Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Endurance Race Training and Nutrition

Looking for advice and experience on endurance type cycling races. I am interested in doing the RAAM Texas challenge next year and putting my name in the hat for the Dirty Kanza. I am always hesitant to sign up for more than a century ride because I have no idea how to fuel and train for >100 mile events. I race duathlons and have done multi-day rides (60-80miles per day), but they are usually well supported.
Labels (1)
5 Replies


I have done the ODRAM (One day ride across Michigan) a couple of time a now it is 145 miles.  For me the key is variety of foods.  I have a feed bag packed  and sits on my handlebars, it keeps the food readily available.  Sometimes the weather plays a factor in what I like to eat.  The key is to try stuff before your race.  And don't wait until you get hungry.

For training base miles are key.  The better base you can build the "easier" the ride will be.  If you live in a cold place in the winter a smart Tariner is the way to go.  There is no substitute for time in the saddle.

Good Luck with whichever ride you decide to do!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-GregM Thanks for the advise!!! The ODRAM sounds like a blast. 

I will definetly be working on the base miles and making sure I eat. I know that is a issue now, as I won't eat until I feel hungry then I feel sick. 

Thanks so much for the input!! 



@Peloya there are several bag options that will allow you to keep food near your handlebars or your top tube.  It is so much easier to eat when you have access to the food.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi Peloya!

That's so exciting! I've participated in the DK200 twice now, but this year was my first finish! Last year, I realized I didn't have my nutrition dialed in well enough, and it ended up contributing to me not being able to finish :(. Some quick thoughts (because I could type a short book on this!):

- Several people told me that if you can ride a century, you can do a double - the second part is mental! While I definitely recommend still getting some looooong training rides in, I did find this tip to be helpful. Also, the stronger your base level is, the easier it will be to push beyond there. For myself, my longest training ride was 120 miles. Most of my rides were between 60-80 miles for training, and I trained with the same foods that I used. I also enjoy listening to music while riding, so I made sure I had headphones available in case I wanted them.

- I had a hard time eating food while on the bike (I probably dropped a few bars!), so for my second time, I stuck to more liquid packets for on the bike fuel, but I also stocked up on all sorts of snacks and treats for my support crew to have available at the check points, so I could decide in the moment what I felt like eating! Something else that helped me was making sure that I had both water, and some sort of liquid fuel power to put in my water - drinking my carbs was a lot easier than trying to eat all of them! 

- Variety of flavors and styles is super helpful! While I didn't end up trying this one yet, a couple cool suggestions I got included miso soup (maybe better for the checkpoint), and premade/dehydrated mashed potatoes rehydrated in a squeeze tube or baggy. I get mouth fatigue from some of the sweeter options, so this was really appealing to me, but I ultimately ran out of time to prep it in advance!

- Think about your on bike carry options! This past year, we had access to our support crew around mile 65 and mile 150, so I needed to carry fuel for almost 100 miles! (water was available at miles 100 and 120, so at least that helped!) I prefer using water bottles and a hydration vest and then keeping most of my snacks in a handlebar bag - but there are tons of on bike carry options, so you can find what works best for you!

**Whatever you like to eat on your centuries, stick with that, but just look for some variety in flavors and options.  One of my favorite things about DK is the support from the rest of the riders, so you may also find folks who are happy to trade you a candy bar or something else that you had no idea you were craving in the moment!

My last tip -- find lodging for DK now! If you don't end up getting selected in the lottery, you can cancel!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-LizH Thank you so much for your response and advise!! Also a HUGE CONGRATS on your finish this year!!!!

I am stoked for the new challenges and I definetly see how your advise and experience are going to be a huge help!!! I have had trouble with solid food on longer training days and even in more intense efforts, so I have made a shift over to liquid calories. I noticed this the most when I am putting a hard effort on the bike. Mashing solid food and trying to maintian breathing is a challenge. Not to mention the stomach ache that comes after that!!!

Bike set up is super important, for comfort and the ability to carry what you need. I know my tri bike is set up for short course races, and I learned after a couple of longer training rides how important bike set up is. 

I appreciate the input on lodging. I learned my lesson this year with the Hotter'N'Hell 100, we ended paying a lot for the last of the hotel rooms even booking 9 months out.

Again thank you so much for your input. Best of luck with the rest of the season!!