I am an NTPer and I am signed up for the total 200 (200k version). I am not worried about the distance (although perhaps I should be) but the recent heat and the recent nutrition clinic has me more than a little concerned about nutrition/hydration for that long of a ride. Normally I am a water only person but this is my first ride over 75mi and especially in this kind of heat. Any tips for what I should be looking for that's light to carry/easy to digest, how much I should bring and where to buy it? I am a car free DC resident and Target and all the grocery stores only sell pre-mixed gatorade and powerade. Also does carbo loading the night before actually do anything? Any advice/expertise would be greatly appreciated, thanks so much.
I have a Profile Design Aqua Cell that has two chambers... I fill the big one (27 oz) with Coconut Water and sugar and the small one (17 oz) with just water. I like to wash down with water after drinking a nutritional liquid.
You could mount the Aqua Cell on your handlebars [normally the Aqua Cell is mounted between aero bars, but there is also a bracket (Profile Design Aerodrink Basebar Bracket) that should allow you to mount off the front of drop bars or wide set aero bars]
The Aqua Cell (44oz), two 24 oz bottles on the frame, and two 24 oz bottles off the back of your seat would give you 140oz for the trip.
First off, I'm pretty sure you can do the 200k version, from the biking I've seen you do. So don't worry too much about being able to do the distance.
As for nutrition/hydration, remember that the total 200 is a supported ride, so there will be aid stations with food and beverages roughly every 25 miles (even for the 200k ride). I did the full 200 mile ride last year and just had my two water bottles on my bike and a few minor snacks in my Bento box. Not sure I actually used any of my snacks. I was able to get all my nutrition intake at the aid stations. My water bottles I just refilled at the aid stations.
I would definitely recommend taking some kind of sport drink (the ride provides HEED) in at least one of your bottles for the duration of the ride. You will need the calories and water ain't gonna cut it. :) So if you can stomach HEED, then bonus but if you can't, then I'd suggest packing a powder form of gatorade/powerade/etc in bottle-measured packets that you can just dump into a bottle when you refill it with water.
Good luck and I will see you out on the course!
2012 NTP Co-Leader
I'll give a slightly dissenting view on the sports drinks. If you find that you are having problems digesting the simple carbs in normal sports drinks, you may need to use something like Nuun, which is a calorie-free electrolyte drink. These comes in tablets that you drop into a water bottle. Several of the local bike shops off Metro carry these (I know Freshbikes in Ballston does), and I believe I've seen it at local grocery stores now, too. I discovered on my long rides a couple years ago that I can't digest a lot in the way of sports drink on long rides and Nuun saved my butt (I do eat, usually Clif''s shot blocks and bars, but no caloric sports drinks).
Many people can get through an IM bike leg on gels and Gatorade alone. Like everyone else has said before, make sure you take sufficient calories and electrolytes ... especially in this hot weather. During superhot weather, I take electrolyte tablets.
If you want something light to take on the bike, take gels. If you want solid food, use the aid stations. They will have loads of solid food there.
What are the defined temperature ranges for the vertical swimmer?
> 90 - Superhot weather
80-90 - Hot weather
< 55 Degrees - Nut freezing
Anything above wetsuit legal is superhot
Anything that requires a neoprene cap is nut freezing
Everything else is perfect :)