This ride will definitely cause you to "hit the wall" if you don't replace carbohydrates, so snacking on the ride is essential. As intensity increases above 60% VO2 max., it becomes very important to avoid eating in the 4 hour pre-ride interval to avoid GI distress. If this is really planned as a slow, long training ride, then it is not as important. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal 3 to 4 hours before this ride helps "top off the tank" so to speak in terms of muscle glycogen stores.
- 4 days prior - balanced diet with 70-80 % Calories from carbohydrates; at least 600 grams per day of carbohydrates in the 2 to 3 days prior to the ride
- 4 hours prior - if the intensity is moderate, eating during this interval is OK, but avoid fatty foods and eat at least 2 hours before the ride. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal 3 to 4 hour pre-ride is recommended if possible
- 4 minutes prior - nothing special
- During the ride - regular snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks to replace the estimated Calories burned per hour
- Post ride - a post ride carbohydrate snack, particularly in the 10 to 15 minutes immediately afterwards, will take advantage of the window for maximum glycogen resynthesis and may cut down on muscle soreness. Eat a high carbohydrate meal that night after the ride.
- Fluids - one water bottle per hour, perhaps a bit more in hot weather