Eating / fueling multi-day rides and races

So there’s a thread for race nutrition and 200-mile ride nutrition, but how about multi-day ride/race nutrition? As I am planning for vRAW, what sorts of nutrition things should I be thinking about? I know from my 24-hour races that after about 15 hours my stomach starts to get cranky and food becomes 100% unappealing unless it is bland.

I won’t be riding 15+ hours a day, but the days will be long and back-to-back. Besides breakfast to start the day (oatmeal), do I want to fuel like I do for 200-miles and 24-hours with “bites” every 20-ish minutes, a bigger snack like a banana and peanut butter every 50-ish miles plus lunch/dinner? Or is a different strategy called for here?

And what does a recovery meal look like so I can get up the next day and do it all over again? I usually just have a smoothie or some oatmeal and go to bed but don’t have to ride the next day so have never actually planned out the recovery meal.

I’m assuming hydration and electrolyte intake would be pretty much the same as any other rides?

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We talked about this one briefly during today’s Q&A - I will post soon

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@Coach_Theia-How do I eat through this tour? I keep thinking back to my last race experience and it was bad because I failed on the fuel side

@franklim I moved the topic (Tour de Boudicca) here to keep the related discussion in one place.

Please also check the May 15 Q&A video.

The Tour of Boudicca will be different than Stefanie’s vRAW in that the races are short and only 3 consecutive days. Nevertheless, some of the same guidelines apply:

  • Eat about 90 grams of carbs + 20g of protein about 2.5-3hs before the event. Then 30-45 min before the event, have a small snack with some fast-digesting carbs and a little protein (examples are white rice with an egg, potatoes, bread without much fiber and jam/nut butter, small bowl of cereal again with no fiber, a bar (such as Cliff, Skratch, Macrobar, etc.) I do all of this and top it off with a gel with caffeine during my race warm up.

  • If the race is over 1h long, you can have a gel or maple syrup half way through

  • Eat your recovery meal (or shake if you prefer) immediately after the race, even if you are not hungry. This is important for fast recovery for the next day. Again, aim for 20g of protein and 60-90g of carbs.

  • Increase your carbs overall on these days according to these guidelines (the Tour would be an “orange” day on that table).

  • In addition to having electrolyte in your bottle during the races, drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate well.

  • For US racers in the Central and East time zones, you may chose to have an early light lunch/brunch at 2.5-3 h before the event, then your pre-event snack, depending on how early your breakfast is. For European time zones, this will be the evening, so you’d want a light/early dinner.

  • Avoid too much fiber and fats before the event as these slow down digestion.Save those for after.

Please let me know if you have questions!

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Yes! Question here.

I am not good at drinking water, but when I am good the only thing it does to me is make me run to the bathroom every hour. Is that a bad sign or just how it is supposed to be? I dont think I eat too little of salt/mineral either… well, at least I thought so. I have been logging the last week on the app My Fitness Pal just to get a picture of things, at it seems like I am constantly under my daily goal for natrium/sodium. My goal is 2300 mg, but I am usually between 600-900 grams. Is eating too little salt a thing? I thought the opposite, especially in climates that arent too warm!

I baked soft pretzels with salt on top for my partner today (he was craving them and I have never tried) He is the type that puts extra salt on top. I am always careful with salt because I thought that was the healthy thing to do. How do we know we lack salt?

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I had 300 gram of carbohydrates yesterday. According to the chart I should have had 400-550 grams. So working on that today! facepalm

@Silje, I’m surprised at how much food it takes to get that amount of carb. lol. Because of @Coach_Theia’s guidance I don’t feel as awful this morning as I usually do after a hard effort. Hmmm guess this is something I will take forward with me!!

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OMG @Silje I apparently did my math wrong yesterday and for some reason was thinking 200 and I saw your number and went want?! I just redid my math and i need at least double ~400 - like @bkolden not feeling bad today at all - since i was thinking 60-90 2.5-3 before, 60-90 after i wasn’t sweating the other carbs i ate so I must’ve done ok - guess we’ll see in a few hours

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Well boom! Upping carbs with over 50 % helps, go figure :smiley:

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Dinner last night was a wrap of leftover cold chick pea pasta, tofu and greens with kale chips seasoned with salt and nutritional yeast. I also had a chocolate recovery cupcake for dessert :grin:

Breakfast this morning was overnight oatmeal. Then my lunch today was a maple miso grain bowl with black currants from the garden:


My recovery snack was a banana peanut butter carob smoothie. Mmmm.

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I’m so predictable - today i made more kodiak cake sourdough pancakes and had them with blueberries this morning, then the egg/sweet potato 45 min out, and had more pancakes after it - dinner will be leftover pizza and Brussels sprouts.
Tomorrow evening i am going to treat myself to eating out or getting take out from one of the local places by my house - I’ve only done that like once since SaH but i think after this weekend I deserve it :sweat_smile:

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yes, the running to the bathroom all the time from drinking lots of water is normal… How do you know that you need 2300 mg of sodium daily?

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Hey @PaleGail, I have thought that about myself too, but you know what? If it works there is no reason to mess with it! Those pancakes look so yummy! :yum:

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Well, I dont know but thats my goal in MyFitnessPal and ballpark what the norwegian recommodations are. I was just puzzled how low my sodium and potassium numbers are (been logging very carefully the whole week to understand the facts)

So today was more of the same - finished off the sourdough pancakes (@Stefanie if you and James were able to get sourdough going and want the recipe link let me know) and some pasta after the race. I think besides yesterday’s route was not my cup of tea, i was not as well hydrated and fueled. I made sure to ahve well over 60 g of carbs for my 3hr ahead and drank more water than I thought i needed. I do think it helped today. In the end i was too lazy to go get takeout and so I made a quinoa chip, spinach, refined beans, guacamole, tomato and cheese salad for dinner

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Thank you @PaleGail! We have a sourdough pancake recipe, but James made sourdough waffles for breakfast Sunday :smiley: Your salad looks tasty! Had an early lunch before the race and finished off the maple miso grain porridge from the day before. Added a banana along with the black currants. About half an hour before the race I chugged down half a cup of coffee for a little caffeine boost. Had more maple syrup by my side during the race and was practically licking the bowl before the volcano climb. Had to clean up some sticky drips from the floor afterwards :laughing: Had a celebratory chocolate chocolate chip cupcake with peanut butter topping after the race.

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When 3 hours ahead may be 3 am or 4 am in WA I dint really feel like having that much and waking up to do it? Will eat before riding and take bars, munchies dates, zero tablets in water.
But the time difference for a proper meal 3 hrs before makes difficult .
Paula Munt

@paulamunt in that case the key is to eat well the night before - have extra carbs with dinner. Then in the morning just have something light and easily digestible: bananas, maple syrup, etc.

Sounds more like what we currently do, thanks heaps.

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