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Tour of New Zealand

Heart Racer newsletter #5

We hope you’re enjoying our newsletters and being part of the Heart Racer team. In this newsletter, we share an effective way to break your fundraising target down into smaller steps that will help you reach your fundraising goals. We also identify areas of focus for training during the month ahead and examine how to fuel your training sessions.

PT Systems Training

Hi All,

November’s here and, unless you’re at the Tour of Southland like me looking out the window at sideways rain, you’ll have taken off the leg warmers and booties and be enjoying some warmer training weather.

After the past month of strength work, hopefully those pins are feeling strong and ready for a lift in riding volume and distance.

Focuses for the month ahead

  • Ride the length of the Tour’s longest stage. Gain some self-confidence in your current endurance condition along with testing your riding clothing and equipment out to make sure it’s up to it
  • Start to think about your race nutrition
  • Do your first Tour block. During the event you will be riding/racing for eight days straight. So now is a good time to start introducing your body to this extent of backing up. 

This month include a three-day training block of at least 75% of the three longer days.

Enjoy the training days and any questions you may have about structure feel free to let me know.

Marc Prutton
Cycling coach



Fuelling Exercise

Do you want to know how to get fit faster? Today we’ll talk about how to fuel your training sessions so that you can maximise gains from all the hard work you put in. 

This is a big topic, so I’ll start with the most important concepts.

Carbohydrates are performance enhancing nutrients.

Low-carbohydrate (or low-carb) diets have risen in popularity; however, despite this, carbs remain the nutrient of choice for endurance athletes and this is backed by decades of hard science. There is a direct relationship between how many carbs you consume during exercise and how fast and how far you can cycle - that is, the more you eat, the better you perform.

We can use this information in two key ways.

Firstly, if you consume optimal amounts of carbs during your key training sessions, those training sessions will be of high quality and you’ll maximise the fitness gains you get from them. You will get fitter faster. Or, on the other hand, if you do not consume enough carbs during training, you won’t get full bang from your training buck.

It’s important to know that you need to train your gut to tolerate carbs, so start off slow, maybe just use a sports drink, but add in extra gels/carb rich foods as training progresses. By the end of training you should be able to tolerate at least 60g of carbohydrates per hour.

Secondly, by the time of the Tour, you want to have your nutrition plan perfected. The more carbs you can consume during the Tour, the easier you’ll find the event and the more enjoyment you’ll get from it. Also, if you don’t practise your nutrition plan during training, you put yourself at risk of debilitating tummy troubles. Remember the Trailblazer Nutrition Golden Rule is to never try something on event day that you haven’t already trialled during training.

Here are a couple of examples of how to fuel a training session of 90 minutes duration with 45g of carbs per hour, using 600mls of water or a sports drink per hour. A “25g carbs equivalent” is any food/gel that provides 25g of carbohydrates.

 Session Duration (hrs)


Hourly carb target (g):


Total fluid required (mls)


Total carbs required (g)


Option 1
Fluid used: sports drink

Option 2
Fluid used: water

Serves of "25g carb equivalent" required


Serves of “25g carb equivalent” required


Take half a serve after 45 minutes

Take a serve every 25 minutes

Do I need to consume carbs every session?


It’s important to realise that carbs will not benefit training sessions that are less than 90 minutes in duration, although they can be a good ‘pick me up’ after a busy day or if your legs are lacking a bit of zap.

Also, it’s a good idea to mix it up - so hold off on the carbs occasionally during your longer rides to ensure that you’re still training your fat burning systems. I recommend still taking carbs with you to ensure that you have some if needed, but it is a good idea to try going without for 60, 90, or 120 minutes as you get fitter.

What about Fluid?

Your fluid intake depends on a few factors, so it’s difficult to make recommendations for a large group. I recommend a minimum of 600mls per hour during exercise, and more on warmer and humid days, longer rides and if you’re naturally a heavy sweater. “Drinking to thirst” is a popular concept at the moment, and you should certainly be paying attention and acting on what your body is telling you, but studies have shown that relying only on your perception of thirst can lead to drinking less than what is optimal.

As you can well imagine, fuelling for exercise is an intricate topic with lots of room for personalisation, so please get in touch if you would like to explore this further. 


If you want more personalised advice check out what I can offer at


Smaller steps to help you reach your goal

It’s never easy to ask people for money, but keep in mind that you’re fundraising for a charity to help save lives. That’s why it’s important to remind your friends, family and workmates about your challenge, why you’ve chosen to support the Heart Foundation and how they can support you. Be upfront about how much you’re asking for as this gives people a clear idea of what to donate. Breaking down your fundraising target into smaller steps is a helpful and effective way to approach your goal.

Here are some quick tips to help reach $1,000 on your fundraising page.

Ten steps to help you reach $1,000:

  1. Sponsor yourself for $50
  2. Ask two family members to sponsor you for $50 each
  3. Ask 10 friends to contribute $20 each
  4. Ask five co-workers to each contribute $20
  5. Ask five neighbours to sponsor you for $20
  6. Ask five people from your sports club if they’ll donate $10 each
  7. Ask five people who you socialise with (e.g. at book clubs, church, etc) for $10
  8. Ask your boss for a company donation of $50
  9. Ask five businesses that your company works with to contribute $40
  10. Ask four businesses that you frequent to donate $25

You could include a paragraph similar to this as a new post asking for donations on your fundraising page or include it in your emails:
'Heart disease is New Zealand’s single biggest killer, claiming one life every 90 minutes. This is why I have chosen to raise funds for the Heart Foundation when I ride in the Tour of New Zealand 2019. Please support me through this challenge by donating today to my fundraising page (insert the url link to your fundraising page). Your generous donation will help make more life-saving research into heart disease possible. Thank you for supporting me and helping the Heart Foundation to save lives.'

If you have any questions please get in touch. I am very happy to help.