I've joined a local road racing league, it's lots of fun. I'm pushing myself and breaking lots of PBs in the process of trying not to get dropped (which I inevitably do).

As well as the craft of racing, I'm also learning about the logistical side of holding down a full time job and transporting myself + bike + kit to the various venues in time to sign on, get set up & get some time in on the rollers before briefing and race start.

So, currently my timetable for the day looks like this:

  • 7:00 - get up, get self & kids ready (beakfast is usually porridge)
  • 8:30 - leave for work
  • 9:00 - arrive at work


  • 5:30 - leave work to drive somewhere
  • 6:30 - or so, arrive at venue & get ready
  • 7:00 - RACE!
  • 8:30 - (or thereabouts) finish! (hopefully not last!)

Then pack everything up & go home drinking a protein shake thing that I make.

I also have the option to go the gym during the day, which I have been doing just to do a bit of stretching and mainly use the foam rollers.

So, as a vegetarian, what would be a good plan of what to eat and at what times in order to deliver myself to the start line as full of energy as possible? Races are all about 35 miles.

  • What's are PBs? Similar to personal records?
    – Trevor
    May 17, 2016 at 17:32
  • I would guess Personal Bests, so yes. May 17, 2016 at 19:48
  • Hi, yes it is personal bests, riding around in such a fast group means my average speed is up and as the races are on local roads I'm beating lots of my own strava records. May 18, 2016 at 8:18
  • I was somewhat surprised that this one hasn’t been asked here before. It has on just about every other cycling site!
    – andy256
    May 19, 2016 at 11:32
  • Sounds like you're being suckered into believing the "gotta keep up at any cost" concept. This is a slippery slope, and can start costing significant money for "better" kit like helium-filled frames and single-spoke wheels. Instead, enjoy beating your PB/PRs and enjoy the ride. The best race is against yourself - and switching strava to "display my times by default" is a good way to focus on yourself.
    – Criggie
    May 19, 2016 at 11:50

3 Answers 3


This is one of the most common questions from people new to racing. I notice user Rider_X has not responded (yet). If he does then it will be well worth reading.

This anwser is drawn from my experience with intense weekly endurance competition (squash), people who race bikes (father, brother, a dozen regular riding buddies, including several at the elite level, and an Iron Man competitor), my own experience preparing for intense non-race events, and the articles listed below.

Preparing for a weekly event the next evening starts 36 hours before, assuming you've done the training you need.

There are four things to do the day before.

  1. Arrange to get a good night's sleep.
  2. Eat a normal healthy balanced meal, including a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
  3. Get your hydration level up to normal (since most people are under-hydrated).
  4. Plan or organize your day tomorrow, so that you don't spend a lot of time
    • on your feet
    • in front of a screen
    • in high stress situations.

On the day of the race, eat your normal breakfast and lunch. Unless you usually skip breakfast, in which case make breakfast normal.

Two or three hours before the race, eat a light, low GI meal. One of the links below suggests

Two hours before an evening ride, consume the equivalent of carbohydrates in grams as your body weight in pounds, for example 150 grams for a 150-pound cyclist. Keep protein amounts low, with virtually no fat ...

If you must eat later than that, then eat less and lighter, such as a banana. And keep well hydrated.

Sorry if it sounds disappointingly simple :-)

For more info, see these links

  • Thanks! Simple is best, I think my key points to work on are the hydration and getting enough rest. I'm pretty much always in sleep debt. May 23, 2016 at 8:54

Taken from the Team Sky nutritionist's recommendations. Although it is for breakfast the guidelines for what to look for in your pre-race diet still stand.

Pre-race: Between waking, and the start of the race (approximately 4-5 hours) 3-4 litres of fluid, from diluted fruit juices, vegetable juices and water. As well as fluid, juices also provide a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, with out the bulk of whole fruit and veg.


Nigel ensures his team have their pre-race meal 3-4 hours before getting in the saddle. On the menu each morning:

Porridge: oats, quinoa, milk, water, cinnamon, topped with banana puree & yoghurt, and some berries. High in complex carbohydrates for slow and steady release of energy.

Omelette: eggs are high in protein to help prevent muscle breakdown during the race.

Bread: wholemeal – more complex carbohydrates

Fresh fruit & vegetable juice: more of this stuff, providing fluid for hydration and to bump up vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake.

Link to full transcript here. https://sarahdietitian.com/2013/06/30/breakfast-fuelling-the-team-sky-way/


It really depends on your actual condition and how hardcore-racer biker you are.

As I am not an expert I will share some common sense hints.

For general purposes a sport diet would be fine, so pasta or such a carbon-hidrated food some hours before the race starts.

If the race is long, do not forget to drink something water with salt-minerals and take a banana with you.

In my case, just an amateur sportsman, I must take care that I eat enough fruits continuously.

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