Couch to Crit by NorCal Cycling

We've partnered with one of our favorite YouTube channels, NorCal Cycling, to help you elevate your fitness and racing knowledge. The face of NorCal Cycling, Jeff Linder, has been cycling competitively for over 15 years. Join us as we learn from Jeff's racing experience and tactical insight.


It’s important to note is that nutrition plans will be different for everyone and there are numerous factors to consider. The nutrition planned discussed in this episode is focused on criterium racing for a duration of 60 minutes.

There are three periods to focus on when dialing in your nutrition plan:

Before the ride:

It is important to be properly hydrated and ‘full’ of carbs, but done digesting before getting on the bike for a big effort. The body is usually in one of two states: resting and digesting, or fight/flight (exercising). The body is not capable of effectively digesting while riding hard on the bike. Make sure to give yourself 3-5 hours to digest a big meal before a high intensity ride like a criterium race.

During the ride:

Your goal should be to replenish as many of the calories/carbs you are burning as you can. This will vary based on a host of factors including: Age, years of riding, metabolism, body-type, genetics, gender and environment/climate are all factors that will affect how much nutrition you will need for your activity. There is no right answer for everyone.

After the ride:

It is important to get in a balanced ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins. Often there is a big emphasis put on protein for a recovery drink, but a good balance can be more beneficial to the recovery process.

Don’t forget that everyone is unique. Experiment on your training rides to see what works for you before any important event.