Nutrition for distance races

Stay strong and don’t bonk…..

Have you asked yourself how long you been actively participating in sports?  For me, it seems all my life from your typical soccer  and  basketball  in high school to your current sports activity.  I was heavily in mountain bike races and few road bike races.  I had a good few years for “Pumping iron” when I was in my 90’s but compare to nutrition you need from weight lifting to high intensity  sports activity is not  the same.

How do I compare my nutrition when I used to race mountain bike?  Most races was 8-19miles totals in few laps of trail racing and my nutrition was ok.   Nutrition has been massively growing compare to 18years ago.  Be honest  Hummer Nutrition was one of the big single sources for  nutrition needs back then,   Nutrition industry is everywhere  now and products are innovating to perform  our body at maximum.

I have used many of nutrition brands for like/dislike  and figuring out what works the best for me.   Recent  years I wanted to find new nutrition instead of older nutrition brands and/or combination I have been using it and came cross SIS (Science in Sports).   Just like anybody I order the sample and test it out if I like the products.  It didn’t take a long for me to say this the products I wanted to consume in my SUP racing.   Bud taste to individual is different so I can not speak for all to my peeps but if you are looking for light and less sugary taste for both hydration powder and energy gel then I highly recommend to try it out.

Purpose of this post is to give you an  insight on what SIS has suggested for Chattajack.

Here is first great pre-race information

With the pre-race carbohydrate intake, this can come from a range of sources: I’d suggest using a mixture of

  • Food sources
    • Cereals, toast, jam, bagels, energy bars, energy gels
  • Fluid sources
    • Fruit juice, carbohydrate based drinks
  • Protein can be included pre-race, this should be a small portion that is easily digestible

Energy and hydration would be the biggest areas to hit for racing. This should start with your pre-race breakfast: aim for 2-3 grams of carbohydrate per KG of body weight 2-3 hours before. A carbohydrate snack can then be used in the hour before racing

Here is first great race  nutrition information

For 6 hours on the water I would use 1x Isotonic Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte per hour. If you wanted to include caffeine I would have these in your last 1-2 hours as replacements for Isotonic Gels, the set-up could be:

  • Hour 1= 1x Isotonic Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte
  • Hour 2= 1x Isotonic Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte
  • Hour 3= 1x Isotonic Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte
  • Hour 4= 1x Isotonic Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte
  • Hour 5= 1x Energy + Caffeine Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte
  • Hour 6= 1x Energy + Caffeine Gel & 500ml of GO Electrolyte

2x 2L paddler for GO Electrolyte

500ml of GO Electrolyte + 1 Isotonic gel should cover you for an hour of exercise. If possible I’d carry the gels as individuals as appose to emptying them into a flask – having a gel to open per hour and take is a really good mental cue to break the race into smaller chunks and tackle the distance psychologically.

4.5hrs simulation test results

Me:   “So I just did 4hrs simulation plus warmup/cool down  4.5hrs 19.14miles (30.8KM),3.4L of Go Electrolyte  and 4pack of Isotonic Gel.  Gel I took one before  and start taking 1st hr.  In to the 4th hr it was cool down so I didn’t take.  I think I had about 500ml left in simulation.  No cramps other just burning muscle  and tired calf.  I felt overall well hydrated and had a very good performance dispute  getting tired.”

SIS:  “That’s great news, glad we could help! Yes, towards the end you could use Electrolyte gels to deliver energy and replace the salts lost in sweat; however, the 3.4L of GO Electrolyte would deliver fluids, salts and carbohydrates – taking care of all your hydration needs. Having a gel with you for an emergency is a good idea though that you could go with.”

Calories burn vs Carb intake

Me:  “My speedcoach said I burn 1600cal and change  in 4hrs.”

SIS:  “Youy will always end up in a calorie deficit during this type of prolonged exercise..Do not worry about calories, but think about getting the 60-90g of carbohydrates per hour. Your current plan does provide this.”

Hydration carrying limitation

Me:  “If I’m correct  below will be 58G of carbo intake.  If hydration is limited to what I would carry on my body taking  2x gel might an idea? “‘

SIS:  “It’s worth noting that you still receive 40ml of fluid from the isotonic gels which can go towards fluid intake.  2 gels is a great idea if hydration is limited, although try and consume around 500ml per hour., Having a second gel per hour, towards the end of the race, is a good option that you can include as part of the race plan.”

Closing argument

So  below here is what Chattajack play card look like and I double up my gel intake from 3hrs and on.  This play card was based on after few 4hrs of simulation training  in L2/L3 zone.  Start your race plan nutrition.  Start choosing your nutrition brand that specifically works for you.  I seen too many people ask “what you do you use”…..  Plenty of good nutrition brand is out on the market.  Matter fact that content in all the different nutrition is about the same for most part.   There is many reason I choose SIS for nutrition but what’s most important is to order sample and taste it.  Get out there used while you are  sweating and see what you choose to use  is right for you.  At the end of the day someone taking same nutrition  may not be the right nutrition or combination of nutrition that works for you.

I hope this will  help you to clear some of your nutrition stress you may have to complete your next  long distance races.