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First ever 100 mile Sportive - how much food to carry?

Aud Reekie MTBAud Reekie MTB Posts: 164
Hello all,

I commute to work and commonly to 40 mile rides at the weekends, but I've never done a Sportive before.

I'm doing the Glasgow Edinburgh 100 mile Pedal for Scotland.

Have never tried energy bars before. Will 3 do together with a camelbak full of water?

What do you carry on these rides?

Andy
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Posts

  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    I always take loads, general rule is one Go bar per hour, plus an extra one. It means my jersey pockets are bulging but better safe than sorry.

    And loads of water.

    If it's a sportive then there should also be feed stops, but you can't count om them having anything to eat/drink.

    Enjoy it, let us know how you get on.

    Andy
  • I usually plan to take enough to eat that will allow me to miss the first feed stop without having to starve myself. You can make up a lot of lost places that way while other people are caught up in the scrum for bananas. Later feed stops aren't usually so crowded.
  • holmeboyholmeboy Posts: 674
    Eat something just before you set off (banana/energy bar). 2 banana's, 2 energy bars, 2 bottles energy drink with powder to make more on route (refill water bottles at stops). Coupla other bars of your choice and a bag of ride shots in case you blow.
  • brinbrin Posts: 1,122
    depends when the sportive is taking place, but if you haven't tried energy bars before how do you know you will like them? pointless taking stuff that may not agree with you, just chuck some jelly beans/babies in your jersey and chance the feed stops en-route for banana's cakes and flapjacks, also wouldn't bother with a camelback, 2 bottles should be enough - juice not water- and again top up at the feedstops, if it's your 1st sportive you aren't going to beat a p.b. - rather establish one for next year, enjoy.
  • Cheers guys.

    I seem to be able to eat most stuff! Are bananas better than mars bars?

    And why do roadies tend to prefer bottles to Camelbaks btw? I find I don't drink much on the move with the bottles and I naturally seem to dehydrate quickly.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Try using Nuun tablets or the SIS electrolyte drink in a bottle if you dehydrate quickly, they stop you cramping and dehydrating. i have used both and they work well. I also eat filled croissants on longer rides, try these. get a croissant, cut in half and on 1 side spread full fat cream cheese, the ther a jam of your choice and in the middle some nice ham. Put it all back together and wrap in tinfoil. I will eat 3 of these on a 100 mile sportive, with 1 or 2 gels as back up. Have a look at Dr Alan Lim on youtube, this is where the croissant idea comes from.
    Camelbaks make you sweat on the road, I tried using one, just made me hot, uncomfortable and drink lots to counter act it.
    Good luck on your ride, hope this helps. :wink:
  • glasgowbhoyglasgowbhoy Posts: 1,341
    For a 100 miler I will have a good breakfast including 2 weetabix, brown bread and jam, 2 boiled eggs, a banana and a fruitjuice before I set off.

    On the road I'll have jellybabies throughout the ride, 2 more bananas,2-3 gel bars and usually a sandwich of some kind but reaing above I think I'll try the croissant idea next time.

    2x 750ml bottles filled with water and nunn hydration tablets. Tried getting round the 100 mile route with just these last week but it was pretty hot and I came up short and dry with 20miles to go and had to suffer dhydrated to the end. Not an enjoyable last 45mins.
  • AndyRubioAndyRubio Posts: 880
    And why do roadies tend to prefer bottles to Camelbaks btw? I find I don't drink much on the move with the bottles and I naturally seem to dehydrate quickly.
    Learn to drink on the move, it's much easier to ride without a weight on your back.
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Depends on your breakfast, what you like to eat on the bike, how hard you ride:
    - in a 250 km sportive I ride a lot slower than a shorter 160km event b/c I want to budget more carefullybut I eat about the same amount as I do in a, say, the Chiltern 100 where I rode my butt off.
    - That said budget for 1 bar or gel per hour of ride - that's the food side of the coin.
    - Never have more bars than gels b/c you'll not process the bar as fast as the gel and you might bonk. Your last gel, taken just at the start of the last hour could be caffeine infused.
    - Liquid-wise always have energy drink in your bottle, water is good on hot days but next to useless in current weather conditions b/c you won't drink much when its 15C so you need to make it count when you do. I mix my drinks stronger the colder it gets. How many time have you come back from a 5C ride with 1/2 a bottle still left?
    - Take energy drink in little baggies with you and insert at the feed stops.

    At the feed stops avoid anything really fatty or hard to digest unless you know it poses no issues to you, such as:
    - pastries
    - flapjacks
    - cake
    - baps or sandwiches
    The above are OK if you have a gnawing feeling in your stomach, but if you've been topping up on gels and energy drink the whole time you *shouldn't* need it and it'll mess up the absorbtion of bars to a large extent and gels to a lesser extent by causing a slow moving blob in your guts. Keep your gut open to process high-quality energy food and avoid the heavy sheit until you're done. Think of what a TdF rider eats.
    If you're bonking you'll need a Coke or a sugary sweet like those Lucozade sugar tablets urgently. Coke is really underrated for it's sugar, caffeine, and some salt content. Drink it flat if you can.

    Hope some of that helps. I've been having a tricky gut in recent events (due to reasons unknown) so I'm a bit of a canary in the coal mine, but if you do something silly that shuts down the conveyor of energy to your muscles, you'll suffer a lot more than necessary, so keep the gut free from censored . If you have a Ferrari you want 98 octane - if every second fill up you put some tar into the tank, you'll not get the same performance.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    I find it's better to try and plan ahead with food requirements rather than rely on instant kicks from gels and the like.

    A good dinner the night before, but don't leave it too late. Pasta or Rice.

    A good breakfast of müseli and yoghurt, banana and maybe a cheese and ham roll and a coffee or two.

    In my jersey: a banana or two and a cheese and ham or cheese and jam roll, a few müseli bars or energy bars will do. I keep a couple of gels and some haribo for emergencies but more often than not they end up as ballast.

    If you do use a gel, remember to drink just water with it, not energy drink as well. They can be useful towards the end of a ride if no energy drink is available to give you a kick for the last hour.

    To drink I used to take 2 x 750ml bottles of isostar/gatorade/whatever but now generally 2 x 500ml. Mainly because I found many times I'd dragged a completely unused bottle up 1000m.

    I tried sticking to just energy bars/gels and more often than not I end up with too many energy lows as I find the drop off from a gel is quite sharp and I also suffer more stomach problems. If anything, that was the biggest mistake I made in La Marmotte in '09 not really having learnt from the feelings of sickness (from all the sugary food) in the Alpen Challenge the previous year. Since then I've found 'proper' food gives me all I need.
  • AndyRubio wrote:
    And why do roadies tend to prefer bottles to Camelbaks btw? I find I don't drink much on the move with the bottles and I naturally seem to dehydrate quickly.
    Learn to drink on the move, it's much easier to ride without a weight on your back.

    Is weight on your back not better than than weight on the bike? I do see the sweaty back issue though.
  • Anyway, what a great response! Thanks for all the comments so far guys.

    Will do a longer training run tomorrow - about 65 miles over undulating terrain.

    You may have guessed I have turned from the dark side (mtb, although I still enjoy that too, I'm sure many of you do!).

    You folks seem to carry less water than me. Do you mean 1.5 litres is enough for 100 miles or 2 bottles are enough on the basis that you will be able to top up on the way?

    Andy
  • AndyRubio wrote:
    And why do roadies tend to prefer bottles to Camelbaks btw? I find I don't drink much on the move with the bottles and I naturally seem to dehydrate quickly.
    Learn to drink on the move, it's much easier to ride without a weight on your back.

    Is weight on your back not better than than weight on the bike? I do see the sweaty back issue though.

    On road bike for long distances the last thing you want is extra weight pressing down onto your lower back/ bottom. Especially if your not used to the long distances riding in a more stretched out position.

    I use a camel back when i'm mtbing but that cos the surface is normally changing not allowing for to much hands off time messing with bottles, they get shitty and full of mud and last of all I tend to have more gear with me when on the mtb so it fits in a day sack which has a reservoir inside it. Plus the more sat up position allows for carrying more weight on me.
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • pjm-84pjm-84 Posts: 819
    Depends on your metabolism.

    I burn around 700 to 900 calories per hour cycling so one 100 calorie gel per hour is going to leave me short and struggling over the second half of a 5 to 6hr ride. 500 calories in - 5000 calories out!

    Took me 3years to get my fuelling right. 3years of saying I was flying the first half but the last bit was tough!

    I have a bar / gel every 20mins / 10k. I alternate so take in an average of circa 450 calories per hour.

    I can ride around 45km without eating but start depleting energy stores. So for a 100miler I'll take about 8-10 gels / 4-5bars. About 80 or 90km in I might feel a little "bloated" so I may relax the intake to 15km or so. Play it by stomach!

    I don't use energy drink unless it really really hot!
    Paul
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644

    You folks seem to carry less water than me. Do you mean 1.5 litres is enough for 100 miles or 2 bottles are enough on the basis that you will be able to top up on the way?

    You'll need to top up. There's little point in carrying the weight of the water all 100 miles when you will be able to top up at feed stations, petrol stations, shops, private houses etc.
  • This is good stuff! all makes sense.

    I'm learning!
  • jackpjackp Posts: 48
    depends on fitness levels and how much you eat night before and breakfast
    things i learnt is to eat pasta or something easily digestiable night before and have massive breakfast and start drinking more before you start -you should feel like you need a pee on the start line!
    i did all this and only had to stow for water topup!
    good luck!
    :D
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    pjm-84 wrote:
    Depends on your metabolism.

    I burn around 700 to 900 calories per hour cycling so one 100 calorie gel per hour is going to leave me short and struggling over the second half of a 5 to 6hr ride. 500 calories in - 5000 calories out!

    I have a bar / gel every 20mins / 10k. I alternate so take in an average of circa 450 calories per hour.

    I can ride around 45km without eating but start depleting energy stores. So for a 100miler I'll take about 8-10 gels / 4-5bars. About 80 or 90km in I might feel a little "bloated" so I may relax the intake to 15km or so. Play it by stomach!

    I don't use energy drink unless it really really hot!
    Holy cow, if you don't mind me saying, that's friggin extreme! A gel or bar every 20 mins? Do you come back from a ride 2-3 kgs heavier than when you began? If you do a 9 hour sportive do you really consume 27 bars/gels? It would cost £30 just to ride your bike - now I know why some people think it's an expensive sport... :-)
    When you say you don't use energy drink do you even drink water to help get the bars down?
    Just curious, what kind of average speed do you keep? How heavy are you? Is your build very slight? I picture you as a tall, heavy guy (hence the huge colorie requirements) but who doesn't carry much fat (hence the reliance on external sources) who rides a heavy bike quite quickly.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Good advice here but this is my tuppance worth and what works for me after trial and error over the years and prevents me going through the 70mile bad patch that I used to suffer from.

    Breakfast - Large bowl of porridge followed if you can with some brown bread and toast

    At the event prior to riding - Take a flask of tea and eat some ginger cake or Soreen

    Pre-hydration - before riding drink 1 energy drink with electolite suppliment such nuun

    During riding - Eat every 20mins a small piece of energy bar or soreen but be carefull not to over do it. Also top up with 1 gel on top of solid food every 1.5 - 2hrs

    Hydration when riding - Drink every 10min but small drinks and stop at feed stations to top up bottles and always add a nuun to your bottle whether if its hot or not as you will lose salts due to sweating over 100miles and this will prevent cramps

    Post ride - Drink 1 pint of milk(or chocolate milk) immedietley with a sandwhich. Then eat a hearty tea when you get home. Sportives are great for gastronomical feats of endurance as well.
    Brian B.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    On a recent 200km/4900m ascent/10 hours of riding ( "Valley of the Rocks" perm route) ]I ate/drank

    lucazade sport
    a malt loaf
    stopped for a full english+pot of tea
    frij+ a couple of cereal bars
    beef pasty
    lucazade sport+kit kat
    cheese sandwich
    coffee+ fruit and nut

    Audax riders lead the way in eating their way around the route
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Hijack but that Valley of the Rocks sounds sick and I want to try that next year. 200kms and 4900 vms is right up my street. Do you have a route map? List of the longest hills?

    Great blog by the way. You don't look like a big guy but you know how to break equipment - respekt!
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • VelonutterVelonutter Posts: 2,437 Lives Here
    edited September 2010
    On a 100 Mile ride I now work on the following: -

    2 days prior to the event I watch closely my hydration and try to drink up to 5 litres a day, you might be surprised but with a pint glass on your desk you'll be filling it up about once every hour.

    Three days before an event I start to load with carbs, just good healthy food, brown bread, Wholemeal Pasta, Boiled Potatoes etc.

    Large bowl of porridge before the event for breakfast and if I am driving to the sportive I will munch a High 5 4:1 Bar and a muesli bar in the car.

    During a 100 mile ride I will eat 5 High 5 4:1 Bars and plan to drink 750ml of fluids every hour, this I have found to be the key,.I rarely touch gels and really only use them for emergencies

    On my next100 mile sportive I will be trying the new Mule Liquorice Bars as they contain 70g of Carbs in a bar, so I shouldn't need so many.

    HTH
  • holmeboyholmeboy Posts: 674
    Slow-N-Old wrote:
    On a 100 Mile ride I now work on the following: -

    2 days prior to the event I watch closely my hydration and try to drink up to 5 litres a day, you might be surprised but with a pint glass on your desk you'll be filling it up about once every hour.

    Three days before an event I start to load with crabs, just good healthy food, brown bread, Wholemeal Pasta, Boiled Potatoes etc.

    Large bowl of porridge before the event for breakfast and if I am driving to the sportive I will munch a High 5 4:1 Bar and a muesli bar in the car.

    During a 100 mile ride I will eat 5 High 5 4:1 Bars and plan to drink 750ml of fluids every hour, this I have found to be the key,.I rarely touch gels and really only use them for emergencies

    On my next100 mile sportive I will be trying the new Mule Liquorice Bars as they contain 70g of Carbs in a bar, so I shouldn't need so many.

    HTH

    You Wat?
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    Carbs, use your imagination. Crabs and lobster, while tasty, are quite rich and full of cholesterol.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Tempted by the idea of a couple of large crustaceans in the pockets instead of gels - for emergencies only of course.
  • VelonutterVelonutter Posts: 2,437 Lives Here
    holmeboy wrote:
    Slow-N-Old wrote:
    On a 100 Mile ride I now work on the following: -

    2 days prior to the event I watch closely my hydration and try to drink up to 5 litres a day, you might be surprised but with a pint glass on your desk you'll be filling it up about once every hour.

    Three days before an event I start to load with crabs, just good healthy food, brown bread, Wholemeal Pasta, Boiled Potatoes etc.

    Large bowl of porridge before the event for breakfast and if I am driving to the sportive I will munch a High 5 4:1 Bar and a muesli bar in the car.

    During a 100 mile ride I will eat 5 High 5 4:1 Bars and plan to drink 750ml of fluids every hour, this I have found to be the key,.I rarely touch gels and really only use them for emergencies

    On my next100 mile sportive I will be trying the new Mule Liquorice Bars as they contain 70g of Carbs in a bar, so I shouldn't need so many.

    HTH

    You Wat?

    PMSL Laughing :lol::lol: I know bloody Typos!
  • crabs aside!!!

    I just finished the Otztaler Radmarathon ( 238KM 5500m climb) and I drank3 x 750ml water + nuun tablets + 1 750 ml iso sport drink plus a few glassfuls of iso at the feed stations and ate 3 bananas 4 large slices of cake 2 muesli bars and a couple of unidentified poor tasting items that were on offer !!!!

    the problem is that you don't feel like eating when you get tired!!!!! - you want the food but you just can't get it down easily....
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Hijack but that Valley of the Rocks sounds sick and I want to try that next year. 200kms and 4900 vms is right up my street. Do you have a route map? List of the longest hills?

    Next running of the event is on the 16th of April
    The official website for it is here, there's a route sheet and maps there

    http://www.ukcyclist.co.uk/vor200

    There isn't a list of longest hills. It's simple. There are many, many hills on the way to Combe Martin and less on the way back.
    Great blog by the way. You don't look like a big guy but you know how to break equipment - respekt!

    Thanks! Breaking stuff just comes naturally to me.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    heliphil wrote:

    the problem is that you don't feel like eating when you get tired!!!!! - you want the food but you just can't get it down easily....

    I only got so "used up" with riding that I could barely eat twice.

    First time was the "Moor like a 400" 400km event which crossed Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin moor in the West Country. It took me 25 hours and had a rediculous amount of climbing. When I finished I could just about eat dry toast.

    Second time was on the second night of PBP 2007. PBP 2007 did not have the greatest weather and just to make it a bit more difficult I dropped the "brevet card" which proves your progress on the route and is necessary to sucessfully complete the ride at the first control. I went back 20 miles to get it and lost a few hours. So I had to make the time up. To cut a long story short I ended up riding at an inappropriately high speed just to stay awake after 30 hours. When I stopped they asked me if I'd like an omelet ! C'est pas possible pour mon ce soir. Fortunately I was able to eat a little rice pudding.
  • heliphil wrote:
    crabs aside!!!

    I just finished the Otztaler Radmarathon ( 238KM 5500m climb) and I drank3 x 750ml water + nuun tablets + 1 750 ml iso sport drink plus a few glassfuls of iso at the feed stations and ate 3 bananas 4 large slices of cake 2 muesli bars and a couple of unidentified poor tasting items that were on offer !!!!

    the problem is that you don't feel like eating when you get tired!!!!! - you want the food but you just can't get it down easily....
    How hard was the Austrian ride? Do you recommend it? How do you compare it to a Marmotte or Etape or other mountainous sportive? I'm tempted but am scared.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
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