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5 Top tips for Fuelling a Sportive Event

When taking part in an endurance event or sportive, fuelling correctly is vital to ensure you get the most out of yourself. I have been taking part in long distance cycling events, sportives, races and rides for around four years and when not paying close attention and planning to this it’s something that I can still get wrong without correct preparation and planning! The last thing you want to be doing is bonking with some distance to go and grovelling to the finish line. Plan and get it right and you’re going to be getting the most out of your training, bike set up and complete a ride that you can be proud of and so it’s really worth preparing and paying close attention to this.



Below are my five top tips for fuelling a sportive event:


  1. Pre-Ride Nutrition

Think about what you’re eating and drinking prior to the event and this starts in the few days before. Think about keeping yourself well hydrated in the coming days, drinking plenty of water and keeping on top of electrolytes. You want to be eating a balanced meal the night before with carbohydrates. A pre-race or ride favourite for me is rice, veg and salmon, or pasta. Avoid anything really salty and also over eating which can affect you getting a restful night’s sleep.


  1. Race Day Breakfast

You have done the training, eaten and drank well in the lead up to the day, got a good night’s sleep and so don’t undo all the good work by not skipping or not getting a good breakfast. For me this is porridge with fruit such as banana, blueberries and strawberries (or all three!). I know it works and that’s what I always eat before a big ride.


  1. Fluids

Make sure you have two bottle cages on your bike and turn up on the start line with two full bottles. Again, it’s good to use a product that you have used in training, SIS Go Electrolyte is ideal as this keeps you hydrated but also supplies carbohydrate to keep your muscles fuelled. I will also have a bottle with me in the car when travelling to events. Put a couple of energy sachets or electrolyte tabs in your jersey pocket so if you need to top up you can at feed stations. Make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout your ride by drinking little and often and keeping it up from start to finish.


  1. Fuelling

Some sportive’s do have really good feed stations, some aren’t so great. However, as a rider I like to be as self-sufficient as possible and I will carry all my nutrition with me, for longer events this isn’t always possible, but I still will stick to what I know. Equally keep eating little and often throughout your ride than waiting for feed stations and then taking on lots of food, it’s not going to feel great when you set off on your bike again. I recommend carrying something that is easy to eat whilst riding and so I will start a ride with any bars already opened and so easily accessible within my jersey pockets. I eat little and often and start eating early to stay well fuelled. My go to choice whilst riding is a mixture of SIS GO Energy bars and SIS Isotonic energy gels which aren’t going to melt in my pocket, keeps me fuelled and I know I like them. Using an isotonic gel also help with hydration and are easy to take whilst riding. Now isn’t the time to be experimenting and so stick to what you know!

  1. Recovery

I can’t always stomach food straight away after a hard effort and so a recovery shake such as SIS REGO Rapid Recovery is ideal at the end of a ride. This is going to aid muscle recovery and also offer some carbohydrate to boost your energy. Aim to have this as soon as you can after finishing, within 30 minutes and so take this ready prepared with you to have upon completion. After this look to be getting some food. Get this right and you’re recovering from your effort and giving your body the best chance to prepare you for your next ride.

Overall planning and preparation are key! Think about this in the lead up to your big event to make sure you have your riding nutrition sorted and give your body the best chance to complete your best rides.

Written By

Lucy Sturgess