Race day fuel is a critical part of a rider’s success or failure during an event. It takes years of trial and error to get it right, and even then, something can throw you off your game and your event gets tanked before it even begins. Up until 2021, it would be fair to say that my approach to race day fuel for my body was not based on any scientific principles much less advice from far more experienced people who valiantly tried to steer me towards a better path.
My approach to race day fuel was this: I can eat anything and I will be fine! When I was racing shorter distance events, it was easy to survive on a few gels and energy bars. I never had any sort of gastrointestinal problems and I thought I was doing ok. Over the last few years I have shifted my focus from short distance events (sub 40-50 miles) to longer endurance events (100+ mile events) as I thoroughly enjoy the vibe, scene, camaraderie, and the experience of pushing your body to the limit. Unfortunately, this means that my version of “race day fuel” was the equivalent to putting in the worst possible gasoline into your car and then lining up for a Formula One race hoping not to get lapped on your opening lap.
Something needed to change. That change finally happened this year at the 2021 Belgian Waffle Ride and what a difference it made! Road Bike Action heard about my dietary exploits and asked me a few questions about it.