Long road race nutrition

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Long road race nutrition

Postby michaelten » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:54 pm

I've entered the NSW Masters road race, it will be my first long race at 127km's. For people who have competed in a long road race like this what do you do for food and drink during the race? Also, what do you eat before the race for breakfast and how long before the start do you eat it?

I've been trying out different methods on longer training rides but I don't think I've got it right yet!
So far I've tried just riding with gels, I find I get some intense stomach cramps by the end of the ride. They are fine on rides around 80km's but by the time I'm up around 120+ it's no good.
I've also tried mixing up a bottle of Hammer Perpetuem, I found that pretty good actually but obviously it means I lose a bottle of water so I'm not sure how that may work during the race.
How much water/powerade would you go through for a race this long?

Any ideas from experienced racers welcomed!
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by BNA » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:51 pm

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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby NeillS » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:51 pm

Depending on terrain and average speed you're looking at 3-4 hours of cycling. I would do this;

2 hours before ride starts, eat a good breakfast of oats/muesli/banana
If the ride starts early and you don't have 2 hours to digest that full breakfast, then have a banana and a liquid carb/protein mix (I use those Sanitarium Up N Go things) which can be absorbed quickly.
Eat a 50-60g energy bar every hour during the ride
Eat a small packet of sultanas every hour spaced 30 mins apart from the energy bars
Drink powerade mix as much as you normally do (I find hydration amounts are quite variable between people) according to individual preferences
Take 3-4 Gels and use only if you start to feel impending bonking (which shouldn't happen if you've eaten enough)

Good luck!
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:26 pm

Hi Michael. I don't race any more but I have "handled" for dozens of riders at the last 10 Goulburn to Sydneys (170km) plus managed teams at other long races. Its possible to race 170km on 2 bottles of water and one gel, my son did it quite successfully last year in just over 4 hours, but for most riders, this is what they do"
Breakfast 3 hours before the race start. Cereal and toast. Up and Go. If you need to, get out of bed, have the breakfast, and go back to bed. For NSW masters you will need to drive anyway so you will have time.
For the race take 2 large 600mL bidons, one water and one Powerade or Endura. Drink the water first. Use the Poweade/ Endura to bring you home in the second half. If its a hot day, slip one or two of those small 250mL pop-top type juices in your rear pocket. But pour the juice out and have PowerAde in them. 2 bidons is usually enough.
For food, well if the smack is going down, you wont have time to eat. Its not a charity ride :) One or 2 gels should do it, make sure they have no caffeine in them. The ones from Woolies (Winners) are gentle on the stomach and do the job. have one at 60km and another at 90km.
As for energy bars, I wouldn't eat more than about half a Cadel bar at the most, if you want something a bit solid in the stomach. Or half a muesli bar. Take it easy on the energy bars.


It will be a 3 hour race. You can get through it on a lot less than you think.
120km in training is close to 5 hours. You need some serious food for that. But a 3 hour race, you will need some gels and Powerade in the last hour only.
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Marty Moose » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:51 pm

Great advice derny, personally I find endura better than powerade.

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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm

A lot depends on what your stomach can handle. I had great difficulty dealing with anything solid, with the exception of bananas. So this is an old timer's one handed banana treatment.

Race bananas can not be green.
Do not peel the banana but instead cut it into 2cm segments, then put a slit through the skin only, from one face to the other. Then just load the bits into your pocket.
The skin keeps the banana from getting mucky in your pocket (and vice versa) pretty well. When you have the chance, pull out one bite sized bit of banana, put your thumbnail into the slit, peel the segment into your mouth and dispose of the skin thoughtfully.

I wouldn't eat bananas in a bunch any other way.

Then again I knew one bloke who swore by vegemite sandwiches...

I generally don't ride so far these days, so I have no need to take food with me.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Aussiebullet » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:27 am

Derny Driver wrote:For food, well if the smack is going down, you wont have time to eat. Its not a charity ride :) One or 2 gels should do it, make sure they have no caffeine in them. The ones from Woolies (Winners) are gentle on the stomach and do the job. have one at 60km and another at 90km.
As for energy bars, I wouldn't eat more than about half a Cadel bar at the most, if you want something a bit solid in the stomach. Or half a muesli bar. Take it easy on the energy bars.




I didn't know Woolies sold gels, what section are they in and is "Winners" the brand name or product name?
I prefer caffine but it's not important, can still solve that with no doz.

I will be doing the masters RR too, Michaelten what cat will you be in? I'm masters 2

Brian.
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Aussiebullet » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:48 am

Just googled Winners gels and energy bars, damn how did I miss these!
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Abby » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:00 am

The Winners bars regularly go on special at Woolies, if you try them and like them then stock up when they are marked down... :)
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:19 am

michaelten wrote:So far I've tried just riding with gels, I find I get some intense stomach cramps by the end of the ride.


Michael, make sure you drink enough water in conjunction with them to wash all the solids into your stomach. Don't have anything remaining. There may even be a warning on the pack.

If you still have the problem, you may be different from other people and intolerant to one of the ingredients, such as fructose. Some less effective don't have that one, BTW.
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:19 am

michaelten wrote:So far I've tried just riding with gels, I find I get some intense stomach cramps by the end of the ride.


Michael, make sure you drink enough water in conjunction with them to wash all the solids into your stomach. Don't have anything remaining. There may even be a warning on the pack.

If you still have the problem, you may be different from other people and intolerant to one of the ingredients, such as fructose. Some less effective don't have that one, BTW.
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby michaelten » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:23 pm

Thanks very much for the advice.

I actually use the Winners gels, I have found those the best so far. I like the Winners bars on a training ride although as Derny said I think if the race is on I'm not going to be able to chew one of those without choking!

The bananas sliced up is a great idea! I was thinking bananas but wasn't so sure how I would go peeling them in the middle of a race.

I think I've probably been thinking too much about the distance rather than the length of time the race will run.

Aussiebullet,

I'll be in Masters 1, I've definitely bitten off more than I can chew but I'm going to give it go!

Has anyone done the course down there? How did you find it?
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Re: Long road race nutrition

Postby Strawburger » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:12 pm

The course is fast! But then again, it depends on tactics and how it plays out...
n=10 (2013 & 2004 roads,2010 track,2x 2009 foldups,1990 hybrid,1992 trainer,2007 rental,1970's step through,1980's zeus)
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