24-hour tips from Mark Weir


I am doing my first 24 hour race this weekend. I am riding on a 5 person team. I need some advice on how to prepare my diet leading up to the race. How does your buddy Weir prepare? Actually any and all advice is welcome at this point.




Mark Weir has won numerous team races and turned many a fastest lap — once on a single speed. Here’s what he had to say:


Prepare everything in advance. All of your food, your lights, all your gear, everything. That leaves less for you to worry about at the race.

“I don’t do any special training. I just try to drop some lbs.” But this is Weir. For him, riding 1/4 of a 24-hour period is a rest day. To prepare for this weekend’s 24hr at Laguna Seca, he’s been leaning down by riding lots of road and less pump track.

Decide who will ride when. Who will do the run and who will go second to get the fastest lap. Practice your handoffs.

Plan how long each person will ride. After mid afternoon, have each rider do two laps so everyone else gets more rest — 4-6 hours rather than 2-3 hours.

“A four-man team is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I can ride for 19 or 20 hours nonstop, no problem, but when you ride with a team you pin it as hard as you can every lap. After 10 of those, your legs are dead.”

Bring a power strip for your battery chargers. And write your names on all your batteries.


“I drink a lot of shakes, and sometimes I’ll buy a bunch of burritos and eat them cold right out of the cooler.”

Whatever you eat, you’ll get sick of. “Bring food you usually wouldn’t throw down your neck, because you’d feel guilty. Like Pop Tarts, Lucky Charms or Golden Grahams. If I brought PB&J, I’d ruin half my food intake.”

Keep eating all night, and be sure to stay hydrated.


Lay on your back, with your feet up on a chair. Elevating your legs helps drain out all that evil blood.

“I believe in the no sleep program. The time is so short, it’s not worth it.”

“I like to cruise the pits and heckle people — especially if my team is leading. last year I got kicked out of the Luna Chix pit ’cause I woke ’em up.”

And now for some conventional wisdom:

In the days leading to your race, greatly reduce the quantity of your training and eat TONS of carbs. This lets your muscles rest, and it fills the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. So you start your race with a full tank.

During the race, drink as much as you can and keep throwing carbs down your neck. A recent study showed chocolate milk speeds recovery even better than Endurox. Pour that on some Golden Grahams, and you’ll rock all night.

10 replies
  1. Keith says:


    Your the man! I knew you come through with some great advice. Thank you and thank Mark for me.


  2. Phillip says:

    Hey Lee,

    I’d love to see that study saying talking about chocolate milk versus endurox.


  3. Doug says:

    Phillip – its in the velonews with Adam Craig + JHK on the cover or the one with Fabian Cancerella(sp?). It was choco milk vs gatorage vs exdurox

  4. Wayne Beavers says:

    Having just completed 24 hours with Mark Weir, I can tell you that he practices what he preaches. He really does eat cold burritos. He really does stay very hydrated. He really does elevate his feet, by resting backwards on a lounge chair.

    It was very interesting to watch Mark in a team situation. As Mark said at the race “There is no I in team”.

    I’d do the race again, but I didn’t have to ride. I was the (by default) official volunteer and keeper of the coffee pot. I was unable to stay up all night. I got 3 hours of sleep before driving home with the trailer in tow. I would not have felt safe driving without some sleep. The only thing I would add to Mark’s recommendations is figure out who is driving home. Bring a designated driver that will get some sleep. I never thought about the drive home until we all left.

  5. Keith says:


    We Won the under 149 combined age – 5 person team! We punched out 29 laps. Mark and his boys punched out 31 laps on their DH bikes and Won the 4 man team and the overall. The advice you and Mark provided was great. I ate everything is sight and downed about 8 or 9 chocolate milks. Chocolate milk rocks! If you have never done a 24 hour racing your missing out on a great time. This was the most fun I have had racing any type of bike. I can’t wait for the next one.


  6. leelikesbikes says:

    Keith: Right on! You are a monster.

    Wayne: Right on for you too. And great advice about the designated driver! “Friends don’t let friends drive after staying up all night …”

    You’re making me think about trying one of these. It looks like I’ll be racing the Baja 1,000 this November — and a 24hr mtb race seems like good training …

  7. Norcal says:

    I just wanted to say thankyou to Wayne Beavers we could not of compeated at that level without him. I thought i mentioned most everything you need to race a 24 hour event and have a good time and go fast, but i forgot one very inportant part.

    we have always got along ok just taking care of ourselfs at 24 hours races, but with Wayne’s help things just went a lot smoother. For someone to stay up all night to help out a bunch of stinky Mountain bikers that have bad B.O.,Bad Gas, and bad oral hygiene makes me think he is way more dedicated then we are.


  8. Ray says:

    The Chocolate Milk thing is awesome I recently was able to meet up with a skater whom I turned on to the Chocolate Milk study and he could not believe it until he tried it. The benefit is the Chocolate Milk has a better ratio of protein to carbs.

  9. Wayne says:


    You point out something I nearly almost always overlook. I have attended nearly all of the races my son has participated in. Just seems like a normal thing for a parent to do. However, not so obvious was that, having anyone tag along to assist with race support, be it the pit crew, cook, gopher or whatever probably does allow the racer to focus more on racing and less on the logistics of the race. This is especially true for big events where the racer is competing in multiple categories and also for something as insane as the 24 hour.

    Thanks, Mark, for the public thank you. It doesn’t get too much more public than LeeLikesBikes. My wife and I hear it a lot from our son. But I suspect that there are a lot of other silent support members, be it family or friends, that get easily taken for granted.

    So racers, remember to say thanks to the people that help you. Mark has no idea how big of a smile he put on my face yesterday.

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