How many calories for a 80-mile sportive?

It's probably different for everyone, but I'm doing a long-ish sportive next Sunday and wondered how much food I should aim to take in.

80 miles with 1500 metres of climbing, so maybe 6+ hours.

more than a piece of flapjack, I imagine?


According to the many dubious exercise calorie calculators floating on the web you are looking at just shy of 4000 kcal. Nothing a few bacon sarnies won't cure.

N.B. Sorry about that just playing around with posting on the forum. Doesn't seem to recognise new lines in quick reply mode...

According to my Garmin you need 5,500 calories.

I always stuff a box of fig rolls in the back of my jersey.


They are smaller than fancy energy bars and not as messy. Lots of good stuff in them.

Only 39p from Tescos.

Have carbs the night before, especially pasta. Have an energy based breakfast, namely cerial and banana and fruit juice. The eat at set points along the way before you get hungry. I use a cobination of energy bars and jels while cycling and a good sandwich or two.

If you're not in a race then you don't need to worry too much. It far more important to make sure you control your hydration levels. Drink plenty of water. Also try and cool down afterwards and use something to help your muscles recover.

How fast was you going 16/18 mph 3500-/+cal :faster Okay your up there 4000 + .I have a Garmin 500 and I log my training and you plug it in to your computer & it will work it out ,your Calories ,Maps & more...


Do the sportive organisers provide food stops? These are useful for reloading on carbs, and you can usually take some bananas or cake with you for the journey, so you don't have to calculate your intake too precisely. We'd always recommend having too much rather than too little, because if you 'bonk' from too little, you'll certainly know about it!

  • By Barney at 2:19pm 25 November 2014

I think there's a confusion between calories you will burn in the ride and calories you will want to consume during and immediatly before. I think the amount you want to consume is probably quite a bit lower than what you will burn, and the garmin is estimating what you will burn. Some of that would come from your fat and glycogen stored in your body.

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