Clackers comments abiut burning carbs are accurate. You *can* burn only fat but the intensity is very low, the pace slow and would apply to a flat or downhill course on the road.
To ride at pace on a course like Ourimbah for more than an hour let alone 5 or 8 as they do for some events you're going to need carbs at the rate of 1 to 1.2 grams per kg of body mass per hour, starting in the first 15 minutes. Otherwise you'll end up in a deep dark place known as "the bonk".
Fats metabolise and provide energy at a much slower rate than glycogen, and you still need some glycogen in the process.
There are sports drinks and there are sports drinks. Gatorade and the other sucrose based lolly waters they promote to the punters are rightly dismissed as rubbish. Products like Endura and High5 have sound science behind them, and they work.
Thanks for the advice, ive got the nutrition side of things sorted. More concentrated on the skills acquisition. I can't say I will never do an endurance MTB event but they are not on the radar at the moment. I checked out the website you linked and they looked good in terms of what they offer, their website is a bit clunky. What one did you do? Beginner/intermediate or intermediate? By the looks of it, it's only $75 too which is very reasonable.
I went for a ride yesterday around town just to get out and it was fantastic! Mucked around with my cockpit controls position, saddle etc. I also found some double flights of stairs to ride down which I very intimidated by at first. Must have gone down them almost a dozen times and each time I did my best to relax, get my weight back a little and not freak out! Have got some confidence back now to tackle the trails as soon as this cough of mine buggers off.
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