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  1. #1
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    2 person 6 hour endurance race nutrition

    I moved this from the XC racing forum to maybe get more responses. Thanks

    I'm training for a teamed endurance season. These are lap style races and the first race is only 7 mile laps and most times were around 45 min per lap for the average racer. Looking at the last years results it seems like most folks are taking turns on the laps so we will try this for the first race anyway. The race length is 6 hours so how would we go about nutrition throughout the race? I was thinking GU and half a clif bar before every lap. What about a real meal though? I usually eat a pb&j a half an hour before I ride now so would that do for a meal half way through the 6 hours or do I need something more substantial to replace the calories burned? Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    Pbj sandwiches are probably fine; cut the crusts off (easier to digest).

    I find if I wait until Iím hungry to eat itís too late. The dive has started already.
    I try to eat something about every 20 mins and drink about every 10 mins. I usually sip from a camelback to ensure the hands are controlling the bike.

    Bananas, fruit cake (home made), banana cake (home made), rice cakes (home made, no onion) are foods Iíve found serve me well during the few endurance races Iíve done.

    By having small bits often itís easier to digest than cramming.

    Drinks I vary and have water mainly; also have Endura Mag (high in magnesium) and either Powerade or Gatorade (usually diluted with water at 80%/20% water).
    I try to keep the sugary drinks until later but they are needed for electrolyte replacement.

    Save the gels for when they might be neededÖ.when you are approaching loss of form (itís hard to detect when youíre new to it) rather than having them as a form of food.

    Some of them do work well but they are a lot of sugar when all is said and done and after hrs of taking gels and bars oneís tummy could cry enough.
    I have minimal protein during the race as well......it can cause stomach problems.

    One lap at a time is good for some but not others. It is an individual thing and can vary from race to race.
    In 45 min laps a rider can basically sprint (fitness dependant of course) the whole lap.
    Warm down after the laps.
    It helps to minimise cramping when you start riding again.

    A lot of my info has come from people here who've been very helpful.

    Remember all of this is what works for me. It's absolutely an individual thing.

    Enjoy yourself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonByers
    I moved this from the XC racing forum to maybe get more responses. Thanks

    I'm training for a teamed endurance season. These are lap style races and the first race is only 7 mile laps and most times were around 45 min per lap for the average racer. Looking at the last years results it seems like most folks are taking turns on the laps so we will try this for the first race anyway. The race length is 6 hours so how would we go about nutrition throughout the race? I was thinking GU and half a clif bar before every lap. What about a real meal though? I usually eat a pb&j a half an hour before I ride now so would that do for a meal half way through the 6 hours or do I need something more substantial to replace the calories burned? Thanks guys.
    As long as you're properly rested and fed prior to the race, you shouldn't need or even want much in the way of solid food during the event. The only thing I'd suggest would be to consume the solid calories when finishing a lap, not just before starting a lap. There's a lag in digestion time, so anything you eat right before going out probably won't be available for fuel until just before you complete the lap, if you eat it immediately prior to starting a lap. As for what to eat, pb&j isn't a bad idea, but for simplicity Clif bars work well. Lately, my bar of choice are the Bonk Breaker bars.

  4. #4
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    Hey I appreciate it guys. I live really close to one of the race courses so we plan on doing a few race simulations by riding the lap hard and resting for whatever time we rode at and ride again for a few times to get the feel for this type of race. We will try a few nutrition strategies also. Iíve only experimented with Hammer Gel and HEED and like the quick energy it gives me but havenít tried it on a longer ride that 2 hours so I really donít know how it will make me feel. I may just stay away from those until I really feel I need it as you mentioned Ireland. And I will for sure follow you advice mudge and eat as soon as I pull in after a lap. Thanks again for the input guys.

  5. #5
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    My wife and I do several team 6-8 hr races every season. Obviously, nutrition will change from one person to the next, but I've found that the following works pretty well for me:

    Days leading up to race: Carbo load! I like to eat, so I'm good at this... Lots of water.
    Morning of: Hearty, high protein breakfast. I know a lot of people that eat eggs, but they don't sit well in my stomach while racing. Oatmeal is one of my favs. Lots of water
    Hour prior: Energy bar, banana, toast with peanut butter, or something similar depending on your tastes. More water.
    15 Minutes prior to 1st lap: 1 Gel to suite your tastes. 2 Hammer Endurolyte caps. Water, Hammer HEED.
    During Lap: I only take in water while racing. Drinks don't sit well while racing for me. I carry 1-2 gels (depending on lap length) for emergencies but rarely use them.
    Between Laps: I almost always take in solid food between laps, but usually in smaller amounts. 1 energy bar, PBJ, banana, or similar. Protein is a must. I try to avoid sweets. 1 bottle of diluted HEED. Sometimes I drink a beer. No, really. I do.
    15 minutes before each lap: 1 Gel, 2 Hammer Endurolyte caps.
    After race: Usually whatever the event provides and whatever I have left. And more beer.

    It works for me. We've won quite a few endurance races over the years (we were even the 2006&07 NYSERS coed champs,) and this is the "system" that seems to work best for me. I followed a modified version of this at the 2010 24hrs of Hot August Nights with great success. I normally only carry one water bottle for team events.

    I also use a modified version of this when racing 6-8 hrs solo. Basically, I do a NASCAR style pitstop between laps to take in solid food and Endurolyte caps (or every other lap, depending on length) and take a gel at a consistent, convenient place on course. I'll carry two bottles while racing solo. 1 large bottle with water, 1 small bottle with diluted HEED, and replace them between laps as necessary.

    Hammer Endurolyte caps are a MUST have! It's like cheating... I don't think I've gotten a single cramp while using them.

  6. #6
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    This isn't nutrition related but may be something for you to consider...

    I once did an 8 hour endurance race as a 2 person relay. Lap times were right around an hour. Rather than switch riders after every lap, we each rode two laps before switching off. There was a feed zone and we would be ready with a new bottle as the racer rode by. With a 6 hour race and 45 min laps, you'd ride 1.5 hours, switch off, and you'd both do 2 riding sessions.It might be easier than switching off every 45 minutes...

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