General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Nutrition help Rss Feed  
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2013-08-08 8:21 AM

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Subject: Nutrition help
I have a friend who is going to attempt his first 50 miler. He would like me to help him figure out his nutrition throughout the race. I'll give you a little bit of his backround: He has been runner for for 10 + years, for the last 5 or 6 years he has been running everyday. He is currently up to 12.5 miles daily. He races locally 5K's and wins nearly all of them. He never wanted to anything longer (races) because he was afraid of how he would perform during the races. After my Ironman last year, he decided he wanted to try a marathon. He has never carried any nutrition or water during his races, but I told him he needs to start. So he played around with some gels but never consistent. I think for his "Marathon training" he only did a few long runs 18-27 miles. (I'm not joking when I say only a few, like once or twice because he was still running everyday 10-12 miles.) So when his marathon came I kept pushing to at least DRINK WATER!

Well he qualified for Boston, doing the marathon in 2 hrs 48 minutes. He took in 4 gels and sips of water at some aid stations. Obviously he has a natural talent, but I fear that he will seriously hurt himself if he attempts longer runs without much nutrition.

So my question for you ultra marathoners is how many calories do you try to replace per hour? I know with Ironman it was a little different on the bike vs running. I used gels every 30 minutes plus some extra depending on how I was feeling. So ~ 200-250 calories/hr. I know that every one is different but I would like to get an idea what others are doing. What is your average fluid intake per hour during training races? What type of nutrition are you using? Infinit, Perpeteum, gels, or actual real food?

Thanks, looking forward to hearing others advice.



2013-08-08 10:44 AM
in reply to: wcocco

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Subject: RE: Nutrition help
I don't see what's wrong with only taking in four gels and a bit of water to wash them down, during a 2:48 marathon. That's 4-500 calories, which is perfect IMO. I recently did a 1:24 half marathon and took in no cals and probably only 3 swigs of gatorade from an aid station. He may or may not have had a small breakfast prior to the 2:48 as well, which gave him some extra calories.

As for longer races, I've always just drank to thirst and maybe tried to take in 2-300 cals per hour. I'm working on developing my marathon pace for the next couple years before going back to the ultra distance stuff, but if I were to do a 50 miler anytime soon I'd probably do ~200 cals per hour of gel or chews with regular water. I don't like putting cals into water during ultras because than I must rely on drinking to get fuel, and since I just drink by thirst, that can throw off the incoming calories.
2013-08-08 11:15 AM
in reply to: ipull400watts

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Subject: RE: Nutrition help

Thanks for the great advice.  I was wondering if you get enough electrolytes out of the gels and chews or would you consider supplementing?  I'm assuming a fairly warm weather race.

Thanks

2013-08-08 11:25 AM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: Nutrition help
I've done ultras without any more supplementation than what comes from the gels, chews, and bars. I paced a lady for 53 miles once with eating literally nothing but dried cherries and gummy worms, drinking water. No cramps, it was a great 53 mile run. Same for my 100 miler, no electrolytes other than the little bit that came along with the regular calories.
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