Yup, It's almost race day. Saturday I have my first real workout for 2011 an 8 hour mountain bike race. All of my other rides and races this year have been either shared team pain or short races. This one is 8 hours of pain in heat and humidity. I have been here before but I am feeling the same thing I always do. A routine question keeps popping in my head: "What do I eat?!?". I am racing in the Solo Singlespeed category and although I am not truly vying for a podeum position I don't want to bonk either.
Last year in this race I did the Perpetuem and Heed thing and it worked ok but I ended up with late day gut rot as usual. The next race I added Endurolytes and even though it was fall and cooler weather I think they actually helped. This summer at the Summer Solstice 24 hour I cut out the Heed completely and had no gut rot. I did include endurolytes again though as well as some new foods.
Sometime this spring I was introduced to Powerbar Gel's. The first one I grabbed felt kinda weird and liquidy compared to the hammer ones I had had in the past. Examining the packaging I was pleased to see there were more caffeinated flavors and varying amounts of caffeine options per gel. May 1 I ran my first Marathon and decided to fuel with on course refreshments and these Gel's. It felt kinda bold as I had yet to eat one as i generally don't train with Gel's and powders. I had one 1/2 hour before the run, it was awesome (well as awesome as a gooey substance in tinfoil-esque packaging can be). It was much easier to ingest than any hammer gel I have ever had. On course I had 2 more during the run and found the same. I also found the energy did not die off quickly on me.
When packing for the 24 hour I decided on an interesting mix which worked well for a 5 man team approach to eating. 2 hours before lap one I had a Peanutbutter and Banana on whole wheat wrap(Race Taco?!?). 1/2 hour before the lap I had one Powerbar Gel which I was preaching to my teammates about and gave them each one to try, and Endurolytes. I then took water on the bike and stuffed a just in case gel in my jersey pocket. The lap felt great so upon finishing I had a Race Taco, a scoop of Perpetuem, and a can of Pepsi (I know that does not sound right). Before each lap Powerbar Gel and Endurolytes. On each lap Water. This became the routine until approx 3am when the pre-lap cocktail started to contain a little RedBull (eh well). Anyways during and after the race I felt awesome and my lap times were more consistent than they have ever been at one of these events.
So I am writing this and learning a bit at the same time. From what I have said before my body seems to like: Race Taco's, Powerbar Gel, Perpetuem, Endurolytes, and Water. It seems to dislike Heed for some reason.
Saturday I will likely try to pre-fuel with a solid meal and go with the powder/gel mix mentioned with a backup plan of Race Taco's in the cooler if I need something solid. As always apre-race I will be craving grease/salt/beer but what can ya do?!?
Thanks for listening to my notknowingness of it all... I'm out...