Tips for Calculating Nutrition for your Cycle Climbing
Race Prep

Tips for Calculating Nutrition for your Cycle Climbing

Preparing for a challenging gravel or mountain biking race that spans 30 miles and includes a significant elevation gain of 5,000 feet requires more than just physical training. Your body's performance is directly linked to the fuel you provide it. In this blog post, we'll dive into the intricacies of nutrition planning for such an intense race, helping you optimize your energy levels, endurance, and recovery to cross that finish line with confidence.

The Importance of Nutrition in Endurance Races

Nutrition is the cornerstone of endurance performance. Properly fueling your body before, during, and after the race ensures that you have the energy to power through each climb, conquer technical descents, and recover efficiently for the next challenge.

Pre-Race Nutrition

Your nutrition strategy begins well before the race starts. Here's how to set the foundation for success:

  1. Carb Loading: In the days leading up to the race, focus on consuming carbohydrate-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables. This helps top off your glycogen stores, which are essential for sustained energy.
  2. Hydration: Proper hydration starts days before the race. Aim to drink plenty of water leading up to the event to ensure you're well-hydrated.
  3. Pre-Race Meal: Consume a balanced meal rich in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat about 2-3 hours before the race. This might include oatmeal, bananas, yogurt, and a small amount of lean protein.

During the Race

Sustaining your energy and electrolyte balance during the race is crucial. Here's how to do it:

  1. Hydration: Carry water and electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated. Sip regularly, especially during climbs and in warmer weather.
  2. Energy Gels and Bars: These portable snacks provide quick-release energy. Consume them strategically, about every 45 minutes to an hour, or as needed based on your body's signals.
  3. Real Food: Incorporate real food snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and sandwiches into your plan. They provide a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  4. Electrolytes: Sweating can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes. Consume electrolyte tablets or drinks to maintain proper levels and prevent cramping.

Post-Race Recovery

Proper recovery sets the stage for your next training session or race. Focus on these aspects:

  1. Immediate Refueling: Within 30 minutes of finishing, consume a balanced snack or meal that includes protein and carbohydrates to kickstart the recovery process.
  2. Hydration: Rehydrate with water and electrolytes to replace fluids lost during the race.
  3. Protein Intake: Protein helps repair and rebuild muscles. Incorporate lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, or legumes into your post-race meal.

Listen to Your Body

Every rider is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods and adjust your strategy accordingly. Practice your nutrition plan during training rides to find what works best for you.


Conquering a 30-mile gravel or mountain biking race with 5,000 feet of elevation gain demands a solid nutrition plan. By prioritizing proper pre-race fueling, strategic intake during the race, and effective recovery practices afterward, you'll provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Remember, a well-nourished body is a powerful engine that can overcome even the most challenging trails and elevations. So, plan ahead, stay hydrated, and fuel up for an unforgettable race day experience!

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