The following is a step by step guide to creating an event day nutrition strategy that will leave nothing to chance. For optimal results, you should be practising and refining your event day strategy well in advance.
Given the length of this event, and due to the demanding nature of training and the race itself, everyone will benefit from following a nutrition plan prior to, and during the Karapoti Classic.
Not only will the right nutrition plan boost your efforts on race day, but it will help you get the most out of your training, ensure you are energized after training so you live life to the full, and prevent illness that often comes with a heavy training load.
Remember the Trailblazer Nutrition Golden Rule: Never try something on event day that you have not trialled in training.
1. Estimate your goal time
Make a realistic estimate of your goal time. Knowing how long you will be on course will inform how much fuel you need to take with you. This will also help you pace yourself which is essential for an enjoyable and successful day.
2. Think about fluid
You should know approximately how much you are likely to consume per hour on event day. If you don't already, you can measure your sweat rate, otherwise 'drink to thirst' (work out how much this will be during training), or stick to a conservative amount such as 600mls per hour.
Total fluid requirements for event = goal time x hourly fluid rate
Consider how much fluid you can carry with your hydration set up. How many bottles can you carry on your bike? How much fluid fits in your camelpack?
Are you used to drinking from a camelpack? This may be considerably easier when doing this tough course than using a drink bottle. Consider investing in a camelpack and practise using it.
Aid station intel:
There are two aid stations, but they just contain cups, so you won't be able to refill camelpacks and drink bottles easily. The aid station fluid is R-Line and water. R-Line contains carbohydrates so is the best option, however if you carry sports drink, you might enjoy the fresher taste of water at this point.
If you want to take a precise approach to your fluid intake and save on weight, you could take into account two x 150ml cups of R-Line at each aid station, meaning you can carry 600mls less fluid than you would otherwise. This may not seem like much, but when you are half way up the devils staircase, you may think otherwise. 4 cups of R-Line will provide about 30-40g of carbohydrate.
There is no food at the aid stations.
You should practise using R-Line during training to ensure that you like the taste and you tolerate it.
3. Consider your carb intake
Practise consuming carbs on trail rides. What is the easiest type of packaging for you? You generally want to get a good dose of carbs in each time you take a hand off the handlebars, so favour gels/bars with at least 20g of carbs rather than little lolly type 'bloks'. Consider whether you can eat these products one handed, or if you need to stop and eat them. Where will you store them? Consider this when choosing a camelpack. Having gels handy will save time and effort, and you will be more likely to consume them.
You should know how much carbohydrate you can tolerate per hour, and therefore how much of your chosen carbohydrate source you need to carry.
60g per hour is a decent amount of carbs for this event. When exercising longer than two hours, more will benefit performance, but only if you have been practising during training.
Total carbohydrate requirements = goal time x hourly carb intake
Carbohydrates required from food sources = total carbohydrate requirements - carbs obtained from your fluid.
How many serves you will need to take with you = carbs required from food sources divided by grams of carbs in each serve of your chosen gel/bar.
4. Practise your event day nutrition strategy in training
This goes for your pre-event meal, fluid consumed prior to the race starting, the brand of fluid and carbs you plan on using, eating whilst cycling at race pace, and eating in a bunch.
A big part of developing a nutrition plan that works for you will be figuring out how you can get the fuel into your body whilst navigating this technical course. Think about investing in a camelpack for hands free hydration, and what sort of gels/bars you find easiest to open and consume.
If all this seems like too much effort you have another option: Get Tom Shand to do it for you. He will create a personalised nutrition programme for training and event day for just $99.95
Trailblazer Nutrition Personalised Nutrition Programme - $99.95
The Trailblazer Nutrition Programme is an interactive, personalised, nutrition plan designed specifically for you by our sports dietitian, Tom Shand. With ongoing contact with Tom, your nutrition for training and on event day is sorted. Click here for more details.