedfordshire Clanger [344 posts] 3 years ago
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If all of the breakfast suggestions seem unappealing, just double up on what you usually have. Don't forget that the night before's meal is important too. It will help if you have a big one with plenty of pasta or basmati rice. The advice about eating little and often is spot on and don't forget to keep hydrated.

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dunnoh [212 posts] 3 years ago
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On the advice of my brother I started having Rego after rides and it really helped. Mainly the fatigue - I commute by bike and try to do at least one decent ride a week. I got so tired I could barely walk. It seemed to really work. One morning I could barely get out of bed to go riding and I though sod it and had Rego before riding and it just seemed to really help. Might be the salt/sugar/multivits and a bit of rehydration. Just helps when you cant face breakfast at 6 in the morning and the protein in it fills you up a bit.

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spongebob [277 posts] 3 years ago
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For my 40-50 mile training rides I normally have a cup of coffee with milk and sugar and take some water with me.

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Leviathan [2550 posts] 3 years ago
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Rego and all these gels always seem so expensive compared to, you know real food, and don't taste great. But most snack foods are so sugary. I often see the pros eating what looks like a bar of pure carbs wrapped in foil, unless it is some hot cheddar cheese I don't know what this is.
I get the need for low GI foods and porridge would be okay but it might not be practical if you have to camp out to get to race starts if you are not a driver. Maybe a yoghurt and cup of granola would be a good replacement and an all-day-breakfast sandwich for protein if a fry up is too much or not possible.

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Simon E [3018 posts] 3 years ago
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@bikeboy - I agree about sports stuff mostly tasting a bit gack and consider it handy for convenience/a last resort.

Most pro teams use cooked rice cakes/balls (google for garmin team allen lim rice), fruit and various other real food on a long stage as well as bars, gels etc. Velo News gallery with Saxo-Tinkoff:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/gallery/gallery-inside-the-feedzo...

A fried breakfast is high in saturated fat, which will take a lot longer to break down than other foods, especially pork. Not a good idea if you're asking your body to work hard soon afterwards. Baked beans and boiled or poached eggs may be a better idea if you're cooking al fresco, though sticking a pan of oats on the primus is pretty simple.

Why not make some fruity/seeded flapjacks beforehand? It's dead easy and you can wrap the squares individually in cling film. More ideas:
Bikeradar's Fitness & Nutrition section at http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/
http://www.midlanddc.org.uk/node/43
http://www.optimumnutrition4sport.com/?page_id=110
(lots more good stuff on that website)

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Simon E [3018 posts] 3 years ago
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I see Saxo team diet is now gluten-free with lots of veg and good quality oils and organic foodstuffs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGnQx8qnS4Q
https://www.facebook.com/thedailystews

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SlowSPDRider [29 posts] 3 years ago
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Porridge and bananas for breakfast.

Shot bloks on the road. Most palatable for me . Gels aren't for me.

Peanut butter and nut whole food bars? Used in ultra running . Might be good for cycling too.