Land Run 100 Gravel Race: Nutrition Choices To Make The Lead Group

Made the final break with Ted King, Payson McElveen, and 2 others…then, got crashed out. Bummer! But that’s racing. Sharing this video as this has worked well for me in long road events, gravel events, and even a killer 6-7h road ride.

Please let me know if it works for you, or what you’d change!

View time: 6 minutes


awesome, I hope to be at gravel worlds too, afraid I wouldn’t be able to hang with you and the other main fast people, but hope to be somewhat fast (based on hopefully a 300w ftp, so goal is to do IF of .70, not sure if .75 would be pushing it). If you just let me draft and not work I can try to hang on though lol

Great video! Do you have a video on your gravel bike set up for racing?

haha let’s do it!! Don’t stress the w/kg, that course is pure watts. Just rolling hills, and as you know, with gravel you don’t let off the gas much. Are you doing any LONG sweet spot or tempo?

Hi @Velo! I don’t have a video, but it’s standard bars (no aero bars yet), I’m running a 52-39 (I know, big one up front), and 35mm Vittoria Tires on an Allied ALfa Allroad

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Yeah, I’ve done SSB HV (both 1 and 2) and am in the middle of sustained build HV, so long SS is my milieu lol. I’ll do some road racing this spring and generally getting out and trying to ride for a long time (and try to have the self discipline to ride SS on the road). I consider myself primarily a CX guy, so I might have more short power fitness in late August leading up to CX season in New England, but not too worried since I enjoy long endurance stuff so I’ll keep up those long rides anyway

I missed out last year (flew in late the night before to visit family, so even if I had brought my bike I would have been exhausted anyway, this year I’ve got a couple of days lead up).

awesome! I used to live in Rochester NY…where in NE are you? maybe we’ve raced? I was on Mt. Borah / Nalgene back then

I’m a relative noob racing wise, so still a cat 5 road and cat 4 CX, I’m in the Boston metro area. Trying to mentally visualize myself getting to CX 3 this season with a combo of my fitness increases and more experience!

sick dude! you’ll get there! One service I offer for free is a Power File Analysis and Overview of your training. Happy to take a look at your files and help point you in the right direction, no cost to you.
Here’s my site if you’re curious: Just lmk! Or email me at Brendan@EVOQ.BIKE



So you’re only taking in beta fuel and gels over the course of the entire race? No real food?

How many bottles of beta did you go through up until the point you crashed? Also, what’s your strategy for mixing them?

I’m doing Almanzo and have started planning nutrition. Beta fuel (or Maurten 160 or 320) will be in one bottle, with water in the other, but I’m not sure of the best way to mix another bottle when the first runs out.

correct, no real food. I was in the early break and the riding was too intense for that. I never eat real food in a race though. Did 2 bottles beta, 2 after those were normal SiS electrolyte powder. I did 1 Sis Gel per hour with beta; with normal powder you need to eat 2 gels.

Their bars are also nice since they’re mostly maltodextrin; digests easily like a drink mix!

I don’t mix them since I can’t control the % of fructose that goes into each bottle and you need fructose in order to be able to absorb 90g of carbs, otherwise the body can only absorb 60g…

I’d just stick to beta fuel, then it reduces what else you need to eat.

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Totally agree that eating is pretty much impossible in race conditions, especially on gravel. Thanks for your input.

Thanks for sharing @brendanhousler! I’m a New Hampshire native so I can completely understand where @hubcyclist is coming from. We’re just getting some weather that will allows us to go on some LONG Endurance rides.

I completely suck at eating on a bike and the thought of jamming Lara Bars and Waffles chased down with Gels for 7-9 hours is a bit daunting. I LOVE the Gel, Beta Fuel suggestion and I think it will work great for me. I’ll certainly give it a bunch of practice runs prior to Gravel Worlds, which is my A race (also my first Gravel Race).

Thanks again for sharing.

awesome! Gravel Worlds is really fun, and the town is surprisingly fun as well. The gels are great, and def check out the Beta. See you soon!

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I am totally with you on the carbs. I’m also a 1 bottle and 1 gel guy per hour. However, “first bottle is water” part is new to me. Would you elaborate a bit on this? It would also be great if you could link to some research or studies.

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i don’t have any research on hand; it was in a podcast a few years ago by a high level nutritionist that said bombarding the system with eletrolytes from 0k was a mistake and to drink water first. sorry i can’t specify more; maybe a google search?

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This study discusses carbohydrate oxidization levels and effects of insufficient osmosis/oxidization.

Essentially, if you eat a breakfast of solid foods with appropriate carbohydrate and sodium levels within two hours of an endurance event, your body cannot convert any more than 90g per hour. Solid foods take longer to digest and water can help facilitate that digestion.

Using water in the first bottle can help with digestion of the solids and allow your body to replenish glycogen, sodium and nutrients during the first hour.

Dumping even more carbohydrates in the system can cause GI distress during or post exercise. If your solid foods contained high sodium, dumping even more sodium via sports drink can cause sodium imbalance.


Thanks for the replies.

I was curious for two reasons. One, I have never heard such a thing before. Secondly, I typically drink only water or nothing for the first 45min-1hr. Otherwise, I do not feel quite right. It’s not a GI distress issue I feel. Kinda hard to describe, maybe it is GI related but presents differently than what I would call a GI issue (bloat, stomach pain, :poop:,etc…) But, if I haven’t eaten in a while, I can take on electrolyte and/or carbs w/out issue.

Again, thanks. I’ll have a look at that paper.

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Ordered a box of Beta Fuel and a box of SiS gels. Next step is to set up a game plan for how to use them come race day. Race is ~5 hr. Assuming that I can only carry two bottles. Start race with one water, one Beta. Then…

Plan A: 2 replacement bottles at a neutral drop.

Option 1: 1 water, 1 Beta or Option 2: 2 Beta

If a neutral drop isn’t an option, Plan B: Do you carry an extra packet of Beta and mix it at a water stop?

If you have a drop, then I would leave 2 bottles of Beta.

If no drop, then carry the necessary packets of Beta and mix when you stop for water.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you test your nutrition and/or nutrition plan.

Lastly, I’ve carried 3 bottles before due to heat and/or distance. 2 fuel. 1 water. Water in center jersey pocket.