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  1. #1
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    need guidance, strange problem.

    Hoping this is correct sub to post this.

    My issue is trying to ride within 1-2 hrs of waking up. Don't feel right and physical performance is crap.

    I'm a Clyde, was 360ish lbs 2yrs ago spring. 270ish now. Changed eating habits and got into riding. Found mtbing and now can't live without it lol.

    But anytime I wake up and hit trails (45 mins away + time to grab gear and load up etc= 1.5 hrs from waking up to hitting the pedals) I'm about half useless. It's like I'm in worse shape than I actually am. Especially bad if first mileage is climbing. I eat proper first thing and drink at least 1 liter bottle of water enroute to trails.

    If I'm awake for a couple hours or so before loading up then I'm riding at optimal so whole ride is a blast. But starting my day it's like I'm back to my first season of dying while trying to make a long climb.

    Hours of sleep (6vs8+) makes no difference on either scenario result is the same. Except less sleep makes morning issue worse.

    Don't eat a perfect diet I just avoid most junk 99% of the time, no soda, no processed junk so on. Occasional energy drink if I work late. Oh and used to smoke, did for several years till I started taking better care of myself.

    Hoping some of you guys that have done this (unhealthy to badass mtber)like I'm in the process of can help cause hate not being able to keep up on the morning group rides.
    Trek Marlin 29er

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  2. #2
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    I'd bet it's mostly food related. When you wake you haven't eaten for many hours, so if you start exercising it's a great way to start cutting into stores much faster, but you'll definitely have to dig deeper mentally to perform. You'll likely sacrifice some margin of fitness gain for that weight loss too. Eat about an hour before, and depending on you and what you ate, it could take longer to start having food energy available. Everyone's different as far as how they feel when running on empty, and it can usually be improved with conditioning and just getting used to it. And everyone starts to feel more, or much more sluggish when they get down below a certain bmi also.
    Oh and coffee, can't forget the coffee. Maybe eat a slowly digesting snack before bed so you're not as depleted in the am
    Last edited by theMeat; 12-30-2013 at 07:45 AM.
    Round and round we go

  3. #3
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    I can't ride early in the day without puking, which kinda sucks during these dark winter months.. I have always been a night owl though, some of us are just wired to be more efficient at different times than others.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    I can't ride early in the day without puking, which kinda sucks during these dark winter months.. I have always been a night owl though, some of us are just wired to be more efficient at different times than others.
    You can try starting out easier both in terms of how hard or far you push yourself normally, and how long you normally warm up. as well as giving yourself some more time awake before you head out.
    There's also not too much time to get fully hydrated without maybe feeling bloated, so have a glass of water first thing, then start sipping.
    Round and round we go

  5. #5
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    Curious what you eat when you wake up? Are you a morning person or does it generally take you time to get moving? From your post, I'm guessing you've tried different things. It also might be interesting to see if you did 5 minutes of cardio first thing. Maybe some jumping jacks, shadow boxing, etc. Basically wake the body up then eat and see how your body reacts during your ride.

    Try doing what Meat is suggesting. Maybe a tablespoon or two of almond butter right before you bed. I'd also try eating some fruit with a high glycemic index first thing, bananas for instance. Then try having something a bit later, maybe on your ride to the trail, that has a lower index to help provide you longer energy for your ride.

    Maybe sleep apnea. You might be depleted of oxygen when you first wake up. I don't know much about this so maybe someone could chime in.

    Along the same lines, Do you wake up at the same time everyday? Or are you waking up earlier on ride days? If so, it could be a circadian rhythm thing.

  6. #6
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    glycogen, glycogen, glycogen you have to fuel your glycogen levels. Oatmeal (any kind works) helps fuels glycogen levels which in turn gives you energy. Out on the trail you should refuel every 1 to 1 and half hours. But you should do research on how much fuel you need for your body weight. I am 180 lbs and this formula works well for me. Just think of your body as a machine (car) and the fact that you need to keep it fueled to operate will help keep things in perspective. Not in any way a nutrition expert, but found that this method works extremely well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I eat proper first thing
    What does that mean?

    Many folks exercise in the morning without even having eaten anything. The purpose is that the body is already in fat-burning mode from not having eaten for a while, so more exercise will burn more fat -> weight loss. But when you are in fat burning mode, you can't go as hard as when you are in carb burning mode. So take it easy.

  8. #8
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    I have a banana, soy protein shake made with water or soy milk, 1 1/2 to two hrs before a ride.....try to be awake at least two hrs before a ride...

  9. #9
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    I'm going on training only 30min after waking up, I eat oatmeal, NOT to much, just a little amount, and it's enough to me, because I don't have apetite during riding. After training I eat very much.

  10. #10
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    i have the same problem, when i eat cereal or bread&butter for breakfast i will suffer for at least 90 minutes after. insulin forbids the body from burning fat reserves so you're only running on what gets absorbed from breakfast.

    you might have the kind of metabolism that would benefit from adopting some form of low carb diet like atkins or paleo (i recommend Friel's book - paleo for athletes). i tried it last summer for 6 months, i cut grains, rice, potatoes, and i only got some sugar from fruit. it took about 6 weeks to teach the body to burn only fat, but after that it was awesome, i could wake up, jump on the bike without breakfast and just go for 3-4 hours at the same pace. when you're running on sugar you can't go more than 2 hours then you have to refuel with fast absorbtion crap, drink Coke, eat gels... and that will mess up the stomach for good.

  11. #11
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    Ya I have tried a few things. Didn't think about adjusting my food. But I'm a night person because of my job. I usually eat a small mix of protein and carbs. Peanut butter on whole wheat toast for example with a banana. I keep it light which might be half my issue, not eating enough so I don't "warm up" as body doesn't have enough nor quite correct types of food. I'm used to about 15mins roughly into a ride my body "opens up" and I'm good to go. But mornings my body just hangs in that first 15mins of being weak and tired for my entire ride.

    Weather has been **** (just look at weather on miss. River northern Illinois, lots of snow and arctic temps and winds) so haven't been able to test things out. Only have my 29er and no trainer yet either. Wife said I can use my OT to buy a trainer in just over a week.

    Also found 30mins of more sleep helps alot. But 30 mins above 4.5hrs of sleep or 6.5 I dunno lol. Going to track how much sleep I get, well 3 month old son lets me get and how I feel each day to sort out minimum sleep for optimal performance. Then using trainer going to play with food ratios and types prior to morning pedaling to see if I can sort this out.

    Thanks for the advise guys. Besides morning group rides, races are morning too and I want to do a few for fun this season possibly, need to be able to be good to go within 2hrs of waking up, preferably closer to 1-1.5. I'll keep my progress and things I try posted to give others with similar issues ideas.
    Trek Marlin 29er

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Ya I have tried a few things. Didn't think about adjusting my food. But I'm a night person because of my job. I usually eat a small mix of protein and carbs. Peanut butter on whole wheat toast for example with a banana. I keep it light which might be half my issue, not eating enough so I don't "warm up" as body doesn't have enough nor quite correct types of food. I'm used to about 15mins roughly into a ride my body "opens up" and I'm good to go. But mornings my body just hangs in that first 15mins of being weak and tired for my entire ride.

    Weather has been **** (just look at weather on miss. River northern Illinois, lots of snow and arctic temps and winds) so haven't been able to test things out. Only have my 29er and no trainer yet either. Wife said I can use my OT to buy a trainer in just over a week.

    Also found 30mins of more sleep helps alot. But 30 mins above 4.5hrs of sleep or 6.5 I dunno lol. Going to track how much sleep I get, well 3 month old son lets me get and how I feel each day to sort out minimum sleep for optimal performance. Then using trainer going to play with food ratios and types prior to morning pedaling to see if I can sort this out.

    Thanks for the advise guys. Besides morning group rides, races are morning too and I want to do a few for fun this season possibly, need to be able to be good to go within 2hrs of waking up, preferably closer to 1-1.5. I'll keep my progress and things I try posted to give others with similar issues ideas.
    When I was heavier (235lbs) I would always feel like crap for the first 45min of the ride. Now I am 40lbs lighter and changed my diet.

    I used to “carbo load” the night before and also in the morning before a ride. Banana, muffin….stuff along those lines.

    Now no more carbo loading the night before and in the morning I drink a tall glass of water with my breakfast of Greek yogurt and some sort of protein (I really like Turkey meatloaf). A cup of coffee and off I go. Feel GREAT from the start and make sure I eat every 45min or so. I can bust out long rides and never feel drained as long as I follow this routine.

  13. #13
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    Fist off to all the people who talk about the body moving into "fat burning" mode, take a look good look at your sources. The body uses glucose primarily for energy during exercise unless you are at a very low steady state. It is too long a process for fat to deliver the need for energy at a moderate to high intensity exercise which I believe mountain biking falls into. I'm not saying that you don't continue to burn fat but just at a lower % (not total absolute value). If you go on a ride while not eating you will be in a catabolic state, which means your body will start metabolising it's self and believe it or not it will take away muscle first because it is easily accessible its right there it doesn't have to be delivered to the working muscle.

    My suggestion for the OP would be to experiment with foods see what gives you more energy for a ride, make sure there is carbs in there (fruits, veggies, grains) as these will be your main source of energy, but you need to find out what works for you some foods work better for some people then others do. The other thing I would try is to go to sleep a half hour earlier and wake up a half hour earlier so you are awake a little closer to 2-2.5 hours before your ride to allow food to digest and absorb and for hormones to balance out before your ride.
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  14. #14
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    I'm in good riding shape, but much-prefer late morning and on, for intense rides. I have never felt as strong early, as I do later.

  15. #15
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    Your heart is a muscle and is working, does that get consumed too? How much of your fat or muscle that gets consumed for energy and at what points varies greatly. Do you think many smart successful bodybuilders use this trick again and again because it doesn't work? Althou
    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories View Post
    My suggestion for the OP would be to experiment
    is good advice, and yeah, check your sources.
    Round and round we go

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