The Hour Record in cycling is one of the most prestigious benchmarks of the sport. The goal? Pedal as far as you can in 60 minutes.
Over the years, the venue, conditions, bike-type, and components used have varied, but record’s allure has persisted because of its simplicity and universality.
Here at GU, we love breaking records – world records, course records, or personal records. This desire to go further and faster than ever before is the reason we created the first Energy Gel, and it’s the reason we continue to develop products that help fuel athletes beyond what they thought was possible. So, when two members of the Peet’s Coffee Racing Team told us they wanted to go for the age-group Hour World Record in cycling, we had to get involved.
Our goal? To help these athletes optimize their diet, tweak their training, and dial-in their equipment, so come June on the day of the attempt, all they have to do is grit their teeth and pedal.
What It Takes
Modern Hour Record attempts take place on a velodrome and require the rider to use a UCI certified bike. (Think time-trial or triathlon bike.) However, before standards were set in 2014, record attempts relied on untraditional equipment and body positioning, including one called “The Superman.”
During an attempt like this, every watt and every second matters. The cyclist must stay focused and make every pedal stroke count. There’s no time for fueling or hydration, so it’s essential to have your pre-attempt meals dialed and load your body with the fuel it will need.
Getting a Baseline
Kevin Metcalfe (age 55) and Dan Bryant (age 47), members of the Peet’s Coffee Racing Team, will attempt to pedal further in one-hour than anyone in their respective age groups has ever pedaled. To help us make recommendations on what diet and training adjustments these athletes should make to improve their chances, we wanted to get some baseline measurements. We had Kevin and Dan meet us at the UC Davis Sports Medicine Center in Sacramento, CA for a DEXA (dual emission x-ray absorptiometry) body scan and Metabolic Efficiency Test. The DEXA scan will help us determine their body density and body fat percentages while the metabolic efficiency test will help determine how much and what type of fuels—fat or carbs—are used during exercise at various intensities as well as lactate and ventilatory thresholds.