Fuel Correctly For Your Target Race
The main thing to remember is not to do anything differently on race day. It’s a nutritional no-no to try products you haven’t used before, because they could cause negative side effects for you on the day. If you want to try something, do it on a hard training ride a few weeks before the race.
Breakfast: Go for carbs. Our bodies use carbs more readily than other fuel sources. Oats is the perfect pre-race meal. You should eat two hours to 90 minutes before the start time.
30 Minutes To Go Time: Top up with half a protein bar or half a banana 30 minutes before the start. Also, drink 500ml of an electrolyte drink – sip it slowly.
During the race: The general principle is 60g to 80g of carbs an hour. Take small sips very often of a high-carb electrolyte drink, and eat the other half of the protein bar or banana. A common mistake is that during the first hour, you get drawn into the race and forget to eat – or you get overexcited, and stuff your face.
After Misty Cliffs, there’s a short climb where you’ll have to dig deep to hang with the bunch. But know that when you turn right to Ocean View, there’s a moment for recovery as you head to Chapman’s Peak. Take advantage of this time to eat something solid, and drink your energy drink.
After the second hour, riders going for a sub-3 and who are used to gels should consider taking a gel. You should train with gels if you are considering using them in the Cycle Tour. It’s important to train your gut – you don’t want to get caught short. Gels are a high-energy source, and will give you a spike. So continue taking them every 20 to 30 minutes. If you take gels, it’s important to remember to drink a lot of water during the race – and/or straight after.
At the bottom of Chappies, top up with your electrolyte or energy drink, because Suikerbossie gets quite hot.
Recovery: Don’t head to the beer tent just yet – alcohol dehydrates you, and you need to be rehydrated.. First have a chocolate milk and 500ml of water, and something solid to eat – but not too high in carbs, as you would have had a lot of carbs during the race. Biltong is a good choice.
Now, go and get that beer (or three).