How to fuel The Fred Whitton Challenge - Kendal Mint Co®

How to fuel The Fred Whitton Challenge

Crazy challenges require a good nutrition plan. Aside from the healthy balanced diet you've been working on alongside the training, there are lots of options for fueling your Fred on the day using our top tips.

Top tips for Energy & hydration on the Bike during the Fred Whitton challenge

You're about to hit 113 miles and 3,000m of elevation on the most grueling hills in the UK. To make sure you feel and perform your best it's important to fuel your body by eating the right foods. Especially on tough rides like this. Fuelling right during the race is all about balance and thinking ahead. Checkout some of our top tips below and you can download our full fuel guide.

1. Breakfast / Healthy Balanced Diet is Key! 

Our advice would be to eat 2-4 hours before you start. This should be predominantly carbohydrate based. Fruits, porridge, oats, toast, pancakes and other complex carbs. Some Protein is also important found in yoghurts and eggs. Avoid black pudding, sausages and bacon. Our simply delicious superfood cereal Bar makes for a great addition at breakfast with 40g of Carbohydrate and 5.6g Protein here.

2. Eat Little & Often

During exercise: 30-60g of Carbohydrate per hour for rides over an hour. Energy Bars, Gels and bananas are all great options.
top-tip! Try using an Isotonic sports drink such as KMC ISO MIX which provides energy and hydration every time you drink. It's much easier than trying to eat on the go.

3. Hydrate Well

Start Early, even before you get on the bike keep drinking regularly every 10-15 mins. Once you're on the bike, do the same thing. Little & Often! You can follow our article on why hydration is so important and how to measure it here. Our sports drink KMC ISO MIX, mixes easily with just 500ml of water to provide you with all four essential electrolytes required by the body.

4. Try Energy Gels 

They're designed to be easy to open and use - just like fluids, you should be able to consume your fuel with your gloves on mid ride. Energy gels are an ideal functional product for this purpose and provide more than just an instant energy boost. They provide longer-lasting energy and hydration with essential electrolytes. KMC NRG GEL's can last up to 90 minutes.

5. You don't need to avoid Caffeine (or Coffee)

Coffee, or should we say Caffeine, actually has many proven benefits. Research shows that it can help improve muscular endurance and strength, as well as it's well known benefits in reducing fatigue and drowsiness. If there's a big hill coming up or if you need something to get you going pre-ride you can grab a caffeine gel. KMC NRG GELs (caffeinated ones) contain 100mg of caffeine. Or you could try our fresh roast coffee here.

6. Don't forget Post-workout 

Post-workout nutrition is just as important for glycogen re-synthesis and muscle recovery, especially if you're aiming to go again the next day! Start re-fueling as soon as you can post exercise, recovery drinks such as the KMC PRO MIX provide an ideal blend of fast acting carbohydrate and proteins in this case. You can also opt for things such as milk, cereal, bagel and cheese, sandwiches with spreads such as peanut butter. 

It's important to ask yourself these questions and remember these top tips:

  • How am I going to feel in 20 mins time?
  • Big hill coming up in 10 mins? Take onboard some Caffeine Gels! 
  • Look at your route, the climbs, the descents, think about how your body will react and build a fuel plan around it.
  • Be pro-active not reactive and remember, Little & Often! 
  • You can checkout our free fuel guide below, for nutrition strategies, pre, during and post-race. 

Download your own copy at the end of this blog.


Have you entered "The Fred" this year?

You should have received your exclusive training discount code for use on our website.


How are Kendal Mint Co Sports Nutrition supporting the Fred? 


From pre-race support, to hydration and fuel pit-stops - we've got you covered. 

You can find a large selection of our award-winning Kendal Mint CakeEnergy gels, Energy Bars, Electrolytes and Recovery products at most of the feed stations. 

Start your training now with the exclusive discount code provided by the Fred Whitton Challenge on for use on our website

What is the Fred Whitton Challenge? 

The 113 mile Lake District challenge is held in the name of Fred Whitton, the former racing secretary of the Lakes Road Club who died of cancer in 1998, the challenge began the following year.

The challenge has since raised millions for charity and includes some of the toughest climbs in the UK. Not only is it the UK's toughest but It's arguably the most popular too with it's massively over-subscribed ballot.

Top-tip: Register to help the organisers with the event to reserve a spot in the following year. 

 How hard is the Fred Whitton Challenge?

The Fred Whitton Challenge is the toughest sportive in Britain. Riders rank it alongside European events such as the Marmotte in terms of difficulty. It consists of a 113 miles and 3,000m of relentless climbing.
A giant loop around the Lake District, now a World Heritage Site. Starting at Grasmere and taking in some phenomenal climbs such as Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott, Wrynose and Blea Tarn passes.
At 94 miles, you're hitting a 30% gradient up Hardknott pass...

Team KMC John McCracken Takes on one of the major climbs during the Fred Whitton ChallengePhoto by Steve Flemming Photo

What is the Fred Whitton Challenge Route? 

The route starts and finishes at Grasmere sports ground in the centre of the Lake District National Park, covering some of the steepest climbs in Great Britain with over 3,000m in Elevation and a distance of 113 miles. 

At 94 miles, you're hitting a 30% gradient up Hardknott pass...

You can download the full route map and GPX file below.

 Download the GPX File here.

*Please download it either on desktop or on your phone and then upload it to the platform of your choice.

Free Downloadable Nutrition Strategy for the Fred Whitton 

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How to fuel The Fred Whitton Challenge