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  1. #1
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    Nutrition for 80 Mile Road Race

    Looked through some of the other threads but didn't find what I was looking for. I am planning on doing a road race at the end of this month. I have never done a road race so this will be new for me. My weekend rides consists of a 50-60 mile ride per day so the extra 20 miles doesn't worry me. What I am curios about is how to stay hydrated and not bonk. My weekend rides have a stop so we can refill and whatnot, but this isn't true for a road race. The last time I did a road race type event, I ran out of water not even halfway through. It was a very hot 50 mile ride, where 40 of the 50 miles was an unofficial race. Halfway through, I ran out of water just before the turnaround point. I was suffering hard up until the sprint where I somehow got a second wind and finished in the top 10. So for this 80 mile race, how can I make sure I have enough water to survive? Should I bring bigger bottles and not drink them so quickly? Are there support cars that hand out water during these events? Also, I only drink water during all my rides regardless of distance/temperature/intensity. Should I start drinking mixed drinks instead?

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    Senior Member Spoonrobot's Avatar
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    Vuelta A Miami?

    I think there is a feed zone. Find a friend for water hand-ups. You can easily carry enough food in your pockets.

    Here's a race report from 2009. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...mi-RACE-REPORT

    Here's some dude's Strava from last year. http://www.strava.com/activities/15314361

  3. #3
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    For a number of reasons, it's best to have calorie replenishment (and electrolytes) in your water bottles. It evens out the consumption, ensures you do get it, and gets it working quickly. Many people like HEED. Honey water is a good au natural alternative. Massive water consumption can be a sign that you are 'over the edge', and it isn't always helpful. Try to drink small quantities at a time, consistently. For capacity, use big bottles, and carry one or two in your jersey pockets. Or go Fred, and use a (frozen to start) hydration pack under your jersey, but be aware that can trap heat once it melts and warms up.

    Over time, you'll likely find you need less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
    Vuelta A Miami?

    I think there is a feed zone. Find a friend for water hand-ups. You can easily carry enough food in your pockets.
    Yup that's the one. I will try and convince my parents to sacrifice their morning. But I'm sure with all those people and many of them not on a team, the feed zone can be pretty messy.

    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    For a number of reasons, it's best to have calorie replenishment (and electrolytes) in your water bottles. It evens out the consumption, ensures you do get it, and gets it working quickly. Many people like HEED. Honey water is a good au natural alternative. Massive water consumption can be a sign that you are 'over the edge', and it isn't always helpful. Try to drink small quantities at a time, consistently. For capacity, use big bottles, and carry one or two in your jersey pockets. Or go Fred, and use a (frozen to start) hydration pack under your jersey, but be aware that can trap heat once it melts and warms up.

    Over time, you'll likely find you need less.
    I've adapted the "drink before you get thirsty" mantra, and might have over drank when I really did not need to. Drinking out of habit rather than necessity. If I was able to survive 20 miles without any water in zone 4-5, I'm sure I could've been better off doing one bottle per 20 miles. I have to start trying out different drink mixes because I haven't found one I've liked yet. I've stuck with water because it works, settles well with my stomach, free (mostly), and don't need to bother with mixing.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Here's an good overview from WebMD vis a vis water vs sport drink... protein, carbs, sugars... before, during, after ...: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/w...13_ld-stry&mb=

    For more complete and thorough info, I suggest "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes" by Ryan.

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    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Here is a nice blog posting from Joe Friel. It is a 3 part series and I have linked part 2.
    http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblo...se-part-2.html

    Drink when thirsty not out of habit. I started out much like and drank quite a bit out of habit and went through water like crazy. I have cut back and use a bit more of a "honey mixture" now and focus and small frequent sips when thirsty and find it tremendously helpful.
    After my first hour in a road race I am constantly snacking on something. I find the cliff shot blocks work well in the pack and Gu a little easier to down if in a break.

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    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    For a number of reasons, it's best to have calorie replenishment (and electrolytes) in your water bottles.
    YMMV. I like water in my bottles and shot blocks in my pocket (or tucked into the end of my shorts if things are likely to get desperate). If it's cool out I will sometimes mix some honey into a bottle but I can't bear to drink anything but straight water if it's hot out.

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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    YMMV. I like water in my bottles and shot blocks in my pocket (or tucked into the end of my shorts if things are likely to get desperate). If it's cool out I will sometimes mix some honey into a bottle but I can't bear to drink anything but straight water if it's hot out.
    +1

    I can't drink that stuff. It tastes like ass and I'd be more likely to dehydrate. I drink water and eat food. It's worked for athletes for a very long time.

  9. #9
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I have difficulty eating during a hard effort. I have to essentially choke it down, not always succeeding, and food in my stomach seems to give me a 'side-stitch'. So it's liquids for me. Primarily slightly-diluted honey, and for training that's in a flask. For a race I mix everything into a bottle, for simplicity, and so I can't 'forget to eat'. As my wife constantly points out, I am incapable of combining riding and cogent thought. If I could eat regular food successfully in a race I'd do that, but alas, that's not in the cards for me.

    Nothing is as refreshing as ice-water. But what is pleasant, and what works, aren't always the same thing. We all need to find out what works for us, and we need to do that before race day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    I have difficulty eating during a hard effort. I have to essentially choke it down, not always succeeding, and food in my stomach seems to give me a 'side-stitch'. So it's liquids for me. Primarily slightly-diluted honey, and for training that's in a flask. For a race I mix everything into a bottle, for simplicity, and so I can't 'forget to eat'. As my wife constantly points out, I am incapable of combining riding and cogent thought. If I could eat regular food successfully in a race I'd do that, but alas, that's not in the cards for me.

    Nothing is as refreshing as ice-water. But what is pleasant, and what works, aren't always the same thing. We all need to find out what works for us, and we need to do that before race day.
    I don't always eat when I ride, but things tend to go down pretty easily. I fill my bottles with ice and water and it truly is the best thing I enjoy especially considering how hot it is down here. I'm not sure if its the best for me, performance wise, but at least mentally its refreshing.

    I tried riding with Gatorade last weekend, but after my first sip, I turned around and went home to change my bottles back to water. I've tried nuun and didn't feel any difference so only used one tube. I might give heed a try since I've heard good things. Or maybe that maltedextron thing.

  11. #11
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    I could eat a ****ing steak on the bike if I'm hungry. Knife and fork. I got mad skills.

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    You've got four weeks to find out what works for you. Not an ideal situation, but it is what it is.

    What seems to work for me is Clif bars, about one per hour. Before you start, open the packages and cut them up into six chunks each, and stick the chunks back in the packages or in a baggie. Start munching on them by the end of the first hour. Make sure you wash it down with about a quarter bottle of water. Clif bars are ~240 calories each, which is about what your body can deal with each hour, so aim for six chunks/hour.

    80 miles will take three-four hours. I go through a bottle/hour. If it were me, and I was sure there was no neutral water available, I'd take four bottles - two in the cages and two in jersey pockets. Yeah, your pockets will be stuffed.

    You didn't address eating prior to the race. That's a whole 'nother topic, but make sure you do it.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

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    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    What seems to work for me is Clif bars
    See, now I would asphyxiate for sure if I tried to eat a bar during a race. Everybody's different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    See, now I would asphyxiate for sure if I tried to eat a bar during a race. Everybody's different.
    Yup, that's why we're all throwing stuff up against his wall and seeing what sticks for him.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    For me:

    - bottle of water with 1/2 Nuun tablet, one bottle with HEED
    - 3rd optional plain water bottle, depending on how hot it is out or if there is a neutral feed. for only 80 miles I'd probably just do two bottles unless it was 95-degrees+
    - a flask with a Perpetuem mix in it
    - maybe a sleeve or two of Shot Blox, but I find that it's hard to deal with unwrapping solid foods in a race/digging it out of your pockets during the race

    I don't think it matters how or in what form you get calories/carbs in during the race, just that you do.
    cat 1.

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    Cat 5 Mod Jandro's Avatar
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    1 bottle of water
    1 bottle of water with Nuun tab
    1 cliffbar (protip: pre-open the bag, cut the bar into 6-8 pieces, and put it back into the bag. I've got it so I can reach into my pocket and pull out individual pieces. Much easier.)
    1 shotblocks sleeve (pre-opened)

    I haven't done a race that needed more than that, yet. Optional 3rd water bottle for when it's 95F+
    Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.

  17. #17
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Hey fuggers I'm not dead.

    Search and read what I wrote for Big John and adjust accordingly.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    Hey fuggers I'm not dead.

    Search and read what I wrote for Big John and adjust accordingly.
    Link? Don't know where that thread is...

    I'm going to ride with another group this weekend as the one I usually ride with has not really prepared me for this. The one I usually do is 50 miles but has 2 "sprint zones" and is about 10 miles each where they are race type efforts. But in between they are just cruising around at 20 mph. Since I ride it every Saturday, I've brought less and less things on the ride. I would start out with a decent breakfast, 2 bottles of Gatorade, gels, and banana's and sometimes a cliff bar. Now all I take is 2 bottles of water with no food or breakfast and that lasts me the whole ride and I'll be perfectly fine at the end. I'm going to do a 60 mile hammer type ride where most of the ride is at higher efforts and try out some of your different suggestions and see what happens. Going to start off with one bottle of water and one with either heed or nuun plus cliff bars as I'm used to them. Don't want to completely shock my stomach into something radically different.

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    I'm going to do a 60 mile hammer type ride where most of the ride is at higher efforts and try out some of your different suggestions and see what happens. Going to start off with one bottle of water and one with either heed or nuun plus cliff bars as I'm used to them.
    Good plan, but a couple of things to note:
    - Heed has calories, about the same as Gatorade. Nuun has about four calories. Keep that in mind when deciding how much Clif bar to munch.
    - Eat breakfast. You body has about 2,000 calories of glycogen when fully charged. If you skip breakfast, you have done an eight-ten hour fast, so much of that glycogen has been used overnight to keep your body running. Eat whatever you've found that sits well, but eat.
    - There's no prize for eating as little as possible. I'm not suggesting you should stuff yourself, but make sure you eat enough to keep going. Bonks are no fun - ask anyone who's been through that.

    Just for context, my training ride this morning was 2:29, and included muscle tension and tempo intervals. I burned just under 1500 calories, based on what my Garmin and Powertap tell me. That's less than race intensity, and was all of 44 miles. I weigh ~180. If I were to do your race, I'd probably burn more than twice that.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  20. #20
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    revchuck, I think you may be underestimating your glycogen stores the morning after a 'carbo-load', and also underestimating the drain on your body you incur digesting that breakfast. The physiologist I've met with (he is also a successful coach) only recommends breakfast if you have at least 90-120 minutes before the start of your race, and even then, you need to be careful what and how much you eat. He suggests oatmeal.

    There is no prize for under-eating, but there is also no prize for over-eating. Or over-drinking, for that matter. IMO, for peak performance, you should finish a long race quite a bit lighter than when you started. I also believe in 'periodization' of eating to match your training. For me, eating to train (focus on fat burning) is different than eating to race (restore the glycogen).

  21. #21
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    AzT - Absolutely no argument from me. We don't know if the OP is going to carbo-load, and if he does, that's a factor to be taken into consideration. And I need at least two hours to digest my oatmeal.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  22. #22
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    You body has about 2,000 calories of glycogen when fully charged. If you skip breakfast, you have done an eight-ten hour fast, so much of that glycogen has been used overnight to keep your body running.
    Sure, if you actually run in your sleep otherwise BS.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    The physiologist I've met with (he is also a successful coach) only recommends breakfast if you have at least 90-120 minutes before the start of your race, and even then, you need to be careful what and how much you eat. He suggests oatmeal.
    The Hammer Nutrition website says 2 1/2 to 3 hours between when you last eat and the start of your race. I find it's really more like that time frame between your last meat and your first real effort. If you're having an easy roll-out, then you can cut it a little short. If you're going to be hitting it hard from the ***, though, it's a good rule of thumb.

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    I usually don't eat breakfast before because between the time I wake up and am out the door, it's only been about 30 minutes. On my Saturday rides, our first hard effort is about an hour into the ride. So between waking up, up until the first effort, its been about 1:30. This has just been another one of those things I've slacked off on because I didn't notice any difference. The night before rides, I would try and eat pasta and stuff like that because I heard of that whole "carbo loading" thing. Over time, I just noticed that as long as I didn't eat something extra ordinarily greasy, my performance wasn't really affected.

    I might just need to start doing more intense rides so I can really see why nutrition is important.

  25. #25
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    I usually don't eat breakfast....On my Saturday rides, our first hard effort is about an hour into the ride. So between waking up, up until the first effort, its been about 1:30.
    If you're up and riding that long without any food, you'll see a difference by eating. Don't worry about anything prior to riding (although I _have_ to have a tea...that's just me), but once you start, take in some easy calories. I'm thinking a banana or bar or something. You want it to be simple to digest and sugary. Make sure you give it 20 minutes or so in your stomach before that first big effort. Report back.

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