Top Tip: Do your homework before the sportive, where are the feed stations on the course? What is available? Whatever isn’t provided you will need to carry with you.
The average UK sportive is usually around 100 miles (161km) and includes lots of challenging hills and climbs. Depending on your fitness (and the weather on the day) you will be riding for around 6-7 hours, which is why you need to organise yourself with a nutritional strategy.
This is an important meal as you are effectively topping up your fuel tank for the next day. A familiar high carbohydrate meal that is low in fat is what you should aim for. Good examples are: pasta with grilled salmon/chicken or the traditional pre-ride favourite spaghetti bolognese.
Ensure you have your pre event breakfast 2-3 hours before to allow it time to digest before you set off. Opt for something that’s light on the stomach and high in carbohydrate. Good examples are: Porridge, scrambled egg on toast or cereal with semi skimmed milk.
A useful strategy when dealing with a daunting Sportive course profile is to break down the Sportive into its different parts and build your pacing and fuelling strategy around the feeding stations and climbs on the course. I’ve broken our 100 mile Sportive down into three parts using the two Feeding Stations along the route as markers to aim for.
Ride the next 35 miles sipping your bottles of OTE energy drink; use your 2 OTE Energy Gels 10 minutes before each of the next two climbs. If you want to save your gels until the last hour then trade each gel for half a Duo Bar– they both have the same 20g Carbohydrate content.
Within 20 minutes of finishing, it’s vital you refuel and support your body by giving it exactly what it needs. You need to replace your carbohydrate stores, rehydrate and ensure protein synthesis takes place.
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