Given my cycling experience is pretty low prior to starting this journey (to say the least) and the fact that I've got the Vit coming up in a couple of months and have entered IMR next year with the rest of you motley crew, I was wondering what people tend to use for nutrition in longer races, particularly on the bike.
This has probably been covered in threads gone by but was struggling to find anything coherent in one place. I know everyone is different and I need to find out what suits me best but at the moment my nutrition is a bit hit and miss at the best with no particular structure so thought I'd see what others do as I'm not sure my scattergun approach is going to work with going long.
Am wondering in particular things like how much you drink per hour, what you eat (bars, gels, clif shots, nuun tablets etc), how many calories per hour, etc.
Jelly babies, snickers and sports drink - the occasional nanana work for me. Try to replicate race fuel in training so your bod doesn't get too shocked on the day.
Think about what, but also when. A good tip is to use a beeping stopwatch or similar to ensure you eat and drink regularly. You need to practice this in training to develop a routine and learn not to lose the fuelling rhythm if the beeper coincides with hills or traffic etc.
On the bike I aim to eat something every 40 minutes. Something is usually a gel or half an energy bar/Nakd bar/Trek bar. I tend to stick with SIS gels as no extra water needed. Drink at 20 minute intervals (isotonic with electrolytes) or more frequent if warmer (I do need to get better at this). This should be about 200-250 cals per hour. I tend to stop the solids for the later stages of the ride as I don't digest well at race pace (if I slack off I get away with more solids). I will take nanas from aid stations (easily digested and good source of potassium).
My nutrition does then tend to go to cock on the run (I've not found a comfortable way to carry 6+ SIS for IM distances). Check where the aid stations are and what is available.
I'm doing the Vit and IMR too... but i'm as inexperienced as you are!
My routine so far has been an SIS gel every 20mins (I like the orange ones), and water, with High5 electrolyte tabs in it.... seems to work for me.... although on a longer ride, carrying lots of gels is 'interesting'.... I may well try the versions provided by IMR after the vit to see if I can avoid having to carry 20+ gels!!!!
Thanks guys - all really useful stuff.
I know what you mean about carrying loads of gels on the run FF as for stand-alone marathons I have carried 6 gels with me and it is a pain in the arse.
Like the idea of having gels diluted in a water bottle as I get covered in sticky mess even when use them running so have no idea what it would be like while riding! Mister W - where can you get gels in a bottle as that sounds like a plan (have only seen them in individual sachets so far.
So for drinks, do people just tend to use water and then drop an electrolyte tablet in it (eg High5 or Nunn - no idea what the difference is!) rather than a ready made sports drink?
Everyone does something different. I found actual IMs easier than training as people keep giving you stuff...... This was something I sent to RC when he asked about IMD last week
I use a concentrated bottle of sports drink (*6), - I squidge a 1/6 bottle into the aero, and fill up with water. I go through a bottle of sports drink per hour. I use Torq lime - not too sweet....)
I also have a water bottle on the go, with nuun/zero bottles as well - (3-4 over an IM bike ride). Practice getting the tabs into a water bottle while on the move. ps... Don't dump full ones at the next aid station!!!! Nuun was the orriginal as is great. High5 Zero is High 5 version, and is also good - the orangeCherry flavour is lovely. I use the nuun/zero stuff with gels / bars, and prefer it to water as I sweat a lot and have really suffered in the heat before.
As for nutrition... on the bike the plan was
I use a bento box with 4 bars, 6 gels ish, and another 4 gels banded together in my tri top pocket, and a packet of zipvit black cherry chews. I was aiming for 4-500 cals per hour.
I had the salt tabs in a couple of bank coin bags, (stops water disolving them.....). I added these a week before IMDE when the temps looked to be > 30 degrees.
I grabbed water at the aid stations and did the torq shuffle. I also grabbed 1-2 bannana halves at every aid station, as well as some gels etc well ahead of when I started to run low.
My stomach felt a little uncomfortable now and again - was mostly volume / being tucked in a aero position. It went away.
For training I used some bars / gels on 1 full race sim ride. That got pretty expensive to do regulalrly so for most training rides I used 1 bar and 1 gel per hour, supplemented with maltloaf, bananas, apples, jam sandwhiches etc etc.
Thanks OC - that's great info and just the sort of thign I was after.
Thanks MW too - will check it out as I have issues opening the gels on a run let alone on the bike...
Just to add a couple of points which I hope that you find helpful.
Quite a few people have mentioned drinking water, if you can stomach it, I would go as far as to say that drinking water is never the best option in a race in hot climate. You have already lost and will be losing elactrolytes as you sweat and these need to be replaced as soon as possible so I think that a drink containing electrolytes (as well as Carbohydrate) would be the best thing.
Also, the advice on kcals per hour is really useful, but I would build on that and suggest that it is slightly more spcific to talk in grams of Carbohydrate per min and you dont want more than around 75g per hour (o just 60g is using single carb gels i.e. just glucose).
Below is a section on IM Nutrition that I wrote recently which I hope helps. Also, (although the site is down at the moment so I cant provide a link, if you want to have a look at the website 'TZero Triathlon', you'll find some other good articles in the 'blog' section.
Hope that that helps
Interested in this thread as I'm doing the vit too, and my hydration/fuel intake ws very poor on Bala bike leg.
One question... Anyone got any suggestions as to why I get hiccups on the bike? It's definately not due to over drinking. My only thoughs so far are maybe gulping air when I drink? Or someone suggested that it may be the position I'm in when I drink & I should make myself more upright to drink? Anyone care to agree/disagree/offer alternative?
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