Race Fuel Steamboat Gravel

Hey Guys,

My go to race fuel plan has always been the gels/chews/bars rotation that you’ve talked about: Target about 300 calories per hour (for longer than 2.5 hrs), eating every 30 minutes, and getting about 200 of the hour’s calories from gels/chews/bars, and the remaining 100 calories from drink mix.

However, the upcoming Steamboat gravel race has made me rethink this plan: The fluid choices at the aid stations will be either water, or GU Roctane Energy drink, which has about 250 calories per 21 oz tall bottle. I figure that I’ll be consuming about a tall bottle (21 oz) per hour during the last half (4 hrs??) of the race when it gets warm.

If I were just using bottles, this wouldn’t be an issue, because it would be simple to grab 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of the Roctane, alternate the drinking, and end up following the above plan.

BUT… My plan for this race is to use a Camelback Chase Vest (1.5 L or 50 oz capacity), and skip most of the stops. I’ve been doing my simulation rides with the same Roctane in my hydration pack, and in my bottles. That means cutting back the gels/chews/bars to a pretty minimal 50 calories per hour, and relying on the Roctane drink mix to supply the bulk of the calories.

What do you think? So far (longest race sim 6 hrs) this plan has worked OK. But, I’ve never raced 8hrs relying this much on liquid calories. Your thoughts appreciated!

Hi @dwzink - I think you are on the right track BUT don’t go a changing what’s been working before the race. IOW stick with what you have been doing and adjust from there bc if you experiment of going all liquid calories doesn’t work out… then you’ll find out on race day :frowning:

Instead - go with your Chase Vest w/ Roctane and bring your gels>blocks> bars.

I think the more you eat the more you can keep your glycogen tank full. AS LONG AS your stomach doesn’t get upset.

Me personally, I’m going gels > blocks > bars every 30 min PLUS 50oz Gu Roctane i the Chase Bike Vest + in the bottles. My stomach doesn’t get upset and I’ve tested this out over a 1/2 dozen times this Summer so I’ll be getting my calories fro every 30 min + liquid. The more the better for me.

I’m gonna skip the 1st aid station for sure bc it is going to be chaos and keep trucking. Hope that helps - you are on the right track - see you there next week!

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I’d definitely echo what @FRANK said regarding not changing much at this point in the game! If you can handle doing liquid nutrition for 6 hours, you’re probably going to be fine to rock the vest and get most of your calories from that. The only major problem there is that since it’s the same kind of fuel for the whole thing, the body may rebel at a certain point since it’s likely only a couple types of sugar, and since different types of carbohydrate sources have different absorption rates and affect gastric emptying differently, it may be smart to at least rotate in a couple other types of foods in there to get some complex carbs (such as from a bar) in order to maximize the body’s ability to absorb effectively. See you this weekend!