No matter what distance of sportive you decide to tackle, there are certain elements you need to give serious thought to; your training and your nutrition. Don’t let those hard earned miles go to waste with poor nutritional strategies.
Your nutrition will be the make or break when it comes to not just surviving the miles in the saddle but actually enjoying the event when race day comes and being able to train without fatigue.
We’ve put together the key nutritional considerations to help you fuel your training days and chosen sportive itself.
Key Consideration: Train as you race!
Testing nutrition strategies before race day is essential for the following reasons:
Morning fuel: your breakfast will be one of the most important meals you consume and will set you up for the first bout on the bike, so make sure you are comfortable with it and it works for you
On the go feeding: refueling on the bike is key, so get confident at consuming food and fluid whilst cycling at speed
Carb intake: since your body can only store enough carbohydrate for up to 90 minutes you will need to intake up to 60g of carbs per hour of exercise to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores. If you’re not used to consuming this much carbohydrate during exercise it is a good idea to test it out to ensure the body is capable
Sweat rate: How much you sweat will dictate how much fluid you need to take-in. Aim to not lose any more than 2-3% of your body mass to maintain hydration and be ready to train the next day.
RACE DAY Key
Consideration 1: Build up Strategies; the Importance of carbohydrate
Our muscles can store up to 300g or 2500kcal of glycogen to be used as energy. Glycogen is the main fuel you will use during your race. To make sure these stores are fully loaded, reducing the onset of fatigue, you can step up your overall carbohydrate intake in the 48 hours before the event.
To do this, increase your carbohydrate portions at meal times, including foods such as rice, potatoes, pasta and cereals and add carbohydrate snacks in-between, such as cereal bars, fruit, or carbohydrate drinks such as SiS GO Energy.
Below is an example plan for a typical 70kg cyclist providing 3500kcal, loading with 600g carbohydrates – great the day before a race:
Breakfast 3 Cups Granola with milk; 1 medium banana; 250ml fruit juice
Snack Blueberry muffin; 500ml SiS GO Energy 500ml
Lunch 2* Panini (choice of filling); low fat yoghurt
Snack Smoothie: Banana; yoghurt; honey; granola
Dinner 3 cups brown pasta with tomato sauce; 3 slices garlic bread
Snack Toasted muffin with peanut butter; 500ml SiS GO Energy