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Break the Cycle: cycling nutrition with Oli Beckingsale

Three-time Olympic cyclist, Oli Beckingsale is perfectly placed to share his tips on how best to prepare and train for Break The Cycle 2018. 

As a co-owner of BW Cycling and a proud supporter and sponsor of Break The Cycle, Oli will be providing a regular blog, covering topics like how to train for a big ride and what to eat and drink all the way through to your final preparations for event day. 

With four weeks until Break the Cycle 2018, your training should be in full flow (if not the panic training needs to start now) and one thing that will definitely have been on your mind during the long rides is food: what to eat, what to drink and when?

On the event day itself, the right nutrition before, during and then after will ensure that you can ride as quickly as you can for the distance you have chosen. These guidelines can also be used in your training rides and it is good to practice the techniques and try different types/flavours to see what suits you best.


Pre-ride

Before the event, you want to ensure you are full of fuel, so your body has stored as much glycogen as possible.

This comes from carbohydrates, so a good portion of rice, pasta, potatoes the night before is useful - and then in the morning, make sure you have some porridge, cereal or toast. Mixing in some protein and fat - so some eggs, milk, nuts - will be good giving you some slower burning calories.

Look to drink at least 500ml (pint) of water before you start the event.


During the ride

The aim is to eat and drink little and often and keep topping up your energy levels and stay hydrated.

Your stomach can only digest so much food and water per hour, so aim for 500-600ml of water (a small to large water bottle) an hour and 50-70 grams of carbohydrate (depending on your body size) an hour.

A large cereal bar or banana is about 30g carbs, a bottle of energy drink is about 30g also.

Make use of the feed zones and fill up your bottles and your pockets with food.

There are many energy bars and gels available which are good sources of carbs, however too many of these can cause stomach problems, so mix in ‘normal’ food and save these for later in the ride when you are running low on energy


Post-ride

On the event day, it will of course be a Nandos and a pint of Amstel.

In training, there may be a better recovery option. Your body is after water, carbs and protein, a recovery drink/milkshake is a good option.

However, a pint of water and a balanced meal, for example chicken, rice and some vegetables would be a great alternative.