Thursday, March 19, 2009

My prerace and preride nutrition

It seems that every few weeks I see a post from someone getting into racing/riding wanting to know what other people eat and drink before, during and after rides and races. I try to give some advice, always with the “this is what works for me, everyone is different” disclaimer – I think at this point I should write down something on the blog that I can refer to. Again with the disclaimer, I’m an Elite rider that has been doing this for a few years so what works for me will not work for everyone, also, I think I’m naturally able to eat a lot on the bike and make it available to my body – in longer races/events, this is very important.

Anyway, I’ll give a few examples of what I do.

3 hour ride with about 1.5 hour of it at a pretty high intensity (tempo/threshold), the rest at a steady endurance pace. About 2,500 cal ride.
  • Coffee + large bowl of porridge with 2 pieces of fruit and Soya milk
  • a large slices of wholemeal bread with jam
Ride (about 1.5 hours after breakfast):
  • 2 large bottles of ZipVit Energy Drink
  • 1 ZipVit energy bar and one other cereal bar. ZipVit bar about 1:20 into the ride, other bar around 2:10 in.

  • ZipVit Recovery(or chocolate milk, raisons, shake etc…) as soon as I get in.
Within 40 minutes:
  • A proper lunch, pretty low in fat, lots of clean carbohydrates, a bit of protein, lots of veg/fruit (and coffee). For example, a large breadroll with beans, homemade savory pancakes, stirfry with extra noodles... If I'm training hard or long, maybe a side of rice too.

2 hour XC race – say, a 5 lap race
9:00 Breakfast:
  • Same as normal – probably skip the bread though
  • Some bread/bagel/rice, maybe some protein with it – whatever I feel I can eat – maybe some fruit and/or an energy bar.
13:30 Race start
  • possibly a gel 15-30 minutes before hand.
  • Each lap (20-25 minutes), I would drink about 350ml of Energy Drink (depending on temperature etc…) and one gel. Not everyone can/should do that, maybe a gel every second lap – again, depending on how strong you made the drink.
After the finish back to ZipVit recovery. Some people can’t handle eating right after a race, just make sure you eat something – Mel likes Haribo after a hard race. Your body has various time windows for efficiency of food uptake. Getting the food in earlier will mean you feel better later in the day and the following days. If you are starving all the following day, you did something wrong. I try to ride a little after the race, take some extra drinks and food on the bike (fruit etc… whatever you can eat) and when I get back to the car again, try to eat some more carbohydrates, about 800 Cals worth, so a reasonable amount. From then on, I’m pretty snacky for the rest of the day – I try to keep it very healthy for the first few hours but later maybe treat myself :)

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