What do you pack on a hundred mile race ? Hear it from the 2012 Arrowhead 135 winner & other veteran racers like John & Heather .
John Shook, 39 Fairbanks AK has completed the White Mountains 100 once prior and will be heading out Sunday March 25 to tackle it again. John had some interesting things to say about his nutrition while underway. Apparently it’s really.. really..really important to have food that you can eat & that’s appealing after 10hrs of high-intensity exercise. “You may have a plan for what kind of foods/sport drinks you think you should be consuming, but that might not be what you can choke down.”
John’s cracked me up with his suggestion of smoked salmon sticks. Yes, they do have ultimate nutritional value and don’t freeze hard…. but…….WARNING your body might revolt at the smell of these after 5 or 10 hrs. John, I’ll take your word for it hahaha….Other suggestions from the ornithologist include peanut butter sandwiches and pizza. Real sophisticated eh? John also mentioned he needs to avoid all sugars including sports drinks. A struggle with gut rot within the 1st few hours may lead to him not eating well for the rest of the race ..and a major BONK! So this vet consumes lots of salty foods to prevent cramping and compensate for normal sodium intake thru the sport drinks. His goal is to force down salty foods like bacon, corn-nuts, salted cashews, or salt tablets. Did he say BACON? Maybe these guys can help prep before race day….
Heather Best, 34 Fairbanks AK has competed in the WM100 twice. FATBACK owner since xmas 2009 but previously been winter riding a regular mountain bike with snowcats. This hydrologist plans to start her morning off with balance…that a girl ! “A good mix of protein, fat, & carbs like a breakfast burrito. It’s typically something portable since we eat in the car on the way to the race start which is about a 1 hr drive from Fairbanks.” As for during the race Heather made a key comment that she avoids items that freeze because she wants to keep her pretty smile and not break her teeth….something along the lines of Honeystingers and Gu will be onboard.
Best will carry approximately five to ten pounds of gear during her 11 to 13 hour race. This vet has her plan down pat….. she really only carries a few snacks of her own for more variety and as reserve. (uh hum…Smart thinking) Heather relies on the checkpoints and the food at them which only averages a mere 20 miles apart for her main intake and at 300-400 calories an hour on her 30 lb steed, I bet she shows up hungry. I asked Heather about recovery from an event like this and she said “Since it is just a one day event, the recovery won’t be anything more than after a big ride. My butt may not want to be in the saddle for a few days, but no big eating binge or calorie chasing.” I’d have to say this chica is in some serious shape…
Kevin Breitenbach, 29 Fairbanks AK is no stranger to the endurance races. With three 100 milers on the books for 2012, Im sure he has some tactics. Like Heather, Kevin has been racing a standard 26″ bike with snowcats for the past 3 years but two months ago he deemed himself cool enough to own a Titanium FATBACK from Speedway Cycles. I suppose this changed the entire game….
This substitute teacher, bike shop attendee & full time dad just WON the Arrowhead 135 ! Thats some serious braggin rights Kevin. Lets see what he rely’s on for nutrition shall we….. Kevin’s plan can start with an Egg Mcmuffin or Total cereal… neither will hold him through the entire event so it’s simply a matter of what he feels like. Hands down he agrees that fat bike events require way more food than other racing styles. “The rolling resistance can vary greatly in a winter race, the snow is never the same from race to race or day to day. Fresh snow, soft snow. hard snow, rotten snow, tracked snow, wet snow, dry snow, no snow, baseless snow, its all likely to be in a race. it’s not quite like riding on dirt or the road where you’re totally sure of your conditions on the course.”
At 5’8″ and 145 pounds this lean machined doesn’t come with much reserve on board. Kevin relies on little to no water and some of the following junk to get him through….
Ok so lets see, who will have more candy for the White Mountain 100, John or Kevin ? Kevin’s theory of “your body processes everything into sugar, might as well eat alot of it.” is great. What isn’t pictured is Kevin’s secret weapon of choice.. Ensure ! What’s faster than 300 calories in five seconds ? Nada ! Kevin thinks that he quite possibly burned 20-30,000 calories over 16 hours last weekend in the Arrowhead… now thats alot of sugar.
Unlike Heather, Kevin says his recovery is a bit different. “I always have a calorie chace after my races, my bodies metabolism is so out of control i just chow alot of food for several days afterwards…and i enjoy it! ” Two Cents from the champ for any suckers who want to try these events………..”I think it is the biggest thing that road bikers underestimate, is how much more energy it takes to move 40 lb bike through snow, compared to a 18 lb road bike on black top…its really not much of a comparison.”
“Endurance races are not about who’s fastest but who’s less tired.”
From all of us at FAT-BIKE.com thank you for the information, pictures and stories.
Race hard, be safe, & have fun…
Oh and guys, if you see Heather and she’s sugar low, hit your vending machine bags and hook her up a’right ?