Category Archives: Leadville 100

Endurance Sports Nutrition. How to fuel like a pro?

Endurance Event Planned?

While individuals often have personal preferences, here’s my quick guide to proper fueling during an endurance event like the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

Nearly everyone that starts Leadville or any other endurance event has logged the training hours to complete the  bike race. Those who don’t finish typically suffer from dehydration and improper sports nutrition during a 10 hour + race. Bloating, nausea, upset stomachs and cramping can potentially be avoided if you fuel yourself correctly throughout a race.  Here are my 5 tips to maximize your chances of, not only finishing an endurance event, but racing to your potential.

Eat early and often.

Whatever you eat, be sure to eat early and often during competition. Waiting until you are hungry puts you dangerously close to hitting the wall or ‘bonking’ as we cyclists call it. If you fail to eat often and keep on top of your intake then you’ll struggle throughout your bike race.

Carbs are king.

There is no myth about “carbo-loading.” Carbs account for the vast majority of the energy used by muscles. Most sports drinks contain some form of sugars and, contrary to what you may think, this is a good thing. Recent research indicated a combination of carbohydrates may work best – e.g. maltodextrin (a very rapidly metabolized glucose polymer) and fructose rather than just maltodextrin or just sucrose alone.

Keep the tank full.

For longer events, especially at Leadville, I recommend 200-250 calories per hour. Some people (pro-cyclists, larger men) can accommodate up to 400 calories per hour. The average 10 hour finisher at Leadville does holds about 150W (remember, it’s at 10,000 feet!), which equates to about 550 calories / hour – meaning he or she will burn about 5,500 calories during the race. Hence, it’s essential to keep eating whatever you can to keep the gas tank full.


Electrolytes are important for preventing cramps, supporting proper muscle function, regulating pH, enhancing hydration, and facilitating carbohydrate update. Most sports nutrition drinks claim electrolytes – but read the fine print – many sports commissions recommend 500-1000mg of sodium per liter during exercise. Look for easily absorbed electrolytes like sodium citrate.

Protein is good.

Protein is still controversial for inclusion in sports drinks. Most of the studies only look at time-trial simulations between 60-90 minutes, and the researchers don’t see significant differences in performance. But as we all know, true athletes train day-after-day, and need to recovery quickly. It’s quite clear that protein consumption during exercise helps to prevent muscle breakdown and speeds recovery. During an endurance event like Leadville, many bike racers have great success consuming some protein. The key here is some. Look for a drink with a high carb-to-protein ratio; ideally close to 10:1 as too much protein can cause bloating. And, research shows, protein isn’t well metabolized during exercise – so keep the carbs high and the protein low.

Herbalife markets a line of foods and supplements for use in an athletic regimen including Herbalife 24 Prolong
by John Heiss Ph.D

Herbalife24 Basecamp Returns to Leadville 2012

For the uninitiated, the Leadville Trail 100 is a mountain bike race that conquers one of the most punishing trails across the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. This will be the third time Herbalife24 takes on “the race across the sky.”

The town of Leadville, Colorado clings on at 10,000 feet above sea level. It’s one of the highest towns in the U.S. and the Leadville Trail 100 is notoriously known as one of the toughest bike races in the country. When it comes to Leadville everything is a superlative: the highest, the steepest, the toughest…

The start line is exposed at 10,152 feet and the course climbs to 12,424 feet but altitude isn’t the only challenge for racers who know endurance is key. Winding trails across loose shale, through shadowy forest and down steep water-worn paths mean that a rider can never relax as they power though the one hundred mile out-and-back course.

Legend, and race organizer, Ken Choubler was told in 1994 by the hospital administrator at the time, that the whole idea of a Mountain Bike Race around Leadville was wild: “You’re crazy… you’ll kill someone”. For a glimpse of his passion, take a look at his 2011 ‘You’re Better Than You Think You Are‘ pep talk. The Leadville Trail 100 certainly does feel as if it’s on the edge. The riders careen along courses that look insane to anyone who doesn’t carry that certain ‘something’ that separates the best riders from the crowd.

Whatever it is that makes Leadville so special, we feel that it should be faced head on. That’s why this year Herbalife is squaring up to Leadville again and our presence is going to equal the demands of the most grueling race in the U.S. We’re bringing in specialists who have defeated Leadville time and again, and new cyclists who have heard the war stories and want to take on the mountain themselves.

Last year Herbalife24 Basecamp became known as the place to share expertise, to top-up supplies, and to prepare for the great unforgiving adventure. This year, we’re back all summer with fresh provisions and new techniques. For racers, the Herbalife24 Basecamp delivers course information, race pointers, and fueling and recovery strategies. It also offers the chance to catch up with old friends, organize ride meet-ups and test your equipment.

Nate Whitman Leadville 100 Herbalife24Nate Whitman is back in town for 2012 and will be running the Herbalife24 Base Camp from start to finish. With a decade of Leadville 100 Trail’s behind him and numerous top-10 finishes, Nate understands the course and is happy to share his valuable expertise:
“Leadville is the measuring stick that all 100 milers are put up against. I’ve got a special relationship with the race, having stumbled upon it some ten years ago and grinding my way through those early finishes, to now placing in and around the top ten. I’ve learned some valuable lessons in all of those races, and look forward to helping riders prepare for the 2012 edition.”

Leadville 100 MTB Finish Line The isolated town was once home to the notorious Doc Holliday and it sometimes feels that a wind rich in history is blowing through the streets. In our mind, the Herbalife24 Basecamp is a welcomed sight for all riders regardless of their pedigree or experience. Choosing to return to the renovated saloon we called home in 2011, we’re writing our own history and it will be the story of champions.

If you made the short list and you’re riding the Leadville Trail 100 this year then make sure you stop by.

Diet For Running

Abby breaks down some of the basics of daily diet for ultra runners. Abby is a dietitian and ultra runner.

Ultra Marathon Training Tips

In this introduction to ultra marathons and the Leadville Trail 100, David Clark gives the basics of training for the “long run” as well as the differences between the types of training tools to use. This introduction in the series, focuses on the novice to ultra running, and as the series progresses will provide excellent training techniques and vital information regarding the LT100.

Prolong On Course Endurance Drink At The Leadville 100

Herbalife 24 Prolong was the offical on course endurance drink at the Leadville 100. In this video, the scientist behind Prolong Dr John Heiss,  talks about what is needed calories and hydration wise during an endurance event.