Ran yesterday with Heather and did another 5.5 out at Northwood Meadows. FU -Hill hurt, the snow was horrible, lots of slipping and sliding. Cross country skiers were giving us dirty looks for running on the snow. Loved every minute of it. I was a little worried at first – I hadn’t put down 16 miles in MONTHS and then to back to back that with a loop at Northwood seemed foolish. I slept like crap, our septic system decided to break and I figured, what the hell the day can’t get any worse right? Discovered Heather has the heart rate of a canary
and overall had a good run.
Today was a rest day and I spent it in Boston at the Bruins game and eating really bad food and drinking way too much beer. Lise found Sierra Nevada Celebration at the garden..we split one of those. Everything else was Long trail or Boston Beer works.
Been thinking a lot about food on the trail lately. My intake plan for the longer races is starting to take shape. We’ve been experimenting since late fall with different foods and how they hold up on the trail. I have a good feeling for what I want to eat during the race. Now it’s a matter of figuring out what goes in and when.
Pre-race- Heavier intake on the proteins and water.
First hour- no food- Water
From that point I’ll start incorporating gel packs and/or food, every 20 min. Try to keep 300-400 cal per hour. I’m going to skip the caffeine packs until later in the race. We are planning on 6 hours so I want to make sure that I don’t crash before the end. Still not sure the order of food yet.
Having run the Vermont 50 last year I can tell you Ultra aide stations are a crazy celebration of food. One of the stations I stopped at had a huge pot of soup, Live music, M&M’s gummy bears, potato’s dipped in salt, chips, soda , sandwiches etc etc. It was insane. I had my heartburn fears and hadn’t run on any of these foods so I was scared to try them. I sat on the side of the road sucking down my 500th gel pack. Here is the danger of a long run…if you plan on just using one food source you are going hate it. You may even go insane and jump someone else on the trail and steal their peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So variety is the key, and you HAVE to train with these foods so you know that you won’t have any ‘distress’ come race time.
Here is a picture of people using only gels for the entire ultra. That’s not blood..it’s rasberry Cliff Shots. DON’T be like these people.
Foods I have tried so far:
http://pocketfuelnaturals.com/ If you want some serious punch – the Chocolate espresson can’t be beat. I will be eating this probably last half of the race. A few minor problems with these that I feel I should disclose. First off- they are all natural and have natural oil separation in them. You really need to spend about 20 minutes mixing the pack before eating it. Nothing is worse than opening these things up well into a long run and getting a mouth full of oil.
There is another problem with these and several other foods like it in the winter. Heather and I discovered that there is in fact a line to be crossed when trail running. We were running the Vulcan Fury course again this past December and I had taken a pouch of the pocketfuel. About an hour into the run I pulled the thing out of my pack and squeezed..and squeezed and it didn’t budge. It had frozen pretty solid. Nut butters don’t like the cold. So I did what any self respecting trail runner would do. I stuck it down my pants. Heathers was frozen too so continuing her foolish plan of following my lead she shoved hers down her pants too. After ten minutes mine was nice and soft again but Heather was still having problems with hers. I joked that I would offer to keep her trail food in my pants but I think that was the line. It was bad enough that someone walking on the trail is watching me pull a packet of food out of my crotch and eating it…not sure what they would think if I handed it to Heather. Heather’s kept falling down her leg inside her running pants so I joked that I was going to sew a pocket in the crotch of all our running pants and call it the snack pocket…I’m going to be rich! In all seriousness. It’s the best place to store food that is temp sensitive..I’m telling ya.
http://www.naturaldelights.com/ – I prefer this brand to all the others. Softer and sweeter. Just understand what the fiber is going to do to you over the long run. YOU have been warned.. 🙂
http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_shot_gel/ Only two brands so far have been useful to me. Clif and GU. I just get sick of them very fast and I hate the messy sticky packages.
GU- more gel..doesn’t upset my stomach so yea.
Stinger – I haven’t had the gel, but I did try the waffle cookie on my Mt. Lafayette run on Thanksgiving and really liked it.
For electrolyte replacement I have been using Nuun. I don’t use it very often, especially in the winter due to lack of heavy sweating but I will be using it this summer for sure.
As I start building longer runs I have a few other foods I want to try.
The first big one that I have eaten twice now with no issues is organic baby food. I know..it IS ridiculous.
Happytot is the brand we’ve found is the tastiest. It’s just puree and we are thinking of trying to create our own in order to save money. Problem with the baby food is that its not very calorie dense. Jury is still out but so far no digestive problems.
New Larabars now that I learned I can eat bars if I let them slowly get chewed.
Corn tortilla’s with hummus and olives (from Scott Jureks book)