Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hammer Nutrition : Xterra Fuelling Plan

Fuelling for a race has now become some sort of "test" for me. From the good planning and execution during Sabah Adventure Race 2013, I am more determined to see how correct fuelling and nutrition will give me an edge over myself - having raced many triathlon before, i believe it is time to bring it to the next level. All the trainings has to account for something and there is no better time or way to do it. I need to beat myself badly!
Swim 1.5 - Bike 30 - Run 11 - Let's Get Dirty.
I will keep the fuelling schedule simple - stick to once an hour to fuel. It is fool-proof and fail-proof, unless I forget to take the items along with me coming out from T1. For Xterra, I will rely on:
  • Perpetuem Solids as my main fuel
  • HEED Sports drink for hydration and constant energy
  • Gel for topping up (and caffeine, 50mg yo!)
  • Endurolyte for electrolytes balance
  • Anti-Fatigue for delayed muscle fatigue
I have checked and experimented with the hydration portion during the dry run. I carried 3L of liquid and took only about 1liter for the whole biking and running at easy pace. Back calculating, I would be safe to stick to 1 bottle (650ml) of liquid every hour if the race starts to get hot and when at my race pace. 
Best Bottle...Evah!
I have decided to just carry ONE bottle of liquid in the Camelbak Podium bottle. In order to facilitate quick refilling at transition, two-bottles will be prepared with the other one for the run (pick and go)
Fingers Crossed!
I will give myself 150mins or 2hours 30mins to cover the whole 30km. I am just hoping no major roadblock and no mechanical problem to bog me down. The faster I get out of the bike loop, the better. Staying too long on the bike and being exposed to the sun too long will sap more energy than needed. Nutrition will be placed in a pack placed on the top tube. 
Read below what's inside ;-)
I just have to remember to take it and to make sure I do not drop any - so, I would need to carry extra as precaution (labelled as SPARE). 
Spare. Emergency. Just In Case.
Also, identifying areas where fuelling would be good would be when I am off the saddle pushing or encountering a roadblock at the part where we all have to push/carry the bike. Fuel smart!
The last league which is the trail run would involve me fuelling at Transition or on the go. I will carry a bottle of HEED and bring along the run. With the amount of running I've been doing, I am hoping that the run will be my strongest point. 
Fuelling Logic
The estimated calorie need for the whole race will be circa 3200kcal or about 800kcal/hour. Hydration and fuelling dictates that the optimum absorption would be 1/3 calorie spent and at most 20oz or 600ml of liquid per hour. Anything more could potentially cause GI issues and throw your race away. The electrolytes need calculated above works out to be about 500mg/hour and that will correspond with the weather. As most of the trail is covered, we just have to quickly race and get out. The faster we we finish the race, the better. 
With all the above in mind - i just need to device a way to carry/segregate the items in a way easy for me to take/reach out. Engineer's mind working overtime for a couple of hours while writing this and I came out with the solution. I am sharing it now with you. Feel free to improvise. Will update once I get the solution. 
How I am carrying the nutrition
I've always been a hoarder when growing up. Only different is I am organised hoarder. I kept all the used small bottles from Sabah Adventure Challenge. The bottles that hold the Perpetuem Solids. It finally came in handy. 
The bottles are filled with nutrition for my T-5min to race start and T2 (run). The bottle behind is my Gels in the flak, two servings. One for T-5 and one for T2.
With 2x Perpetuem Solids and 5 tablets (3 Endurolytes and 2 Anti Fatigue) in each bottle for T-5min and T2(run), It was sorted. Both these items can be taken at Transition. No worries of it spilling anywhere. 
The challenge here is to think how I will hold the items during the bike, the longest portion of the race. I can't use the bottle as it would meant I will be carrying at least 3, and to eat them require me to pop it open. So, i resorted to the most basic simple way on how to separate items - plastic bag.
Simple solution
I need to carry 3 sets of this, and would be silly to carry 3-plastic, not forgetting it's not environmentally friendly. So, i decided to use the "sausage" approach.
Separate the servings with rubber band!
Genius eh? Oh, I heard you asking how to deploy it fast? Well, remove the rubber band with your teeth silly ;-)
Bite, pull, swallow, chew. Repeat
Then, i had issues to carry adequate serving of HEED. I need a scoop/bottle and guess what...the Solids bottle came in handy.
Wadayaknow...ONE SERVING!
Consolidating, this is how it will look like specific just for the bike, which i estimate to take up to 150mins. you know what those bottles are in the bike pack ;-)
 The flask is 5 servings of Gel. I will carry this behind my tri-top. 
2xHeed Serving, 3xSolids/Tabs Serving and 1xSpare bottle
 I hope this help you to plan your nutrition and fuelling strategy!
Good Luck and Race Safe!


  1. detail to the dot, just like old days in the army huh

    1. Many has asked before and many newbies too struggle around these items. best to share this out because..what if...this is my last race ;-)

      Life is short, sharing (in details) ensure sustainability for the community. :D

      THanks for reading P5. Always the big supporter to this blog. Makes all the writing worth it.