Nutrition in longer events

Who has what, and when?

Educate me.

I was (seriously) wondering whether pizza or pasta & tomato sauce would be good on the bike. The sugary chewy things sold as breakfast substitute aren't going to replace a whole day's (capital letters) FOOD.



  • How long is the event ?  Flapjacks or gingerbread men fit in a bento box.  You need things to be easy to eat. I'm not sure how a pizza would work on the move - or pasta and sauce. And can they be digested easily ?

    I've heard of rice pudding in ice cream cones being handed up in 24 hour TT's - but never pizza. 

  • I have taken baby food out for some longer rides, the ones I use come in sachets like the gels so are easy to eat on the move, some of them are foul but some are ok.

  • Pretzels and malt loaf tend to work for me. And Peanet M&Ms mmmmmmm.

    They serve rice pudding on LDWA events toob
  • Shot blocs. Kendall mint cake. Nuts/dried fruit. Crisps. Sometimes energy drink more often SIS zero tabs in my water. Never gels (don't get on with them). On LDWA often take a small can if beans and some PNB and syrup sarnies. Digestive biscuits. Fruit cake. Bananas.

    Now that's the weekly shop done ....... image. I pick and mix out of the above. Shot blocs on most 2hr plus rides and runs as they are easy to carry.
  • Sports drink, gels are fine on the bike but I can't handle them by the time I get to the run in a IM, flat coke, ornage segments are my source of carbs thereafter. I sometimes pack a couple of very small sandwhiches in the bento box but TBH I can't be bothered to slow down enough to eat them most times. You can do long distance Tri on suprisingly little food. 

  • Meant to add .... Experiment in race conditions. Somethings are lovely at home and disgusting at mile 80 of the bike. Also need to consider how you use them. Can you open the packets with one hand and your teeth. There is nothing more disgusting than starting a run when you've got gels all over your face, chest, forearms and hands. And nothing more frustrating than having to stop the bike to open a packet of whatever it is you are trying to eat. And don't keep mars bars in the fridge if you value your teeth.image
  • And DD makes a good point. You don't need to consume gazillions of kCals in an IM.
  • Pork scratchings, salt craving satisifed.

  • What sort of bento bow do people use? I've just got one and was surprised at how small it is.

  • There not huge SS, mine holds about four bars and three gels squashed in

  • I was planning on sandwiches and all sortsimage

  • Think you  might need a wicker basket on your tri bars for that....see Gladys for details

  • Flat Foo..ted wrote (see)

    Think you  might need a wicker basket on your tri bars for that....see Gladys for details

    Or Schmunkee....image

    Proper bars (~200kcal per bar) then gels for the bike, crisps and coke for the run.

    I had something every 20 minutes on the bike, and got through almost 4 litres of High5. Probably way too many carbs for the bike but it did for then as as well.

  • here is the bento box you need...


  • Pix - the answer you are after is a bit vague as it depends on a number of factors, but you will probably need about 50-60 grams of carbs per hour.  And the carbs you need are ones that are easy to digest.  So a steak sarnie won't work..... but liqued carbs will.  Many people find that they can't cope with liqued carbs (as they tend to be sweet) for hour after hour so lots of people use a mix of liqued and solids.... and as the solid sports stuff is often sweet too that's why you've got people talking about real food (bread, crisps, boiled potatoes, biscuits, malt loaf).  SIS Zero has no carbs but does contain isotonics (salts/minerals). NUUN is another similar product.  Zero is easy to drink but you will need to get carbs into you as well.  Practice with what works, and you may find that you can go a lot further than you think without eating that much.  But look out for the light headed feeling which is the onset of a bonk.... which is when you are depleted of sugars - more often happens on the bike and a full on bonk will render you totally useless - side of the road gibbering useless!  This is because your brain shuts your body down to protect the stock of glycogen left to allow major organs to work.  The body is a clever old thing really isn't it! 

    As for hydration, some the stuff you read is a bit rubbish.  I've just concluded a 2 year study with a mate who is doing his thesis on this.  His conclusion having spent hours with hundreds of people running half marathons in controlled circumstances is that your state of hydration is no where near as critical as we are led to believe.  Don't allow yourself to feel thirsty, but there is no need to drink so much that you feel uncomfortable either.

  • I used to take loads of gels out when doing +6hr rides, but I don't get on with them. I have come to a point now where I have h5 energy drink, H5 zero and real food in my food pouch- a few energy bars, sarnie, dried fruit. Flat coke is brill and is good on my stomach so I take that with banana and orange segments. I also have an S-cap before the run for extra salt. I am a heavy sweater image 

  • I brought a pouch thingy from halfords- its brill waterproof and can carry a Samsung s11, house keys, dried fruit, 2 energy bars, chocolate and sarnie. £10.00

    2 elite bottles on bike frame- 500ml, 750ml.

  • I heard that Gobi took on board salted boiled potatoes during ultra-marathons and that was what got me thinking. That, and the consideration of all that sugary stuff leaving a yukky feeling in the mouth after a mere 70 miles on the bike. I don't think that anything with dairy content will be at all good. Anyone doing a sea swim will tell you that the salt water intake will curdle it and you'll need to puke at some point. A "fresh" water swim shouldn't in theory be an issue. But what do I know?

    Certainly the Topeak cross bar pouch looks good.


  • The Evil Pixie wrote (see)

    how do people carry all  this food and fluid? Do you stop at shops?

    My bike has a tiny frame so I can only carry 1 x 750ml bottle so was thinking camelbak for longer rides and as already mentioned bento boxes don't take much

    My bike only takes one drinks bottle too. I carry some food in my jacket and/or bento box. I always take lots of money and stop at shops for top ups. If possible find some friends to cycle with and then you can have cake and coffee stops. image

  • Mini pork pies are the antidote to gels & high 5
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