On the 28th April 2018, thousands of cyclists will descend upon the popular Balearic island of Mallorca for a unique cycling event. The Mallorca 312 is effectively a sportive taking in one large lap of the stunning island.

As the name suggests, the main event is 312km (or 195 miles) of tough mountainous terrain, and to make it that bit harder you are against the clock. Yes, with a cut off time of 14 hours a minimum pace of 22kph needs to be maintained throughout. So for many this means minimal stops for photos, little time relaxing in the feed stations and a huge emphasis on getting fuelling right. There are also 225km & 167km route options but we’ll focus here on fuelling the big one in partnership with the tour operator All Things Ride.


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Pre-Event Preparation

Taking on an event such as the 312 requires a certain amount of training, and to get the most out of this training, nutrition already needs to be part of your preparation. Use your long rides in training to practise eating and drinking regularly on the bike and use the products that you intend to use on the big day to avoid any unknowns on the big day.

As the event gets closer, your training load will no doubt decrease in an attempt to ‘freshen up’ for the big day. During the time, especially the 2-3 days before the race pay close attention to your meals. People often talk about ‘Carb loading’ before big events, and this can be advantageous to make sure our energy stores are full for the start. But, carb loading doesn’t mean it bottomless amounts of pasta, after all our body can only store so much. Aim to have 50% of every meal made up of carbohydrates and stay consistent with your meals and snacking around travelling. This coupled with the lower exercise load will mean your body starts to carb load.

For our top 5 tips when travelling click here.

Registration for the Mallorca 312 takes places the day before, so before arriving on the Island always try have rough plan of how you are going to split your time before the start, this just helps to reduce unnecessary stress. Where possible we would suggest carrying around a large bottle of water with an OTE Hydro Tab in. If you aim to sip it little and often throughout the day before this will help you hydrate before the event, which is another area crucial for optimal sporting performance.


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Back Pocket Check

The start time for the race is early so allowing yourself some time the night before prepare your kit and back pocket essentials is always a good idea. Here are some of our must haves:#

  • Gillet/Waterproof- The weather in Mallorca is very changeable especially when you are in the mountains so have a spare layer to throw on when descending is a good idea.
  • Bike Spares- There is mechanical assistance during this event but to prevent too much time being lost always try and be self-sufficient. Having a saddle bag frees up pocket space and is an easy way to carry inner tubes, tyre levers and a multi-tool.

On Bike Food – this is always going to be a tough one, as for such a long event a lot of fuel needs to be taken onboard to maintain your pace. The 6 feed stations on route will play an important part in this. We recommend doing some research into what will be available at the feed stations so you can use this to plan your fuelling strategy.

Aim: Consume 60g of carbohydrates per hour of riding.

We already know that the 312 can take you no longer than 14 hours. You should have a rough aim of how quickly you can ride from your training, but the pace obviously needs to be sustainable. What we do know is feed station number 1 is at 50km and here you can get fluid, the next feed station is at 94.6km and here you can collect food. So when starting the event ideally you need enough energy with you to get you to feed station two. It needs to be noted though that many of the biggest climbs of the route come within the first third of the event, so your average speed for this period may be slower.

You should aim to start with enough food and drink for 6 hours of riding:

6 x 60g of carbohydrates = 360g

You can achieve this with:

OTE products are designed around a 20g carbohydrate unit system that makes it really easy to workout how much energy you are putting in. Another key point about OTE products are they’re designed to be kind on the stomach, making them the perfect for such ultra endurance events.


The Big Day

The event rolls out at 7am so unfortunately breakfast is going to be very early, but just tell yourself it’s only for one day and it will be worth it. Please don’t attempt to start 312km without any breakfast. Easting at 5am should give a large breakfast enough time to settle before the start. We would suggest something very high in carbohydrates and low in fat. A big bowl of porridge followed by some bread with jam should be available in most hotels, and if you can have an omelette or scrambled eggs too this bit of protein will be advantageous.
Between waking and event start, again we advise sipping on either bottle or energy drink or a hydro tab. It may be worth having this in a disposable bottle to take to the start with you and spare your on bike bottles for when you get riding.


km 0-100

Fuelling needs to start from the word go. It is very easy to get carried away in the early stages and forget to eat and drink, but remember you are eating now for the latter stages of the event. Set yourself small goals like having a sip of drink every 20 minutes and a half a bar every 30 minutes.

During this time you will take on some of the toughest climbs and reach the highest point of the whole sportive at 890m a top Puig Major. Try to take advantage of descent and flat sections for eating. With 6 hours of ride fuel with you, a quick bottle fill at feed 1 after 50km will certainly help save some time. Feed two at 94km is where a full pocket refill is going to be needed.


km 101-200

Within this next third of the race you take on 5 more mountains, and have the opportunity to stop at two more feed stations at 135.6km and 189km. It is important to pick up enough food and drink to keep up with the fuelling strategy you started with. This consistent fuelling is what will be key to you conquering the Mallorca 312. By around 150km that is all the major mountains done, so now is time to start working up on upping the average speed. When the paces is high things like energy drink and energy gels become a very easy way to get quick fuel into the system.


km 201-312

Into the final third of the event, it may not be in the mountains but it certainly isn’t flat. Again you will have the opportunity to stop at two final feed stations at 238km and 284km. Towards the final stages of the race you may want to use caffeine gels. These will provide you with a much needed boost to get you through those final kilometres.

By this point fuelling may start to feel like a chore, but it is now that it is the most crucial to not let your nutrition strategy slip. Stick to the plan – remember 60g of carbohydrates per hour.


Recovery

After such an event recovery is going to take a while. To kick start the process we would always advice consuming an OTE recovery drink as soon as possible after. This supplies you with much needed protein, carbohydrates and fluid.

Then treat yourself! Have a bit of whatever you fancy to replenish some of the many calories you have burned. You have earned it! The likelihood of you being very dehydrated after the event is very high, especially if the weather has been particularly hot. We would advise once again to start sipping little and often on water containing an OTE hydro tab. This will speed up the rehydration process and help avoid headaches and lack of concentration after the event.

For more information on the Mallorca 312 including packages and accommodation visit All Things Ride.



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