by Shane Johnson, Cat 1 MTB racer, Trinity Bicycle Team
Nutrition is key for good performance and when race day arrives, it becomes even more crucial to make sure your day ends in glory and not a bonkfest!
In the last few years, through trial and error that included some bad bonks, I've been able to dial in a plan (that I'll share with you) that has eliminated nutrition from being a weak link in my quest for success!
For a morning start cross country mountain bike race, I'll do the following:
Long awaited race time has arrived! At this time, I'll finish off my warmup bottle and switch to Honeymaxx mixed with two scoops, providing a good amount of calories that are super easy to drink during the hard efforts of the race.
During the race, I'll aim to take in a bottle of Honeymaxx each hour. Most of my MTB races are 3.5 hours or shorter, but if the race is over two hours in length, I'll supplement extra calories in the form of gels or chews (about 12 per hour) as I've found I burn through the calories pretty quickly!
Post race, while hopefully basking in glory, I'll make sure to quickly get a recovery drink into my system within a half hour of finishing the race. I'll do this with either chocolate milk or a specific recovery drink like FortiGain. Anything with some quick carbs and protein to refuel my empty muscles!
There you have it! A nice, starter plan for your fueling success. Try these steps out and then experiment and tweak your nutrition so you too can maximize your racing performance!