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How to build your MTB race fuel plan

LW Coaching guide to your MTB race fuel plan

Fueling is a variable that can go haywire quickly and ruin your race. Bonking and sour stomachs make you slow. Peak race days, those races you have invested much time, sweat, money and many dreams into, should be the best races of your life. A properly designed fuel plan will keep you on track to accomplish your race goals with a happy stomach.

Here is our guide and template to put your race fuel plan together. Use this to smoothly fuel your engine to a personal best performance in your peak race.

LW Coaching Race Fuel Plan Template

Simply answer the following questions to put your peak race fuel plan together:

  • What is your goal for this race?
  • Where is the start?
  • When is the start?
  • Does this race have a drop bag service? What are the drop bag logistics? Where are the drop bag locations?
  • How will you use the race services such as drop bags and aid stations in your fuel plan?
  • During the race, where will you get your calories, electrolytes and fluids from?
  • What distance is the race?
  • How long (time) is this race estimated to take you?
  • Where are the aid stations located?
  • Which of these aid stations will you use?
  • What are your estimated time splits between the aid stations you will use?
  • How many calories do you need for each race split?
  • How many ounces of fluid do you need for each race split?
  • How many mg of electrolytes do you need for each split?
  • What products will you carry on each race split to fulfill your fluid, electrolyte and calorie needs?

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EXAMPLE: Race fuel plan for an 8.5 hour finish at Park City Point 2 Point

Here is a race plan example of my Park City Point 2 Point race plan. I will be self-supported, relying on race services, aid stations and drop bags. For relevance in applying the below example to yourself, my starting weight is 105 lbs. Scale your quantities accordingly.

What is your goal for this race?

My goal for this race is 8:30. I will plan my race fueling around a 9 hour finish to give myself a cushion.

Does this race have a drop bag service? What are the drop bag logistics? Where are the drop bag locations?

PCP2P provides a service to shuttle racer bags to the 1st (Silver Lake at Deer Valley) Support zone (mile 28) and the 2nd (Bottom of Park City Mountain Resort) support zone (mile 56).  The bag/cooler must be no wider than 20″ please and SOFT SIDE AND BAGS only please.  You will drop your bag(s) off at the start area before 6:30AM    – – – All bags will be available for pick-up at the finish line (The Canyons).

How will you use the race services such as drop bags and aid stations in your fuel plan?

I will send drop bags to both locations with spare tubes and CO2 cartridges only. I will get all other supplies needed from the aid stations.

During the race where will you get your calories, electrolytes and fluids from?

I will start with fluids and calories to reach the mile 28 aid station, then will pick up what I need at each aid station. I will carry electrolyte tablets from the start.

What distance is the race?

78 miles with 14,000 feet of climbing and 90% single-track.

How long (time) is this race estimated to take you?

My goal is 8:30. My race fuel plan will be for 9:00 to give myself a cushion.

Where are the aid stations located?

Deer Valley at mile 28, Park City at mile 56 and Mid-Mountain Trail at mile 67 (minimal supplies at this aid).

Which aid stations will you use?

Deer Valley at mile 28 and Park City at mile 56

The PCP2PMile
Start0
Deer Valley28
Park City56
Finish78

 

What are your estimated time splits between aid stations you will use?

.

The PCP2PMileSplits
Start00
Deer Valley283:00
Park City563:30
Finish782:30

 

How many calories do you need for each race split?

I will aim for 250 calories per hour.

The PCP2PMileSplitsCalories
Start00 –
Deer Valley283:00750
Park City563:30875
Finish782:30625

 

How many ounces of fluid do you need for each race split?

I will aim for 15 ounces per hour early while it is cool then bump it up higher as the air temp heats up. I may pick up some extra fluids at the mile 67 aid station if needed but will not plan for it. I will drink a cup of cold Pepsi in the Park City mile 56 aid station.

The PCP2PMileSplitsCaloriesFluid (oz)
Start00
Deer Valley283:0075045
Park City563:3087570
Finish782:3062562.5

 

How many milligrams of electrolytes do you need for each split?

My goal is 300-1,000 mg electrolytes per hour depending on the air temperature. I will get most of my electrolytes from my fluid and calories and will carry extra tablets in a baggie from the start.

The PCP2PMileSplitsCaloriesFluid (oz)Electrolytes (mg)
Start003,000 (supply for entire race)
Deer Valley283:0075045
Park City563:3087570
Finish782:3062562.5

 

What products will you carry on each race split to fulfill your race needs?

  • Start – Deer Valley: Fuel plan requires 750 calories and 45 oz fluid.

1 x 24 oz bottle with 220 calories of CarboRocket sports drink. 21 oz water in hydration pack, 1 x 400 calorie gel flask, 1 banana.

  • Deer Valley – Park City: Fuel plan requires 875 calories and 70 oz fluid.

1 x 24 oz bottle refilled with 220 calories of CarboRocket at aid station, 50 oz water added to hydration pack. Pick up another 675 calories to eat from the aid station products of 4 GU gels, a banana, a honey stinger waffle.

  • Park City – Finish: Fuel plan requires 625 calories and 62.5 oz fluid.

Drink a cup of cold Pepsi at the aid station. 1 x 24 oz bottle refilled with 220 calories of CarboRocket at aid station, 40 oz water added to hydration pack. Pick up another 405 calories to eat from the aid station products of 2 GU gels, a banana, a honey stinger waffle.

Organize your race fuel plan ahead of time to give yourself the best opportunity of accomplishing your race goals. A race fuel plan will move you through aid stations quickly getting exactly what you need. Fuel your engine all the way to the end for your most powerful finish yet.
By Lynda Wallenfels Google+

How to build your MTB race fuel plan was last modified: May 4th, 2014 by Lynda

  1 comment for “How to build your MTB race fuel plan

  1. Christie Johnson
    August 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    this is totally what I needed to read. This takes so much guesswork out of, quite possibly, the hardest race I will ever do. Thank you!!!!! Good Luck! See you at the start and the finish! :p

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