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  1. #1
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    Nutrition on 4hr races?

    Since a 4 hr race isn't that long... Is liquid in a large camelback good enough? Should I mix anything in it? What about "gel" or "powerbars"

  2. #2
    Feral Roadie
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    I'd say for 4 hrs you definitely want some kind of electrolyte replacement and if you eat early solid foods could be useful as well.

    Sadly there are no easy answers, you have to figure out what works for you. Gels have the advantage that you can just drink plain water, but gels are a very personal thing. What works for you might make me barf...

    Exactly what you eat/drink matters a lot less than making sure it's something your stomach tolerates and it's tasty enough that you don't stop drinking.

    Sports drinks are useless if you can't gag down any more after the first half liter or so...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    I'd say for 4 hrs you definitely want some kind of electrolyte replacement and if you eat early solid foods could be useful as well.

    Sadly there are no easy answers, you have to figure out what works for you. Gels have the advantage that you can just drink plain water, but gels are a very personal thing. What works for you might make me barf...

    Exactly what you eat/drink matters a lot less than making sure it's something your stomach tolerates and it's tasty enough that you don't stop drinking.

    Sports drinks are useless if you can't gag down any more after the first half liter or so...
    x2

    I can get away with not much for a four hour race, but I'd be wrecked afterwards. Unless it is a race where seconds/minutes will matter I like to replenish as much for recovery as I do for in race nutrition.

    Ill add it depends on race conditions as well. My nutrition for a Jan race is going to be significantly different than a July race.

    Trial and error to see what your body needs and more importantly what it likes. Needing something at the three hour mark, but not being able to process it pretty much sucks.

    ETA: I like a camelback for anything 3+ hours if they don't have drops. I like liquid nutrition on the MTb because its rarely convenient to be eating packaged items on the trail. Long races ill fill one or two hammer flasks with gels so I don't have to fool with the packaging.

  4. #4
    Tailwind Nutrition
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    Brad, before your event, you'll want to top off your glycogen stores (the easiest way to do this is to sip your sports drink). During your event, you'll want to consume about 250-300 calories (the maximum amount your body can physiologically process), electrolytes, and about 24oz of water per hour (water consumption may vary based on environmental conditions).

    In effect, you are always running a calorie deficit because your are expending 500-600 calories/hour and yet you can only process between 250-300 calories/hour. So, your goal is to stem the loss from your glycogen stores. In terms of electrolytes, most folks think that it is to prevent cramps. But, the primary reason to consume electrolytes is that it activates the "glucose transport mechanism" - which accelerates the absorption of glucose into your system and actually improves your hydration.

    In terms of management of these three components (fuel/glucose, electrolytes, hydration), the easiest thing to do is to drink liquid nutrition which includes both fuel and electrolytes (as thedood mentions above). For a four hour race, go with a 100oz camelback filled with a liquid nutrition and sip away. If you're using Tailwind, for example, this would be 10 scoops to a 100oz camelback. This helps you maintain a steady intake of calories and electrolytes which helps avoid the sudden rush of calories to your gut (like with a gel or shotblock) and the peak/crash associated with that.

    Hope this helps!
    Tailwind Nutrition
    www.tailwindnutrition.com
    www.facebook.com/tailwindnutrition
    Twitter: @gotailwind

  5. #5
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    I like Hammer Gel and Endurolytes with a Camelbak with plain water. I start replenishing early and often to try and stay on top of things.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradpreo View Post
    Since a 4 hr race isn't that long... Is liquid in a large camelback good enough? Should I mix anything in it? What about "gel" or "powerbars"
    Liquid fuel in a large Camelback is good enough... if you've trained this way on multiple occasions leading up to your race.

    Regarding what to mix in your Camelback, which type of liquid fuel to use and whether to use gels or Powerbars, that's a question that has been asked and answered thousands of times in this forum. Spending 30mins with the Search button should start filling in some of your knowledge gaps.

  7. #7
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    great replies! Thanks!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Contact Infinit nutrition and ask them this same question. They will take the answers to a survey and custom mix you a blend. 25 servings is about $50.

    ...and the search button. But for a 4 hour race, it's hard to mess up too much. In my expirence nutrition mistakes start taking effect after 4-6 hours.

  9. #9
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    I just finished an almost 4hr winter fat bike endurance race. I used an electrolyte replenish watered down in a camelback and drank often to maintain hydration.

    You have to go with what works for you. I make my own gels with honey, agave nectar, molasses, and turkish ground coffee. I cant use the hammer gels or clif shots because they have maltodextrin which tears my guts up.

    I ate a hammer nutrition bar, and a kashi trail mix bar. Along with that some organic jelly beans for more of a simple sugar intake. And it was nice to have some in my mouth as sweet to take my mind off the pain...lol.

    The key is to make sure you start early, maybe 45 min into the race, with food to keep from bonking. Once you hit that wall it takes at least 10-15 minutes to get that into your system.

    Good luck!!

  10. #10
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    I would eat 500 calorie breakfast 2 hours before, then 50-100 calories (half-banana?) and some Gatorade 15 minutes before, use 50-80 oz of fluid depending on temperature (probably 50 oz Camelbak H2O and a large bottle Gatorade in moderate temps) plus 4 gels. I'd probably only eat 3 gels and keep 1 as a bonk buster.
    Last edited by Scott In MD; 12-31-2012 at 08:44 AM.

  11. #11
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    I am noticing it seems that pros don't use camelbacks...is this true? Just looking at some pics in a web sites and it appears they all had water bottles in cages on their bikes.... whats best and why? I'd like to hear from a water bottle fan and hear his/her rationale...

  12. #12
    dru
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    The pros have people at the feed stations passing them a fresh bottle every lap. Thus they aren't carrying a bunch of extra weight. As well, the extra weight they aren't carrying isn't on their backs impeding cooling. They have trained to drink from a bottle and ride at the same time. Many find this very difficult to do. I'm fine on a road bike, but useless trying it off road, so I usually bring a camelback.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  13. #13
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    Cooler, and 20 oz bottle lighter than 20 oz CB, and center of gravity lower, so better as long as you can swap out bottles every 1-2 hours or so, is what I think. Definitely not a pro, though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyv View Post
    Brad, before your event, you'll want to top off your glycogen stores (the easiest way to do this is to sip your sports drink). During your event, you'll want to consume about 250-300 calories (the maximum amount your body can physiologically process), electrolytes, and about 24oz of water per hour (water consumption may vary based on environmental conditions).

    In effect, you are always running a calorie deficit because your are expending 500-600 calories/hour and yet you can only process between 250-300 calories/hour. So, your goal is to stem the loss from your glycogen stores. In terms of electrolytes, most folks think that it is to prevent cramps. But, the primary reason to consume electrolytes is that it activates the "glucose transport mechanism" - which accelerates the absorption of glucose into your system and actually improves your hydration.

    In terms of management of these three components (fuel/glucose, electrolytes, hydration), the easiest thing to do is to drink liquid nutrition which includes both fuel and electrolytes (as thedood mentions above). For a four hour race, go with a 100oz camelback filled with a liquid nutrition and sip away. If you're using Tailwind, for example, this would be 10 scoops to a 100oz camelback. This helps you maintain a steady intake of calories and electrolytes which helps avoid the sudden rush of calories to your gut (like with a gel or shotblock) and the peak/crash associated with that.

    Hope this helps!
    Use this stuff. Jenny is good to deal with and their product is awesome. It mixes easy and taste good. Great product

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