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  1. #1
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    First endurance race food?

    Hey folks,

    I'm gearing up for my first endurance race this weekend... which is my first race ever haha.

    Im comfortable with the trails, and Im a fairly strong guy on the bike but riding for more than 8 hours is not something Im used to staying fueled up for. Im wondering what you guys like to carry to keep the tank full and stay strong for 8+ hour races.

    The race isnt a lap race, more of an adventure race on a bike. Here are the details if it helps:Pisgah Productions | About the Race / Registration Link

    I'm not a huge fan of GU's, supplements, etc. Id really like to keep it natural if possible. I usually carry peanuts and raisins, dehydrated fruit, and granola with sweet potatos on training rides(30 miles or so) but I dont want to run out of fuel on the big day.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    NO offense......but this is probably something you should have figured out long before a couple of days before the event.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  3. #3
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    None taken...

    I plan on carrying what i usually carry just more of it. I've never felt hungry or abnormally tired during 5-6 hour training rides. I eat every :30-:45 minutes and know what my body needs to stay going. I was just looking for advice on what foods people enjoy. Worst case scenario i fill my pockets with snickers and pnut m&ms and haul a$$.

  4. #4
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    RE: First endurance race food?

    Along with the usual gels and bars i have beef jerky and PB&J or ham sandwiches. Im more racing for the fun / will never podium, so might be a bit heavy for you if you are going full throttle.

    Do you know if there are aid stations and if so what they have? I've found them to be lifesavers when fading. Coke being my go to pick me up. Not very natural though

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    ...
    I plan on carrying what i usually carry just more of it. I've never felt hungry or abnormally tired during 5-6 hour training rides. I eat every :30-:45 minutes and know what my body needs to stay going...
    I use a liquid nutrition system (Tailwind) for anything but short casual recreational rides, but as mtnbikej pointed out, it's too late to figure out something like that for you.

    When I was eating solid food one of my mainstays was medjool dates. Very high in potassium, nice slow-burn calorie source. Easy to just have in a jersey pocket for on-the-bike eating. Pull one out, bite the side off and tug the pit out with your teeth. Spit it out (look for the palm tree growing there next time you go by) and toss the rest in. Way faster and easier than tearing open a gel, and only bio-degradable by product.

    I nearly DNF'd the Cascade Cream Puff years ago because I ran out of dates and they were pretty much the only thing my body wanted by the last 20 miles.

    But--pro tip is to never try anything new on race day. If it was me I'd stick with exactly what you've been training with. Just more of it (as you say).
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  6. #6
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    Thanks folks,

    I have no shot at getting on the podium. Its just a fun, challenging event that I've wanted to do for a while. The nature of the race requires map/compass skills and frequent stops to navigate. In other words there will be plenty of short breaks for food, water, etc. My teammate has done the race 4 times and its long enough to where we will probably stop to take a :20 minute rest at least once throughout the day. I probably carry more of what I've been eating on training rides. Im carrying a half dozen GU's as backup just in case. Plus moon pies and poptarts! haha

    If events of this type end up being something I do more regularly, I'll focus on a more "race focused" nutrition plan. Right now its all for fun.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    This may not apply to you at all but one thing to consider, at least for me, is the effects of eating too much. I learned the hard way at the Wilkes100K last year that eating too much can be just as much of a problem as eating too little....actually in my opinion it might actually be a bigger problem since if you eat too little and bonk you can recover pretty quickly by eating something quick like a gel. The effects from eating too much can last for hours. My "issues" started at about mile 30-35 and lasted the entire duration of the race so the second 30 miles were very long and very unpleasant. Just something to think about.....don't just start eating with abandon and overload yourself. At least for me. Everyone is different.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like a cool race! Definitely different than the standard endurance event.

    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Im carrying a half dozen GU's as backup just in case. Plus moon pies and poptarts! haha
    Make sure you save the items that you don't regularly use until the latter portion of your ride. Stick to what you know for as long as possible, but when the finish line is in site, go hard on those pop tarts!
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster" - Greg LeMond

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    None taken...

    I plan on carrying what i usually carry just more of it. I've never felt hungry or abnormally tired during 5-6 hour training rides. I eat every :30-:45 minutes and know what my body needs to stay going. I was just looking for advice on what foods people enjoy. Worst case scenario i fill my pockets with snickers and pnut m&ms and haul a$$.

    i just completed my first 50 mile race over the weekend and I will add that you should just bring more of what you have. Too late to try anything new and what you did worked for 5-6 hrs then I don't see why it would not for 8hrs. I did a few rides of 6hrs to prep for my 50 mile race and found what works for me. For my it seems clif bars are the way to go. I did 3 bars over 6hrs and it worked fine. I had gels in reserve, but never needed them. I had tried powerbars and seeming got too gassy by the end to eat any more. Not a good situation at hr 6 of a 8hr race, but manageable at hr 5.5 of 6 hr ride. I also did a ride with one bar replaced by regular food and it did not seem to give me the concentrated calories I needed. Of course every person is different and you have to learn your fuel plans. Again to minimize the risk don't do something new for the race just bring more of what you know works. Sure you could run into issues given the longer time, but those risks are probably less than changing things up and risking issues earlier on.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    As above, best stick with what you know at this point.

    Bring some gels, too, just in case, and my fallback, Snickers.

    It's kind of funny, and maybe I'm the lucky iron gut, but my bod kind of knows what it does and doesn't want late in a race.

    I'll pull into an aid station and look at the table and think, no, no, no, no, YES RIGHT NOW as I scan the available treats.

    Good luck and have fun!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  11. #11
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    also would not recommend anything new - but - i'd throw some endurolytes in a pocket/drop bag and if I started feeling at all crappy I'd take about 1/2 the recommended dose
    Go that way really fast......if anything gets in your way turn.

  12. #12
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    flat coke and oreo cookies was a race day staple for years for many people.

    pizza works well also.

    but I love apple fritters on those big long days, where you need to refill the tank.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    NO offense......but this is probably something you should have figured out long before a couple of days before the event.

    Where's the fun in that?

  14. #14
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    You picked a solid race for your first outing. I'll mix up enough perpetium in a bottle to fuel me for whatever length I'm doing.
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

  15. #15
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    Figured Id post the results of my first endurance race.

    We came in 69th out of 100 teams I think. Not sure how many entered but we finished 69 out of 87 that made it in. Many teams didnt make it in before cut-off so they were DQ'd.

    11:34 ride time and somewhere around 75 miles+/-. Over 10k of climbing easy...

    Anyway...it was awesome! I usually like to go out for an easy leg loosener the day before big rides. Ended up going too hard cause i was amped up and that hurt my performance on race day. Started cramping about 10 miles in. Alot of that was from nerves and not being warmed up.

    Food wise I packed waaaaaaay too much. Ended up with alot of leftover. I never felt like I was under-fueled but I know what my body wants 60 miles into a race...Poptarts. I couldnt eat enough Poptarts. Also jerkey was good too.

    Next race I plan on packing much less and doing better pre-race preparation. I know what to expect so I wont be as anxious and also wont carry so much. Might even go pack-ess and cram 3-4 packs of Poptarts in my jersey pockets, GU's under the bibs, and Jerkey strapped to the seat post haha.

    Endurance races are rad...I will never do another short track or lap race again.

    Thanks for all the advice/help on here. I appreciate the hell out of it

  16. #16
    _CJ
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    My plan this year is to buy one of those huge subs they sell in the supermarket, carry it in my camelback and eat every hour on the hour. Water will go in the bottles and bottle cages. That, or I'm going to make 8 or so PB&J sandwiches and eat one every hour.

    For what it's worth, when I did the 24 hours of Moab Rishi Grewall was rumored to have eaten a cheeseburger every lap while riding the event solo.

    Solid food makes a difference on long rides/races.

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