Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Food: Eating During a Run

Fueling during a run can be difficult logistically, so I would recommend taking two approaches:

1. Train using food typically found at ultra aid stations, like candy, chips, boiled potatoes, cookies, soda, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or any specific food a goal race advertises. This will allow you to use aid stations for fueling if necessary. I prefer to use my own food, but have run into situations when it wasn't available. Learning to fuel off what is available can solve a lot of potential problems.

2. Find foods that work well for you. This includes foods that are easy to carry, can be stuffed in drop bags, or can be carried by your crew. Since many ultras are run far from civilization, non-perishable foods that require little or no preparation would be ideal. Also, your palate will change throughout a race. What tastes good at mile five probably won't taste good at mile 35 or mile 95. Test different foods at different distances.



  1. I like that, 'no surprises on the race course' if you don't know how you react to a certain food given a certain activity level, the race course is not the place to experiment.'. On the other hand it's probably better to try something new than to go without- like if your go-to foods aren't digesting well.
    If you're at marathon or faster your body will divert blood from digestion to legs.

    Activities more than 4 hours, consider adding fats to your race fuel plan. Avocados, almonds, coconut shavings, etc. Shorter events can be simple sugas only

  2. Find food on longer runs is easier than expected. One plan your route so a School Cafeteria falls around the half way or 20 mile mark. You can find all the food listed above, and your body odar will make the kids want to give you their lunches. Stay away from the Mixed Veggies... They will give you gas.
    If you are banned from schools like some of us are, the next place is a 7 Eleven or Quicky Mart. If you can stomach their "Hot" food, you can pretty much digest anything you find at any aid station including road kill you might find along the trail.
    One are you have forgotten.. Drinking from streams and urinals. I am surprised you don't have this topic covered yet.