All tips are recommendations,
before beginning any physical regiment,
please consult a medical professional.

Below are some tools to help you get ready for this exciting ride.
Use them, mix them with yours or just use your own training routine,
whatever is best for you.
The goal is to get out and do it.

Nutritional Tips
Your Golden Ticket to Chasing Plaid

Aloha Riders,

You are about to embark on an epic challenge. You’ve put in the miles and your bike is all tuned up to embark around the UP, but have you planned out your nutrition? A nutrition plan on a ride like this is a powerful tool that most of the time gets overlooked. Your execution of it has the ability to make or break your ride. Let’s put it this way even if you didn’t do all the miles in training, having a good nutrition plan will get you to that finish line. It is your golden ticket.

A ride like this is all about the consistency, quantity and quality of your hydration and calories. Think of it as having an IV in your body, you want an even drip of calories and liquid throughout the entire day. So for those of you that like to chug a bottle of water and then go out for two hours with might “make” it but its not ideal. If you plan on riding day after day, you want optimal. So I want to provide some general guidelines to help you ride strong, recover and be ready for the next day. Before we get started let me say this, I am not a dietitian or nutritionist, that said I am a professional athlete and coach. I know enough to be dangerous, have made the mistakes and learned the lessons. If that’s not enough to convince you, I completed this ride in all 10 days so I know the drill. With that, here are some useful tips and guidelines as you embark on your trek:

  • Pre-Ride: Fuel Up! Its important to start the day off being well fueled for the ride ahead. The goal here is to get in carbs and protein. Though sleep is important you want to get up in enough time to get in the calories, drink your coffee/tea and let it work through your system to get ready to ride!
    • Example: I would get up about 90 min before starting my ride and eat 1 serving of oatmeal and drink OJ with 1 serving of protein powder that had been pre mixed with VC and BCAAs (25mg of protein) and sipped some green tea. This got everything moving before I rode and gave me balanced energy to start off the day. All of this was easy to prep. In the week before I started the ride I planned out each morning, laid out the packages of oatmeal, mixed my protein powder with VC and BCAAs in small baggies and made it so the morning of each ride was a simple mix and go.
  • Hydration: Drink It Up! The goal here is to get at least 24oz of liquid an hour. Ideally this is not just water although, water is important for hydration and diluting what is in your stomach. Only drinking water will actually flush out your system which is not what you want. You want to mix it up and most of the time be drinking some type of electrolyte, it can be as simple as Gatorade. I prefer Roctane or Skratch, it is all about finding a drink you like and stomach well. The goal here is to get in liquid, calories and electrolytes all in one. If it’s a really hot day plan on drinking 32oz-48oz of liquid an hour and this time making sure some of that is plain water (it helps with digesting your drink and food). On long rides be aware of concentrating your bottles too much. For example one serving of Gu Roctane is 250c that mixed with 24oz of water is perfect for an hour. The goal would be to drink this every 5-10 min (again the slow drip IV analogy). Now lets say you decide to concentrate that bottle and add two servings, now you have 500c in a 24oz bottle, the issue here is your ability to digest it. That is too concentrated for most to digest well and you would need to have another bottle of plain water to sip along with it. So during the ride if your stomach feels heavy, sip on some plain water which will help dilute what is in your stomach. In summary, drink 1 bottle every hour sipping on it every 5-10 min and have it filled with calories/ electrolytes.
    • Pro Tip: If you are wondering “how the heck do I carry all of this?” its very doable in addition you’ll have the support vehicle out there. In general, I carried my own nutrition for most of the 10 days. I started off each day by filling up three bottles. Two of those bottles had liquid electrolytes/ calories and one was plain water. I then had a sandwich baggie with my powered nutrition to mix with water at gas stations. I put two servings in that baggy and just split it (doesn’t have to be perfect) in the bottles later and mixed with water.
  • FOOD: All The Calories: Goal: Eat and Eat Often. We are back to our slow drip IV again, you want a constant energy source throughout the entire day. This is where knowing your calories per hour makes a huge difference. Females ideally want to get around 250-350c per hour (see where that Roctane bottle comes in here, if you drink that you are already at 250). Males want to shoot for 350-450 per hour. Your calories on rides like this should come from a combination of liquid and solids. For your solids and because you are not racing try to get something that has a protein and fat source for example: Larabars, Cliff Bars (note that Clif Bars are higher in fiber and for some cause GI issues), PB sandwich with honey, granola bars. You can also use Gels or Clif Blocks however do not just do those with a liquid hydration source the entire Your body is going to need fat and protein not just carbs. You’ll find for those riding multiple days that after a while you just need more and more calories and you can digest them too. Its pretty amazing how our body’s work! So with that some good gas station options are potato chips, peanuts, coke… all easy to get at gas stations that will give you some good fuel for the miles ahead of you. The rule of thumb when you are spending hours in the saddle is if your body is craving it, eat it.
  • Caffeine: The Magic Drug: If you are a coffee and tea drinker be aware of this. You must get in the amount of caffeine you get on a daily basis during your ride. It doesn’t have to be the exact timing but the key will be to get it in. You can do this by adding in caffeinated gels, blocks, a gas station coffee, coke etc. If not, you’ll end up with a raging headache. If you start to get one, get a coke at the next gas station, within 20 min you’ll feel pretty amazing. Now for those of you wanting an extra kick for your ride, if you are feeling out of it a bit and hurting…drink a coke! It has caffeine and a very simple form of sugar that goes right to your system, meaning its easy to digest. It will give you a boost like none other and might just help carry you over the next 30 miles of hills! Overall, the key is to use caffeine as your friend throughout the ride especially for those of you riding multiple days, when feeling down/ tired/ grumpy etc… get some caffeine! (I am not promoting or suggesting caffeinated pills, 24 hr boosts or red bull) Get in a normal amount like 50-100mg do not overdose on it, you don’t need that much.
  • Hot and Cold: Embrace The Elements The key here is to know that when these elements become epic they affect your nutrition and hydration intake. This tour has it all. I know when I rode in June I had days of 90 plus degrees and even a day with a real feel of 36. Needless to say you want to be prepared and that doesn’t mean just your gear:
    • Heat: When its hot you will need more electrolytes and more hydration and you will have to up your sodium intake. An athlete can get in anywhere from 500-1kmg of sodium per hour. What I do is make sure to finish off one bottle of electrolytes per hour along with half a bottle of water. I will also use a product called Base Salt and do 1 lick of that per hour which adds about 250mg of sodium. Here is a link: Its a great product and I had a vile with me every day of the ride.If you choose to try this product use code: 2020MCCOY for a discount and they will donate 20% to Kona Kids Foundation. If you don’t want to do that, buy some finely ground hymalian sea salt and put it in a tik tak container, do one lick an hour. If you start to cramp, do another lick. Putting sodium right on your tongue gets it into your system faster. Do this with water to wash it down, Always. Keep in mind that when its really hot your heart rate is higher than normal which means its harder to digest foods and liquid calories, this is where that extra water helps too. Adding in plain water to your hourly routine not only adds more hydration but will help you digest everything else.
    • Cold: This throws athletes off a lot too because when you are cold you don’t want to drink as much. You must drink that bottle of electrolytes per hour. If you start shaking because of the temp you want to get in more calories so eat a bit more or take a gel etc. When you are shivering you are burning more calories so you must replace them. This will actually help you stay stronger and warmer on the bike. I can’t stress this enough.
    • Pro tip: If you notice that you have to pee alot and by that I mean every 30 min or so check to make sure you are drinking your electrolytes and get in more sodium (again a lick of that Base salt or make your own).
  • Post Ride: EAT! Just like during your ride you want ALL the calories. Its easy post ride to just want to be done. But if you are riding the next day you want to really own this process. To be honest even if you are not, what you put in your body 30-90 min post workout goes directly into rebuilding your muscles and refueling your energy stores. So its worth it to replenish your body. Directly post ride you have a 30-90 min optimal window. During this time you want to get in a 3:1 carb to protein ratio or as close to that as possible. When out on the road its not always ideal but the key here is the timing of that food and making sure you get protein and carbs, not just one or the other. You need both! For example: some will do chocolate milk, its not great but it will do. For me, I brought my own protein powder and mixed it with a bottle of OJ from a gas station. From then on its eat, eat, eat, drink, drink, drink. When I say drink, I mean water, electrolytes etc…be cautious on the beer/ wine, its not going to help you. The goal here if you are riding each day is to take care of that body, refuel it, its your engine. Post tour… celebrate all you want! During it though, treat it well, knowing that what you eat and drink is what you’ll be riding on the next day. So eat dinner, actually the more days you ride, eat two dinners :). You’ll notice the longer into the event (this is for those riding all 10 days here) you’ll need more and more calories and its easy to get calorically deficient, so eat up! That goes for those riding two days, taking a day off and riding two more sections. You don’t want to shirk on the calories on your day off, use it as a refueling day. The more you eat the night before the better you’ll feel.
    • Example: Here is a window into what I did, because I was riding predominantly self supported I sent care packages to my hotels prior. Each care package had a bag of protein powder and granola bar for post. When I finished my day I would ride to the hotel, check in and get my care package. Then I would walk to a gas station and get OJ to mix my protein powder in, peanuts, yogurt, pickles and 2 vitamin waters. This gave me snacks for the entire evening. I would then figure out dinner and order 1-2 entrees and eat them throughout the night along with my snacks. This made a huge difference in how I felt the next day. On the nights I didn’t eat as well or drink as much I was much more sore the following day. Own the food!

Whether you are riding for a single section, multiple or the entire 10 days, I hope this helps you put together your plan so that you have an amazing ride. Remember, its a gift to be able to do this, so embrace your opportunity, the challenges and the beauty around you. Make it a great day!

Train Hard and with Heart,

Coach McCoy