Planning for the 24-hour race - What to Eat

It has taken me awhile to work out what is best to eat during a 24-hour race. I have ascertained that I cannot cope with gels or energy drinks as my stomach begins to be unable to digest them, I feel sick with them and more importantly, it results in ulcers in my mouth and throat so that sometimes I cannot eat anything for 2 weeks after a 24-hour race. Having the infinit mix every 4 hours and normal food and drink in between really helps to fuel the body. Over time I have tried to sit down and work out how many calories I should be taking in per hour. This is a difficult way to ascertain what, how and when I should be eating and energy expenditure varies during the race.

I think that if I am consuming a healthy diet for the majority of the time before the race and refuel after the race the food in the race is just to keep the energy going and not to replace the number of calories which you have lost.  Fluid during the race is highly important and in the heat of a Brisbane summer, 1.5 liters of fluid at the very least is required per hour. You will note in the following table that not just plain water is consumed per hour though I try to carry a bottle of water and the other bottle has something added to it, for example, Gatorade, various flavors of juice, flat coke and water and my favorite iced chocolate!

I try to have a plan worked out beforehand for the person (normally my husband) in the pits so nothing is missed. You will note the table also includes the basics such insect repellant (yes those mosquitoes are prevalent in Australia), sunscreen (the sun is very powerful and you can get burnt very easily), lube for the chain (every few hours in the dry, dust conditions normally in Australia), chamois cream (a must have a mixture of ride mechanic chamois cream and Sudocream). I have a chronic pain condition so this is the only time I will take regular analgesias such as panadol, Voltaren and the occasional Brufen (all of which are permitted in competition). I take Buscopan on a regular basis to alleviate the stomach cramps which come with this style of racing (before discovering this I was unable to eat during long rides and races and survived on water!). You will also notice that I take No-Doz (caffeine tablets which again are permitted in competition) for the night laps which may just have a placebo effect however it seems to keep me awake - I don't drink coffee I even hate the smell of it! Changing of lights and batteries can be time-consuming so a thorough plan includes how often and when to change (I have been caught out previously). 

For the most part, the plan works. At the last 24 hour, everything except the food at the end was adhered to. My husband knew I was getting tired so threw everything at me he could this meant copious amounts of coke a cola, lollies, marshmallows, pizza, chocolate.

At times the predicted lap times don't match so at best it's the estimate of laps. On this one I got a little carried away because I forgot how long the laps were!

Lap number

Food

Drink

Other

pre

Wheatbix +milk + sandwich +energy gel

juice, water, protein powder

Buscopan, panadol, sunscreen, chamois cream, lube for bike

sunscreen

insect repellant

1

nil

1x Infinite

1x Juice

nil

2

nil

1x juice

1x water

nil

3

1 x pro bar

1x banana

1x Gatorade

1x water

nil

4

1x Hot cross bun

1x juice

1x water

nil

5

1x jam sandwich

1x Infinite

1x water

Exposure light - switched on ready to go on correct setting P3HIGH,

head lights on helmet feed battery down shirt to back pocket

chamois cream + sudocream, 

lube bike

no doz x1,

Buscopan x1

6

1x pro bar

handful sweets

1x Gatorade

1x water

nil

7

1 x banana

1x iced choc (in drink bottle)

1x glucose drink

nil

8

pizza!

1x Infinit

1x water

change head light

lube chain,

chamois cream

1x no-doz

1x buscopan

2x panadol

arm warmers

yellow short sleeve jacket

9

1x hot cross bun

1x juice

1x water

nil

10

1x pro bar

1x banana

1x water

nil

11

Pizza

1x juice

change head light

lube chain,

chamois cream

1x no-doz

12

1x hot cross bun

1x Gatorade

nil

13

1x cake slice

handful sweets

1x infinit

nil

14

1x probar

marshmallows

1x juice

change head light

lube chain,

chamois cream

1x no-doz

1x buscopan

2x panadol

15

1x banana

1x water

nil

16

1x hot cross bun

1x glucose water

nil

17

2x wheatbix +milk

1x yoghurt

1x Infinite

nil

18

1x pasta and chicken (cold) 

1x juice

change head light - may be able to take lights off now

lube chain,

chamois cream

1x buscopan

sunscreen

1x no-doz

19

1x probar

marshmallows

1x coke and water

1x water

nil

20

1x banana

1x Gatorade

1x juice

nil

21

1x yogurt

1x infinit

1x water

2x panadol

chamois cream

lube chain

22

1x probar

handful sweets

1x coke and water

1x water

nil

23

1x cake slice

1x coke and water

1x water

nil

24

sweets/marshmallows

1x coke and water

1x water

finish!

Cold recovery drink

water

chair

clean/dry clothes

take my bike whilst I take Hayley