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More Food Intake?

Nick CodNick Cod Posts: 321
So having recently completed the Mega Meon Wiggle sportive I wanted to get a few ideas on how to keep myself better fuelled during the event and please share any experiences you may have had

I opted for the epic route, 100 miles with three feed stops along the way. The route was fantastic and very well signed throughout the course but my only minor gripe was that all the feed stations were identical. Plain flapjack, Powerbar sweets, jelly babies and bananas, plus of course the water bottle refills. By mile 60 ish I found I was starting to feel like I was running on empty. I had my own gels and couple of energy bars in my jersey but they were becoming hard to eat and found myself forcing them down

Towards the end of the ride I did feel like I was hanging on by a thread and if I dismounted I wouldn’t have carried on. I made it up the last climb and crossed the finish line. My wife had made a beef and vegetable pie for when I got home, I ate loads

Now I don’t consider myself particularly big in size and riding anything up to 60 miles on a weekend isn’t unusual with a 40 mile commute in the week. Plus I have done 100 mile events before so this wasn’t a complete unknown. I had a good breakfast the morning of the ride and continued to drink a whole one of the two 750ml bottles I was carrying between feed stations

Maybe it was a one off, but any feedback is appreciated

2016 Cube Agree C:62 SLT DISC
2013 Cayo Evo 3
2013 Zesty 414
2002 Avalanche 0.0
2018 Vitus Substance v2 105 Gravel


  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,692
    Sounds like a lack of real food at the stations if I'm honest.

    Sweets and power bars aren't going to sustain 100 miles, a few sandwiches thrown in would probably have helped you along the way.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    There are lots of schools of thought on this. Sugar isn't really the way to go, you'll probably get enough of that in your drink additive. It does cause ups and downs so its better sipped in a drink than eaten in food. Slow release carbs you get from the flapjacks and again its better to nibble than stop and refuel. Caffeine can make a difference - decent amount of coffee at the start etc..

    However, I don't reckon this is where the problem sits - gut feel says you may have been stopping too long at the feed stations. You got to keep the stops short, try to keep them under 2 mins. The body just isn't geared up to get going again onced its started to cool. 2 mins gives you sufficient CV recovery without cool down, any longer and you are going in to cool down recovery.

    Alternatively, you could try some bonk training to up your ability to run on empty. I did it and it worked very well for me. I'm consuming 50-70% less on a big ride as a result of bonk training.

    Craving Meat, chips etc is just part of endurance cycling. I actually hate flapjacks now.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I did a sportive where I felt totally nauseous and like I couldn't go on, very depressed and down and just wanted to go home - I'd had loads of energy foods and they just made me feel more sick.

    Got to a feed stop and, even though I felt really sick I forced down a chicken and stuffing sandwich and a bag of ready salted crisps. I worred I might throw it up but when I got back on the bike I was completely rejuvenated.

    For me, the sweet stuff just makes me feel terrible - has to be balanced with something savoury and salty. I really like rice cakes on rides because they're so bland they balance out all the sweet stuff.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,178
    Maybe a good first point would be to have a reasonable guesstimate of how much you burned on your ride and how much you ate. You can then at least get an idea of whether you didn't eat enough or it was the wrong kind of food.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    If you want some real food on the bike, try this book. I cook stuff from it all the time and it's made a huge difference to my appetite on the bike. There are plenty of sweet and savoury recipes in there, I've been using it all year and haven't really scratched the surface:

    One thing that I found really interesting was the concept of the water in your food. Whilst most packaged foods (flapjacks, cereal bars energy bars) are very low in water weight, proper food such as Bananas, rice cakes (not the puffy crisp type ones) and mini pies are much higher. I find this generally helps keep you more hydrated, but also gives your stomach less grief, not having to simultaneously rehydrate and digest a dry old flapjack.
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