Laila Orenos, 3-time Ötztal cycling marathon winner, talks about her experiences on the topic: preparation and nutrition for a long distance cycling marathon.
Preparation and catering for a long distance cycling marathon
To simply stand at the start of a cycling marathon and “see how it will come about” is out of the question for most of them. What might still be a suitable strategy for the first occasions of this kind – since it simply takes a certain amount of experience to sensibly prepare and classify such a bike marathon – is ruled out over time, as many of us invest too much time in the preparation to have. But what is the right preparation? This depends on a variety of factors, because training alone is not enough. Training is the cornerstone of finishing a marathon. But if you have set yourself the goal of doing this as far ahead as possible, you need a plan to achieve your goal.
In this one Report is not about the training itself, but about nutrition and how I prepare for a bike marathon. Just like with training, I have a structure or even partially a plan for nutrition. I am writing here from my experience and what works best for me personally. Since everyone is different and the market for food supplements is huge, good advice can be helpful, but not Columbus’s egg.
Of course I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible. Due to the many sports that are very demanding on my body, I am of the opinion that I need more than people who never push their bodies to the limit. For this reason, apart from sports nutrition, I take the following supplements for my well-being:
Preparation for a bike race arathon
Basically I only adjust my diet specifically in the run-up to a difficult marathon. The exception is the Red Beet Shot cure, which I start about five days before a race, regardless of whether it is a mountain race or a marathon.
The week before a bike marathon I like this: Sunday through Wednesday I try to Don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates, but still do short, intense workouts. From Thursday there will be more carbohydrates on the menu. I don’t eat more than usual, but divided up differently: From Thursday on, my plate will mostly be high in carbohydrates, e.g. half pasta, rice or potatoes and the other half vegetables and meat.
I also attach particular importance to relaxing my muscles. Not only in the week before the competition, but then especially. My body just feels better with my blackroll and stretches. Recovery is very important to me this week and that’s why I try to sleep or rest a little more.
The day before the race
This is usually very relaxed, as it is usually a quiet day: a short break-in, drink enough and relax. Better to avoid too much exercise and activity here. When eating, I just try to plan dinner a little earlier. Here I make sure that I eat something that is easily digestible, e.g. no salad.
I always prepare my breakfast the day before. It consists of oatmeal with oat milk. In addition, there are a few dried fruits with nuts and some fresh fruit.
During the race itself, I mainly use liquid food. My favorite here is Sponser. The tube is perfect for me as I don’t have to take all of its contents at once. The taste is not special with the gels, but I find them very nutritious, then you need a sip of Sponser Competition to rinse? In one hour I add a sponser tube and drink 5dl Sponser Competition, whereby I never trust the manufacturer’s information, but only use two thirds of the recommended powder quantity.
That’s quite a lot, but I can take this amount very well and also have the feeling that I need it. Here everyone has to find out for themselves how much food is good for them. Occasionally I also eat a bar and skip a gel for it. I usually don’t have any problems with just a liquid diet, but many do not. A bar can help here, preferably at a phase of the race in which it is possible to eat something solid. For those who are often the victim of cramps, I can only recommend Muscle Relax from Sponser. That always helps with me and within minutes. As a preventive measure, I usually also take salt tablets, which I add to the drink right away.
After the competition
After the competition, I must have a shake to drink to accelerate regeneration. Most of the time, I’m really looking forward to it. My absolute favorite here is the Verofit. I also use this in training camps, but that’s another topic. And because it’s just beautiful, I treat myself to an alkaline bath after a race. Relaxed and good for the muscles, wonderful.