How To Carb Load For Long Distance Events

With our very own Stephanie Galileos participating in the 200km bike ride for Cancer it came to me that so many people enjoy participating in charity events, long rides and runs, but are not always well fueled for such events.

So that being the case, I thought I would share with you the meal plan we created for Stephanie as it will apply to all events in excess of 10km (for under 10km consume 5g of carbs per kg of body weight, 48 hours before the event).

Carbohydrate Options:

  • Veggies: (pretty much any, but these are the highest)
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Broad-beans
  • Legumes
  • Chickpeas
  • Snow peas (great to snack on during the ride as converted quickly)

Fruit: (pretty much any but these are awesome)

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Berries


  • Rice (basmati white or brown)
  • Gluten free pasta
  • Buckwheat pancakes (served with honey and bananas

Drink your carbs too:

  • E.G with every meal as well as a glass of water have something like a banana smoothie with honey, almond meal and berries
  • Raw Cacao hot chocolates

Snacks to take with you for the event:

  • Carbs gels
  • Pure coconut water (we prefer Raw C)
  • Water  with salt in it (1/2 teaspoon per 250ml)
  • Raw snow peas
  • Cacao nibs or crunch

Let’s assume for the purpose of the structure below that the event is on a Saturday.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Include carbs from sweet potato, corn, pumpkin, potato, tomatoes, apples, pears, bananas that sort of thing, with every meal (about 5g of carbs per 1kg of body weight per day. So if you weigh 60kg then you need to consume about 300-400g of carbs per day) ONLY LIGHT EXERCISE, START TAPERING OFF.

Thursday and Friday – consume about 10g per 1 kg of your body weight on each date. So if you weigh 60kg then you need to consume about 600-700g of carbs per day (over 2500 calories!) NO EXERCISE OTHER THAN LIGHT STRETCHING.

When it comes to drinking water, adding the salt will help your cell membranes permeate hydration from 1 cell to another avoiding dehydration particularly to the brain.

Day of the event – have a decent sized breakfast something like scrambled eggs with sweet potato, potatoes, gluten free muesli (crunchola), banana and berry smoothie, about 2-3 hours before the ride commences.

And finally, reduce your fat intake for the Thursday and Friday to prevent you from feeling too full and not being able to consume all the carbs you require. Otherwise you will run out of fuel and experience ‘hitting the wall’ which is basically like what happens to your car when the fuel tank is empty. You stop!

And remember, always have fun!!!