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1  - 19 April 2013 11:32

Expect there are lots of preferences and approaches, but just wanted to see what people are going for?

Having experimented over a few of these races, I now do liquids only, in the firm of energy drink and gels, as I found it was just too much of a nuisance trying to chew and swallow solid stuff while riding.

Also, how much should you look to take on over a long, say 6-12hr, race?

1. I've read in a couple of places that 500ml per hour is a good starting point for drinking.  But personally (unless its VERY hot) I find this way too much, and will end up bloated, making multiple stops, or being up half the night after a race.

2. I also read somewhere to take on a gram of carbs per kilo of bodyweight per hour - so 2 gels + energy drink equals about 70g for me.  Another book said to target 40-60g of carbs per hour, as the body can't take on more over that time.

A concern of mine is that I'm usually up half the night taking a pee after these long races.  Could I perhaps be taking on too much sugar, which then has to be "flushed out" later?  This can't be a good thing, surely?

Any thoughts / views would be much appreciated!

Last edited by Boneyjoe (19 April 2013 11:34)

2  - 19 April 2013 16:32

For a 12 hour multi lap event like Torq 12:12 I tend to go with a variety of bottles pre-made.  I would normally guess at 2 x 750ml bottles every 3 hours.  I have two bottle cages on the bike so change bottles every 3-4 laps, or if the pits are at the side of the course pick up a new bottle when I need one.

I have found drinks with some protein in work well for me, I am currently favouring lemonade flavour Accelerade.   I will also use some bottles with just a High5 Zero tablet in, and the occasional bottle of High5 Extreme when I start getting a bit tired.   On their own the drinks with protein in can get a bit heavy after a while, so like to have a few options.    I also leave a small camelbac in the pits filled with water that I can pick up if I start feeling a bit dehydrated or go off energy drink.

I find the temperature makes a big difference to how much I have to drink.   I did Bristol Bikefest several years ago and it was really hot, I struggled to drink enough fluid during the race, in comparison D2D last year was fairly cold and I found I was drinking too much fluid.

I will normally have a gel or bar every hour or so.   I seem to over estimate how many of these I need and never get through all ones I have with me, but better safe than sorry.

On a long loop I would take two bottles and refill at water stops, I would probably take my own powder depending on what is offered.

Four4th Lights
3  - 2 October 2013 14:46

There are no hard and fast rules here, only to leave enough time for your pre-race meal to digest so that you don’t feel uncomfortably full. In general a large meal takes around four hours to digest, a smaller meal up to two hours. Do not be tempted by a hotel breakfast or try anything new at this stage. Drink plenty of fluids in the 2-3 hours before you start and a small cup of water about ten minutes before the gun goes.

4  - 4 October 2013 13:50

Thanks for the input.  This past summer, I was finding 500ml / hr about right for me, although temps were generally in the low 20s Celsius for most of my races, so not too hot (though AYTE was the one exception - scortching!).  Also, found that a gel about every 45mins, plus the energy drink, seemed to work well for the carb and electrolyte intake - more was pretty difficult to get down, and less just didn't seem like enough! Probably adviseable to be reasonably flexible about these things, depending on the conditions etc.

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