What happens on a long ride if I under-fuel?

I did the “super” variation of last weekend’s Gorge Gravel Grinder:

Let me debrief. Feel free to add your experiences with bad races, unexpected hard days, etc. :slight_smile:

A PRISTINE day for riding in the PNW, but I was kind of shocked at my poor performance. I have a few #excuses:

  • Did I have a cold? I went to sleep the night before and I felt like something was very off.
  • In the “neutral rollout”, I was in the group with some very fast guys (e.g. Peter Stetina); the pace, for me, was at or above my threshold.
  • I missed an aid station. As a result, ate 60 g carb in hour 1, 60 g carb in hour 2, but then 0 anything hours 3 and 4. Throw in a few minutes of very VO2-like efforts for me and I’m literally begging for food from passersby. Some nice peeps gave me a 100 calorie Maurten gel and a sleeve of Clif Shot Bloks.
  • This was too much for any activity type on week 8 of 18 weeks of sweet spot (perhaps that is obvious…)

So, after surviving my unintended fasting, I had to start nursing an old achilles strain, and I struggled to get my heart rate above 145 bpm, barely managing Z2 for the remaining 3 hours. Came in last place for men 18-35 and 87th out of 89 for men overall; finished in 7:17:26. :snail:


Bummer! Have definitely been there in long races where I under fueled and all I could manage was a pathetic zone 2 power output that felt like zone 4!