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.