Basic nutrition strategy for first weekend double day ride?

Hey guys,
I’m a relative newbie to both the cycling world and TrainerRoad. I’m in the final week of Sweet Spot Base - Low Vol I and I have two outdoor rides planned for this weekend. The first is a 20 mile social ride for novice/intermediate female riders (12mph) with a cafe stop halfway through, the second day is a 30 mile rid with a different group that I’ve not been out with before. I’m not sure if there’s a stop and the pace is likely to be slightly quicker. I haven’t done a huge number of group rides and I have no idea how to plan my nutrition. This is also the first time I’ve done two outdoor rides back to back and I really don’t want to day 2 to suffer because I’ve screwed up my nutrition/hydration (I’m fairly certain my fitness won’t be an issue). My questions are:

  1. Do I need to eat on the bike on the first day if there’s a cafe stop? The ride is usually 2 hours total with the cafe stop at 1 hour or will this meet the 30-60g/hr carb recommendation?
  2. I usually take an electrolyte drink with me - should I change this to an energy drink with carbs in it?
  3. I’m planning on having a recovery drink after the first day, do I need to eat any differently later in the day?

Thanks in advance, loving this forum so far and all the advice I’ve gleaned from reading previous posts!

Personal experience has taught me that it’s always better to be prepared.

I’d take a gel or a banana (maybe both) for the first ride. As there is a coffee stop, I doubt you’ll need either but you never quite know how a ride will play out. Cafe could be full or the group just decide that they’re having so much fun, they want to push on. I’d take a single bottle with your electrolyte mix.

Same as above for the second ride, maybe an extra gel. I might be tempted to take two small bottles. One with water, the other with your energy mix. If you think this might be a quicker pace, the ride duration could be quite similar to that of your Saturday ride so I wouldn’t worry too much about under fuelling.

As for eating differently or later in the day, I wouldn’t change anything. You don’t want to eat too late as that can effect your sleep and you don’t want to be trying any new foods that might not agree with you.

If you’re not sure about the pace or group riding in general, make that known when you arrive. If the ride is well run, you should find that an experienced member will assist you and help ensure that you don’t get popped off the back, should the pace ramp up. Group riding is great fun and generally, really social. I hope you have a blast.

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Assuming your first ride is going to be around 1h40 I’d take two bottles, you might only get through one and a bit but at least you’ll be able to have a drink.
For the longer ride, 2 bottles could still be okay depending on everything from how warm it is to how you feel, have some cash to buy some water/drink if need be.

Apart from that I agree with the above - have fun!

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Thanks for the replies @PusherMan and @Smurf - that’s super helpful. I should get some more info about the second ride on the day; it’s a ride initiative where people sign up online so they often decide on the day what sort of pace they’ll do depending on who’s turned up and their ability, I’ve spoken to the ride leader online and she’s lovely. Looking forward to a great weekend of riding!

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