Endurance / eating / stomach cramps....HELP!

Rosscopeco1 Posts: 9
I'm training for a 24hr event in August so myself and pal did a 10hr training spin last weekend...Crianlarich to Glasgow along the West Highland Way. After 4.5 hours I slowly lost my ability to consume any food & drink. Fluids were in the form of SIS PSP22 @ 8%, food was predominantly a mixture of cereal bars, gels and (here's the mistake I think) a Soleen malt loaf. Half the malt loaf was eaten at circa 4hrs in when we had a our 'first' proper stop. Thereafter things went downhill. Overall, I had more than enough Cals to get me home. For the last 2.5 hours I literally couldn't stomach anything...not even plain water....I made it home but was a total mess. What can I take food wise which is easier on the tummy / will allow me to continue? Can I train my stomach? Incidentally, fitness wasn't the issue, I was generally happy with how the rest of my body coped and our pace was better than we'd hoped. 9hrs 39mins total time....7hrs 45min moving.

Any thoughts / advice?


  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    The only way is trial and error, as everyones bodies reacts differently to the varying different options out there. Just ask and long distance triathlete what they take on racing for 10 -16 hours and you will almost get a different answer from each person.

    You might want to try an alternative drink/gel combo. Lots of people suffer with stomach pains as liquid and gel forms of energy tend to not be a natural or normal energy replacement form and I know quite a few people (myself included) who have suffered with the same problem.

    For me it took a lot of trying different brands and mixes to get to one where I'm pretty happy - If I'm off on a longer ride these are the things I tend to eat. Oatcakes with peanut butter/nutella (2 together makes a nice sandwich and easy to carry), bagel with ham & cream cheese, malt loaf, fig rolls, bananas, cola, energy gels (GU like the thicker feel), Nunn drinks.

    There are lots of other things just depends on where I'm going and if I know that I can stop on route and grab food/fluids in which case I carry less.

    Glad to hear the fitness wash't and issue though & let us know how you get on.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Stu Coops
    Stu Coops Posts: 426
    Try eating proper food which will be easy on the stomach i:e small turkey & cheese sandwiches, peanuts, oaty flapjacks and theres nothing wrong with malt loaf and that kind of thing but as for the gels they will upset your stomach if you have to many especially with electrolyte drinks aswell as they are not designed for long distance endurance events really there more for racing top end and you whack one in the last 20 mins or so for the final sprint if the energy levels are dwindling.

    The kind of event your doing you should be eating proper food little and often, and as for drinks just keep youself hydrated with water or squash and if you do feel the need for a gel for this kind of event your not really eating properly and with the intensity you'll be working at there's no need to deprive yourself.

    I did a charity ride from Cardiff-London-Cardiff a few years ago and ate proper food and was fine although shagged out by time I got back but make sure your getting the fluids in aswell as it also helps digest the food.

    Hope that helps a bit but I do agree with others aswell you need to experiment but equally don't overthink it as this will just complicate your progress.
    Zesty 514 Scott Scale 20 GT Expert HalfwayupMTB
  • jezandu
    jezandu Posts: 10
    Everyone is very different in how they react to food taken while doing exercise. If you are one of those people who struggle with food on thier stomach then you'll have to consider using Gels and energy drinks more than solid foods. However, with a bit of experimentation and training you can make up a good mix that will serve you well. Ideally you need to be consuming around 300cals per hour whilst racing, as well as taking on any extra during longer stops.

    During my last 24 hour race on one lap I had an electrolyte drink a gel and 200cal of food including half a cereal bar, 25g mixed nuts, slice of soreen cake. On my next lap I had an energy drink with 300cal in food including Jelly babies, ceral bar and sorren cake. Then alternate. Eat regualrly and have all the bits broken up into bite sized pieces in a small cup which you can put in your back pocket. The nuts are a great energy source but helps as sometimes all the sugary foods can make you feel a bit light headed. Test different energy drinks. I use High Five 4:1 as SIS made me feel a bit sick.

    I'm currently writing advice for 24 hour racing on my blog which will include nutrition, training and equipment.
    see it at http://www.followingthechainline.blogspot.com