DK Unbound Peloton

Kristen Arnold, a prominent figure in the world of cycling coaching, is renowned for her dedication and expertise in optimizing the performance of cyclists across all levels. Combined with her extensive experience as a Registered Dietician and Director Sportif she is able to offer a unique perspective on common nutrition mistakes at ultra-endurance events like Unbound Gravel.

  1. Gut rot or gut distress during the race
    Many athletes experience a variety of symptoms during ultra distance races. Common symptoms include bloating, belching, indigestion, heart burn, and nausea. This is most often due to the high exertion level and lack of blood flow to the gut for digestion. Athletes should aim to practice their race day nutrition plan in training to make sure products and foods and the amounts they’ll consume on race day work in training. Athletes can also consider bringing TUMS or an over-the-counter antacid with them during the race to prevent these issues. I typically recommend athletes start taking 1-2 TUMS per hour starting at hour 4 to prevent gut distress.
  2. Not eating enough
    While athletes may be practiced in eating during a 4 hour ride, their body’s may not be familiar with what a 12 hour ride feels like. At some point athletes may experience decreased appetite and aversion to food and fluids during the race which will cause them to eat and drink less and therefore limit their ability to perform and safely make it to the finish line. To prevent this, athletes must practice fueling in training as well as consider foods with functional flavors for during the race. Peppermint and ginger are considered functional flavors and may help athletes who have gut distress to take in more food and have an appetite. Consider peppermint candy or ginger belly chews during the race.
  3. Improper planning
    When I’m working with a client on a race day nutrition plan, we construct a detailed timetable which outlines exactly what, how much, and when the athlete will eat and drink as well as replenish supplies at aid stations. While many athletes may go into the race with an idea of how much they’ll need to eat and drink per hour, they may not plan to the level of detail they need to be successful. Creating a plan ahead of time and making mental notes also takes off mental load during the race from needing to figure out how much and what an athlete should eat and drink.

Thanks Kristen!  If you want to know more about how to optimize your nutrition at races like Unbound Gravel we have options for you below!