Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 3 seconds
The Etape du Tour is a massive undertaking. The two crucial elements to enjoying the day are training for etape and knowing how to fuel for Etape.
Do you know how to fuel for Etape?
Knowing How to fuel for Etape is a crucial part of making sure you really conquer Etape.
I did a quick SEO/keyword check on Google and it seems not many people are asking the question, which leads me to wonder: are you thinking about how to fuel for Etape? Or are you just doing a bit of training and eat whatever you find at the feed stops?
You’ll like spending (probably) thousands of dollars on your dream cycling trip, months in quivering anticipation, and do lots of training in preparation. So it makes sense to make sure you’re going to eat properly.
If you don’t there’s a chance you’ll suffer; to abandon before the final climb would be sad indeed.
They abandoned in Bedoin, 22km from the finish, because of inadequate fuelling.
Problem is, how DO you eat properly for Etape?
Do you add extra fuel into your diet in the week prior? If so, what?
What about during Etape du Tour?
What about recovery?
What happens if you don’t fuel for Etape properly
I will tell you this.
If you do not learn how to fuel for Etape properly, then combine that knowledge with some training for Etape, you are in for a world of pain.
Check out my 2010 Etape du Tour report for an example of what happens when you don’t fuel and train properly for Etape (to be fair, I’d been pretty sick leading up to it, but still).
You will note the presence of an astonishing amount of pain.
Here are some other battered souls from that same Etape.
Trust me, cramping all the way from the first climb is not fun.
The 4 Common mistakes
There are 4 common mistakes in a lot of people’s Etape fuelling strategies:
- Drinking too much water
- Not enough electrolytes and vitamins
- Eating too much
- Not testing their Fuelling for Etape plan before the event
How to Fuel for Etape the Right Way
Knowing how to fuel for Etape is crucial, and it’s not hard.
If you’re arriving in France within a week of the event, your preparation begins at home and on the plane. If you have a long haul flight, eating properly on the plane is even more important. Read more about what to eat on long haul flights (and why) in this VeloNomad article on eating on a long haul flight and this interview with a sports dietician about Nutrition Myths.
I briefly covered how to fuel for Etape – both before and during Etape – in this last minute Etape tips article.
The topic is covered extensively in the Tackling L’Etape guide.
Most people could get away with just using their normal race/event fuelling protocol.
If you don’t have a race/sportif/event fuelling protocol for endurance events like Etape du Tour, check out the Fuelling for Etape (and other gruelling events) plan. It contains a detailed nutrition plan for the week leading up to Etape and during Etape itself.
Broadly, you need to:
- Drink enough water, but not too much
- Take in adequate electrolytes and vitamins/minerals
- Replenish your calories, but DON’T replace them
- Test your eating plan BEFORE the event. Especially under similar conditions.
Get secret content, free tips, giveaways and other insider info and discounts!
Sign up to the VeloNomad mailing list to get all my time-hassle-money-saving tips delivered right to your inbox (no more than once or twice a fortnight, sometimes less). Mailing List Members get big discounts on all the VeloNomad offerings.
Did I Answer Your Question? Got a topic suggestion?
Tell me what information you need in the Comments below!