Secrets to Fuelling for an Ultra-Endurance Event
On Monday, I discussed the race. Now I will get a little more into the nutrition side of what made me successful both in the race and recovering from the race. I took three days off and more or less jumped back into training. I have been more gentle with myself in the past couple weeks, knowing I am dealing with a bit of systemic fatigue, but I have been more or less completely back on track.
I have made a number of big changes to my race strategy leading up to a multi-day endurance event. Firstly, I can safely say, I have covered off what NOT to do quite extensively.
- I showed up to my first 100 mile event with a box of protein bars and that was it. This ended up being my fuel for the week so I was sorely underfuelled.
- I showed up to my first 24 hour with mostly protein bars and had the worst GI issues. Too much protein at an endurance event dehydrates you.
- My first multiday, I had maybe 5 items to choose from. I had incredible food fatigue by the end which is not good news when you are trying to consume sufficient calories.
What made this race different?
I know how much I need to consume for these events (a lot) and I know what kinds of food to consume (the real kind).
Before the race
- Hydration was the big one for me. I drank a few extra glasses of water and incorporated Hammer Fizz tabs into the mix which gave me an awesome electrolyte boost leading into hot weather racing.
- I made sure I ate enough carbs. I traditionally carb cycle around my workouts instead of a really high carb diet, but leading up to the race, I changed this to ensure I had glycogen stores topped up. I didn’t over eat, I just adjusted what I ate.
During the race
- Again, because of the hot sun, hydration was KEY. I took a Hammer Fizz tab in my 2 L hydration pack. Sometimes, especially when it gets really hot, I almost drink more water than my body can process which is bad news for a race of this length. This helps keep my cells nice and hydrated and gives me the feeling of actually quenching thirst rather than just consuming water. Confusing concept but if you have worked out in the sun, you will understand.
- I drank at least two bottles of Hammer Perpeteum a day. At the beginning, Brad was getting really affected by the heat and I wasn’t. He started drinking this as well and it went away.
- REAL FOOD – this is a biggie. In an adventure race, you are operating in your heart rate zone 2 for most of the event so you can get away with more solid food. Although I always have some bars and gels in my bag for quick energy, I chose items like peanut butter and nutella wraps (yum), turkey jerky and trail mix. A few new things I tried this race that were WINS were frozen breakfast sandwiches and pre-made mashed potatoes put into ziploc bags and consumed like a gel. A few things I tried that were fails were hard boiled eggs (I just did NOT want them) and cheese wrapped in salami (again, I like the savoury mixed in, but I find myself most often wanting something sweet). The key is variety and I think I accomplished that. Here is a great article to check out on other real foods I recommend.
Brad looked at me in horror when I put this into my transition bin but let me explain – these enzymes and ginger are awesome for non-pregnant athletes too! As the race wore on, if I felt my stomach or digestion feel off in any way, I popped one of these and had almost no issues the entire race. As a side note, I find the first 24 hours are the worst until your body settles into racing. IF you are interested, I got my digestive enzymes at Goodness Me!.
After the race
- I drank some Hammer protein almost immediately after finishing. It kick started my recovery and helped minimise my muscle soreness as I worked my way back to training.
I took a daily dose of Medi C Plus which helped support my heart. I have a family history of heart disease so this is really important to me, especially after such a long event. As a side note, one thing I really like about this product is that there are over 60 servings in the one tub.
I actually add collagen to my soda stream water for a nice citrusy fizz water and I drink it once a day after my race to bring back a bit of lustre to my hair, nails and skin. It also helps increase joint mobility and flexibility and it helps minimise joint pain and I recover and get back to training. Another awesome product for this is the Hammer rejuvenator.
So there you have it. Some tricks, tips and a few of my fails. To close out, if you are interested in any of the products, you can get 20% off any Hammer Canada product with the code KUEPFER20 at hammernutrition.ca and 10% off your order at GoodnessMe! with the code WELCOME10.
Neither of these companies have paid me for this post, I just truly love the products they carry and want to share them if it works with your training too!
Have an awesome weekend.