Fuel for Endurance Events

It has taken almost a week for me to be able to think about writing this post.  I have been in a brain “fog” of sorts, and in body healing mode, after a 145 mile bike ride across Michigan last Saturday.  I wanted to share with any other endurance athletes out there how I was able to eat and drink in a manner that still followed by diet throughout this event.

The market is full of energy drinks, gels, power bars, etc., but I have found that a lot of these still contain ingredients that I am trying to avoid.  Endurance events that have supported rest stops often have cookies, Gatorade, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (which are hard to resist), granola bars, and some fruit, amongst other things.  Usually all I will take from these stops is the fruit, and I pack the rest of my food.  Yes, it takes a lot of planning, and yes, it adds more stuff to pack on a road trip, but I wasn’t about to have my ride ruined by a bad body reaction to food I’m not used to eating.   The recipes for several of the items that I ate/drank have already been posted on the blog.

The picture is what I had packed separately for “ride day.”

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My fluid intake consisted mainly of homemade electrolyte mix (recipe posted under “uncategorized”) and water.  Closer to the end I drank a small container of Silk chocolate almond milk, which really hit the spot for a stomach that was beginning to not want to eat/drink anything.

The fruit “mash-ups” and applesauce are very convenient to eat while on the bike, while the fruit snacks and Lara Bars taste good but are really hard to get open while trying to keep at least 1 hand on the handlebars.  For lunch (not pictured) I ate some smoked chicken pieces, grapes, and a raspberry chocolate chip muffin (recipe posted under “breakfast” and “sweet treats”).  I had a couple of bananas with almond butter while at rest stops, but didn’t eat any of the beef sticks or jerky until the day after the ride (after a while nothing sounds good to eat!!)  The supplement in front of the bananas in the picture is called “Power and Speed.”  It was recommended to me by a physician that I work with.  I have to admit it does help for the <70 mile distances, but even after taking a second one at lunch I feel that the effectiveness diminished (or maybe I couldn’t tell because I felt so terrible overall!!).

I had intended on rewarding myself at the finish line with a homemade Reeses cup and my chocolate milk, but the chocolate milk was gone and the Reeses cups had gotten “mushy” while sitting in the cooler for 2 days.  I wasn’t too hungry at the end anyways, but we made sure that we went to dinner pretty quickly after showering so that we could replenish at least part of what we had burned throughout the day.  The Reeses cup was pretty good for breakfast the next morning after being refrigerated overnight ;).

I think that the only things I might change about my intake for the ride would be to take another 1-2 containers of the chocolate almond milk, and come up with a different non-meat, non-sweet snack-maybe homemade trail mix (I was and still am a little sick of sweet food!).  All in all I know that my food choices for the past 11 months to the present have been part of the reason that I was able to complete this ride, and now I can check another goal off the list of endurance challenges to complete!!

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The start line…

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Crossing the finish!!  🙂

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