Friday, June 18, 2010

Eight: Nutrition Plan

In ultra-running it seems there are two camps when it comes to race day nutrition: those who prefer to eat "real" food and those who stick to gels, pastes and powders.

I am a real foodie, mostly because I can't do more than about five GU's before I want to gag (even though my stomach is just fine). I don't know how the gelnivores are able to eat that stuff for 20 straight hours! I am pretty much able to eat anything as long as it still tastes good to me. Mostly this ends up being a lot of "junk" food, the same things that are NOT allowed in our pantry and that I try to keep my kids from eating!

The nice thing about the real food camp is that the stuff is cheap. My two favorites: Rice Krispie treats ($12 for 54) and fruit snacks ($10.50 for 80). I can get a year's worth at Costco for about the same amount I'd have to spend on gels for one race! Also, being a real food eater, I know I can pretty much rely on aid stations for food. I love it when an aid station has home baked goodies! The down side is that some of these things (especially fruit) are a little harder to pack and carry on the run than gels. So my stash will be a mix of gels, bloks, and Costco/aid station snacks. I don't pay much attention to the content/sugar type/macro nutrient breakdown in my food. I just concentrate on getting the calories in and figure whatever sounds the best is probably what my body needs at that point.

So my fueling plan boils down to no plan at all! If it ain't broke...

Off to Costco!

1 comment:

SteveQ said...

In 600 races (around 35 ultras), I've consumed exactly one gel. Everyone differs, but I can eat anything during a long run - I just don't want to eat anything.

Don't mess with what works for you! The two things that get me: I. Kouros consumed more calories than he burned during a 6-day race and (ugh. her name's escaped me - Monica? - the Canadian woman trying to do 26 100-milers this year) lives on beef jerky and Slim Jims, apparently.