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11.018e – Æight days a week – Gluttony

If you’re going on a long car journey, you need enough fuel, so if you’re going to ride your bike a long way you’ll need a full tank too. Luckily, just like cars, you can store this fuel in your body until you need it rather than having to eat too much whilst you’re racing.

You should have a good base fitness from the summer season of racing and you should have been eating the right stuff for months now if you race a lot. Even if you don’t, you should look at eating and drinking the right things for around 2-3 weeks before the big day. The key thing is to store lots of proteins and a little fat over a long period and to boost these with a late hit of carbohydrates.

Lots of meats, good fresh vegetables, and fish are the best ways to get sustainable stores of protein into your body. We’re quite good at storing these things and up to a point you can load up on protein and use it only when you need it. A little bit of fat is a good thing too, and can be used by the body if we use up too much of our protein stores. It also has been shown to help stave off sickness in performance athletes.

But, if you don’t have sufficient supplies of fats and proteins it’s a little late now – the thing you should concern yourself with is carbohydrate loading. Carbohydrates break down much faster than proteins and provide lots of energy per gram, so it’s essential to get a lot into your system as late as possible. Pasta, rice, potatoes and nuts are all things you should be consuming in large quantities with a day or two to go.

Of course there are certain things you’ll need on race day that can’t be stored beforehand so today is also the day to get your food bag/box sorted for the weekend. Everybody needs different things and the race itself will dictate this, but don’t leave this until the petrol station at the last junction on your way to the race because it’ll be over priced and they won’t have what you want – I speak from experience!

My bag for this weekend will have lots of gel, lots of bars, lots of sandwiches, carbohydrate powder, nuts, bananas, chocolate and some recovery drinks.

At this point you should now have everything ready, boxed/bagged up and waiting to go. It’s worth getting the car loaded up early – it gives you time to remember all of the things you’ve forgotten! After that you can relax, put your feet up and get an early night!

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