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12 hour XC race - Nutrition advice required

llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
I'm racing in a 12 hour team event next month and would like some advice on how best to fuel up during the race please. Laps will probably be 30-40 mins each and I'm in a team of 4, so I'm looking at 40 mins on and 2 hours off and maybe 5 laps.

What's the best things to eat and drink during the race? Recovery drinks? Energy drinks? Bananas? And can I eat enough to not feel hungry but still avoid cramps on my next lap?

Cheers guys


  • I'd seriously look into carb loading before the race (an I mean properly carb loading).

    "7 days before the event, perform an exhaustive exercise to all but deplete your energy stores.
    Then for the next 2-3 days cut back on carbs and do low exercise to keep the carb level very low.
    Then 3-4 days before the event, eat a very high carb diet.
    This will initiate a response from the muscles to take in as much glycogen from the carbs as possible, over compensating for the starvation from the previous days."
  • tubaonwheelstubaonwheels Posts: 448
    If you are gonna try the above "proper" carbo load, I would have a trial run a few weeks before the event as it does'nt suit all people.
    Personally I prefer to have a good carbo load the night before and then just make sure you keep eating through the event, can't really see the need for a carbo bleed when you are going to have so much time in between laps to keep topped up :roll:
  • StuntmanStuntman Posts: 267
    Kona bike fest by any chance?

    I would recommend overloading the carbs about 2 days prior to the race, and an easy week rolling up to the race. no hard efforts until race day.
    eat mainly pasta, rice and potatoes with veg, no need to eat a 2lb steak the day before but some people do. Just a little protein is enough

    Stick with things you use in training, try pretzels for the salt your body will ooze out whilst you're flying round your laps, half a banana and hour is plenty, plus a carb drink/gel before/after every lap. note that it takes 30minutes for your body to use the stuff you're eating as energy.

    Good luck and have fun, I am missing out on that one but will be doing a gorrick later in the year, not as much on a cencellation.
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  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    Cheers guys,

    Yep it's bike fest :D I did the 3 hour solo last year, so just praying it's drier this time around! The full on carbo load sounds a bit hardcore for me, so I'll just stick to the pasta and potatoes in the couple of days before.

    I think the tricky bit is going to be eating enough to satisfy my hunger for a proper meal without eating so much that I'm doubled up with a stitch on the next lap :lol: Oh and the stiff legs when I try to jump back on the bike 11 hours in...
  • ian220476ian220476 Posts: 164
    You can get all the gels, drinks etc and they are quite good. From a personal perspective on I make sure I have a few good Pasta meals on teh days leading up to the event and try to avoid anything to sugary.

    At the event I tend to have a few gels as I go round but also fig rolls, cereal bars, bananas etc. Some fresh french bread without butter or anything is quite nice to have a chew on between laps as it keeps that hunger pang away and has no real detrimental effect on anything. if its fresh, its normally quite soft and nice to eat by iteslf.

    I enjoy the events but hate the whole scientifc bit up front. I'm a biggish lad so the event 'fun' is always lost if I'm riding round constatntly thinking about food.

    As with all things, everything in moderation!
    GT XC1 - the harder you ride it, the better it is

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  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 6,401
    I find that I tend to go to these type of events with my whole diet for the 12 (or 24) hours planned out meticulously (sp?) but as soon as I start racing, it goes completely out of the window...

    From experience, I normally eat; cans of rice pudding (easy opening), Hobnobs, Pot Noodles, Mars bars and energy drinks (supplemented by copious amounts of tea) are what I end up eating. Also if there's a burger van, then bacon rolls will be purchased (and consumed).

    Granted, not the best food for nutrition, but it makes the whole event much more enjoyable... :D
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