Fueling during skimo races for women

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  • #37398

    Hi, usually during skimo races I took 2 energy gels with BCAA per hour and was drinking virago, which gave around 350 kcal per h. My energy levels were fine but I started having GI issues. I read Roar and there were two advices for women: to lower a number of carbs to around 200-220 kcal/h and dilute drink, after my calculations to around 10 kcal/100 ml. In winter I drink 500-750 ml per 2h.

    I followed this protocol this year, I admit my GI issues disappeared but during my first few races I was unable to keep up a constant HR, it started dropping first after around 30 minutes then after 60 minutes. So I introduced two heavy ME sessions spread out by a week, but then again during a race my HR severely dropped. I assumed a race would take 1h30 but it took 2h and I took only 3 gels. So i thought about nutrition.

    Last Saturday for a 2h race I had 6 gels 118 kcal each, taken from 5 minutes before start, then every 20 minutes plus diluted vitargo. I managed to maintain more or less constants HR value except for the last 15 minutes when it dropped by not much. All gels were in sofflask so probably I had more during the first hour.

    I have a lot of muscles, rather FT type, I accumulate a lot of lactate during lactate test. So it looks that I should follow the traditional amount of carbs/h then the one supposed to be better for woman, because of my built? Or skimo is different in energy demands then say running or cycling (and it is so for me) for which Roar is mostly addressed?

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    Anonymous on #37499

    I’m not familiar with Roar. Is it a book? Website?

    Regardless, you’re doing the right thing: reading about what general recommendations are and then tweaking them to find what works for you.

    Carbohydrate tolerance and needs vary by person. But both can be trained. Now that you know that you need more, you can “train your gut” to tolerate more.

    Anonymous on #38001

    Roar is a great resource, but remember it’s still general advice and as you mention, won’t be specific to your individual needs. A 5’1″ woman will be different than a 5’11” woman, and current fitness plays a huge role in how much fuel you’ll need. What did you have for breakfast on race morning? I’ve found skimo to be much more muscularly demanding than running (as well as competing the cold, which can change energy demands), so I (and the athletes I’ve coached) need to remember to eat more than during a run. Have you done AeT tests to see where you shift from using primarily fat as a fuel to primarily carbs?

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