22 days of Beasty-ness.
It feels like the countdown to Christmas…I need an advent calendar of some sort. But instead of chocolate behind each little window there will be some GU, or body glide, or something.
We’ve already established in my past week of rambling and emotional babbling that I’m not where I need to be physically heading into this race. But instead of focusing on that, all I can do now is a) keep training and b) focus on what I CAN control.
Nutrition has been something in the back of my mind all summer, but I haven’t really sat down and formulated a plan yet. It had taken me a couple of years (literally) to master my marathon nutrition plan. I found very early on and in a very unpleasant way that a) my stomach does NOT tolerate gels/GU/etc, and b) the whole 100+ calories every 45 minutes to an hour (as suggested on the packaging) at one time is NOT appreciated by my digestive system. After many porta potty visits mid race (pshhh, no such thing as TMI in distance running!) and much experimentation, it turns out the “running buffet” is what works best for me. A much smaller dose of calories more frequently. I have it down to a science. It goes a little something like this:
|love, love, love my Clif snacks!|
Chews of Choice:
Honey Stinger: 160 cals serving/ 10 chews per serving/16 calories per chew
Clif Blok: 100 cals serving/3 chews per serving/ 33.33 cals per chew / 16. 67 cals per half chew
1 honey stinger OR 1/2 a Clif Blok every mile (7-10 minutes), averages out to about 6-8 chews per hour, or about 96-128 calories per hour.
Not only does this keep the stomach issues at bay, but it also helps steady my blood sugar. I’ve read many studies and heard from many elites who believe you need to train your body to run WITHOUT nutrition, as to teach it to naturally stabilize blood sugar levels. However, I have spent my entire life as a borderline hypoglycemic. Just ask anyone who knows me, I can go from hyper, chatty Heather to a dead silent slug in the matter of minutes if I let myself go too long without food. According to my family, it’s often a downright terrifying experience. Not because they fear for my health or safety. No, no….rather they fear for THEIR safety. Apparently I get a little aggressive and mean when I’m hungry, haha.
But I digress, the running buffet of chews, combined with water and the occasional Hammer endurolyte for my electrolytes has worked out very well for me. The last two marathons I ran were completed without the infamous bonk (well, at least on the brain/nutrition/glycogen side, can’t speak so much for my legs, ha) or horrible GI pains.
But alas, the Ultra Beast is not a regular marathon.
The cutoff time for this race (consisting of over 60 obstacles, thousands upon thousands of feet of climbing, and yes, that whole 26.2 mile thing) is 14 hours. I fully expect this race to take me at least 10 hours, and that’s being very, very aggressive with my finishing time estimate (and for the record I run a 1:40 half marathon. That’s not a brag, that’s a reminder that this Ultra Beast nonsense is no joke).
Point being? 10-14 hours of chews alone are not gonna cut it. I’m going to need food. And lots of it.
I am a huge, huge fan of Clif products, specifically my mint chocolate chip luna protein bars . I probably eat at least two a day, so I know these will for sure be packed among my snacks. But what else? Your guess is as good as mine. This weekend I plan to march around the woods and run myself into the ground while carrying random snacks. Potatoes? Animal crackers? Dried fruit? I’m really not sure.
I’d love to hear from you ultra runners, adventure racers, or anyone who does any sort of physical activity for a very, very long time: What does YOUR race day nutrition look like?