Nutrition for 192 miles

Hi all,

First, thank you to all who commented a few years back when I was working on optimum nutrition for performance. After consulting with my doctor and sports nutritionists (I mean got find one that gets you). I am about to embark on the Milano-San Remo sportiff. I have trained my fitness and my gut to take in 80 grs of carb per hour, depending on temps while riding.

I have increased my FTP to be 3.5w/kg. Up from 2.8.

I am VERY fast for my age (53).

I plan to ride 192 miles in 9:30 with stops to refuel and refill bottles that might push this back to 10hrs.

I did a fun online calculator and it indicates I need 9390 calories to finish in 9:30.

I’d love to have a discussion on how to get 9000 cal while riding. I have my nutrition plan, but am hoping to see some ideas. My focus on carbs is spot on, but the calories looks huge.

It’s Italy and I imagine Enervite (still in business?) is on course or SIS as I am riding with an English tour group that provides a huge breakfast and lunch stop.

4 hours of flat, then up Passo Giovo (Turchino is out due to mudslides). Then descent to the coast road (5 hours) to the three capi–Cervo, Mela, Berto and then Cipressa and Poggio. I am thinking I’ll be slower due to the number of bumps in the road towards the end. I plan to take an untapped gel at the bottom of each climb and then the longer ones (Giovo, Cipressa, Poggio) eat as I can (I like Skratch Rice Krispee).

I plan to sip some nuun electrolyte in the 750ml bottle and Maurten in my 500ML bottle, with refills.
PH for sodium.

Open to discuss. Just to keep my mind clear. I am dialed in for June 4 thanks to TR and various recovery modalities in massage, Chiro, SLEEP, protein etc…


Do you want to consume 900 cals/hr (i.e. 225 g of carbs)???:exploding_head:

Just wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page. I don’t think that’s at all possible. Plus, you’ll be burning fat to some degree so you don’t have to replace every calorie.


250g/hr over 9 hours? I havent heard that’s possible…


No…aiming for 60-80 grams of carbs per hour. Not 250gr per hour.


That is such a long day and so many miles. Are you going to do any simulation efforts to try and get your nutrition dialed in?

To get to 80 grams an hour you will need to be eating hopefully every 20 grams every 15 minutes or so.
What has worked for me on long rides (4-5 hours) is loading up my liter water bottles with 200 grams sugar each and then eyeballing how much I drink per hour. I then have gels, bars, chews to supplement that in addition to plain water. In practice, eating that often was kind of difficult but having the liquid fuel allowed me to keep ingesting carbs because drinking it is way easier.

I think you should train the gut and work on eating that much on similar courses to where you live leading up to the event.

Maybe this is causing a misunderstanding. You might burn 9390 calories if you hold the required watts to finish in 9:30. You certainly don’t need to consume 9390 calories to finish in 9:30


Stop for a quick (ish) lunch and eat a pizza. Mostly joking but I have done that on similar length rides.

If you’ve trained to take in 80 grams of carbs per hour, do that. You’re not going to suddenly be able to drastically increase that just because you’d like to. Trying could result in GI distress that’s more detrimental than the calories are beneficial.

This is what I did last weekend at a long gravel event. Loaded the bottles with carbs, planned on drinking 2 bottles per 4 hours, then ate bars, gels and blocks every half hour. Also ran a full Uswe pack for water. I averaged just under 85 g per hour, would have been more but I missed my last gel because I didn’t feel like eating. I plan on using this method going forward.


I dont think so at all…especially if he’s a bigger guy.


Yeesh now I’m paranoid about being a decade younger and 3.5 watt/kg :joy:

Does this meaningfully add to the discussion? :man_shrugging:

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I’d run much bigger bottles (1 liter, ideally) and then plan to put 240ish g/carbs in each. Or heck, go crazy and put 500g in one and sip it slowly.

Personally I’d avoid solids or anything that slows your digestion and just lean on the liquid carbs.

Sounds like a super rad ride — have a great time!

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I’ve completed a double century at .67 IF and 201 miles / 8200’ climbing (323km / 2500m climbing). Burned about 7000 calories on the bike. Felt strong the entire day, it was a supported ride with food/water/hydration every 20-30 miles. Ate a mix of carb drink (Gu Roctane) at 60g/bottle and real food. For myself, anything over 3 hours and I absolutely perform better with a mix of real food and carbs in the bottle.


I think it helps OP to have a realistic outlook on his relative strength. I don’t mean any offense.

Ride 4-5hours. Stop and eat a cheese pizza. Ride the final 5 hours.

I used to do century rides and bring a smoothie shake worth probably 800 calories with me and drink it half way through. Blended up a banana, strawberries, oats, etc with water.

If I was to ride 9-10hours, which I never have, I absolutely would want to eat some solid foods. Maybe not pizza, but perhaps white bread PBJ sandwiches, something like that

I posted here to get ideas beyond what I know works. If I wanted Facebook or Twitter comments I would have posted there. I have waited 22 years to do this ride. I’m not going to watch people who have no clue of my abilities to deter that.

I came here for a positive crowd. I guess it’s the same everywhere. I’d definitely be positive with anyone posting in the forum and have numerous times and not judge anyone.

Cycling saved my life in 2001. I live for my family because of it.

For those who read and understood the goal of this string, thanks.

To the others how sad it is that in order to feel good you posted your very under educated comments.

Do you really think I would choose this event and not train nor seek out a nutritionist? I am no beginner. This not my first rodeo.

And yes I am 53 and fast. And yes I have had huge fitness gains since I started trainer road in 2018.

I’ll follow my nutrition plan and succeed.

Troll a pro on Instagram or Twitter.


My longest grouprides like this have been 130-150 miles long done at 22-25 avg speeds. I’m 58 and 3,5w/kg atm. For me that is so…not fast, at least how the uci gf age group similars go around Europe general, luckily I’m not racing anymore. :sweat_smile:

If OP has a power meter as it seems, then there’s not much guessing needed for energy consumption as w = J/s and only tiny bit of bmr for 9,5 hrs is needed. Then it’s prolly quite spot on. Just need to know what the target power is. It not going to be FTP of course for that long.

Personally I just hate so much gels, I absolutely leave them for hard racing only and rather choose stiff energy drink like 80g/hr is fine. Some energy bars or wine gums maybe here and there to cut that boring just drinking and not getting the stomach upset. But this should be tested in training how and how much the stomach can handle total sugar load (bars/wine gum/ed per hr) and it’s not static typically throughout very long rides. Temperature, accumulating stress in body aso may affect.

It’s more a question of how much long, really long rides and long hard rides OP has done previous months and years. What type of general training plan goes through before. Because long duration aerobics mean so much. It’s a question how much one can use fats.

I hope you get to take some pics and share, maybe the thread below. :sunglasses:

Other than nutrition, is you bike and kit pretty well sorted? If you have an 11-28 cassette for example, you might be wishing for an extra gear after 100+ miles.

You also mentioned being slower due to bumps at the end…what are you running for tires? If you usually run 25 for example, maybe it’s worth bumping up to a 28 or 30.

Just a few ideas I’d be worrying about! :grin:

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I personally don’t see any negativity, some of the things you posted just raise questions. First of all, whatever calculator you used to estimate the calories is likely off (it probably assumes it’s a solo effort and I assume you would be drafting to hit those times). You would need about a 375 watt FTP to push 9400 Kj’s in 9.5 hours (assuming you could hold .75 of your FTP for that time). I’ll assume you are a big/powerful guy and that FTP might be in the ballpark (if you are pretty fast at 3.5w/kg), but that’s a ton of calories regardless of how big you are.

Really, the number of calories burned becomes irrelevant for anyone with even a moderate FTP. There is no way to keep up with the calories you are burning in a long endurance event like this unless you are going very easy. The good news is you don’t have to. Some of your calories are coming from glycogen (which you want to replenish as much as possible), but you hope that most of your energy is coming from fat (which we basically have an endless supply of).

As someone else mentioned, your only concern should be how much your body can handle. If you are trained to do 80g of carbs and hour (~300 calories), do that. Most people can train to do more, but don’t push beyond what you are comfortable with in a race. You are better off being conservative and not having GI distress.

Sorry if I’m misunderstanding your question, but if you are planning to do 80 gr/h of carbs, then that’s your calories. I would not look to use proteins or fats to supplement the carbs if you are looking for them to count as fuel. Your fuel from fat is already onboard. No need to supplement that. And your other fuel sources are glycogen, likely onboard already and then glucose is what you’ll be creating with the calories you consume. Any protein or even fat you eat may help you recover after the ride, but won’t help with your 9000 calorie deficit. Personally, I think I’d top of those liver stores with breakfast before. I’d preload some carbs just before the start and I’d try to stretch my 80g/h limit to at least 90. 90 grams x 9cals per gram is 810. 810 x 9.5hours is 7700. It gets you in the ballpark. One thing to keep in mind is you are likely going to have some palette fatigue at some point in 9.5 hours. So hitting that 80gs or whatever you choose each hour may not be realistic. But even if you miss your targets for a few hours, you’ll still make it. Good luck!