Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Running Rations

This week I'm doing an Atacama race simulation to test my gear and food, and as a final training block before the race. I'm aiming to complete a four-day series of long runs. I have almost all my final race gear and I have a nutrition plan that I'd like to use during the race. This will be the last check and after this I should be ready and I expect to be confident in all my choices going into the event (if everything works this week).

I have prepared four days of food that are exactly like I plan to use in the race. It doesn't look like very much and doesn't look that appetizing, but I hope that my homemade meals and the variety of flavors for my race fuel will be better than last year's freeze-dried meals. I've split the meals into four periods: pre-run in the morning, during the run, immediate recovery after the run and an evening meal.

Pre-run breakfast.

I have put all four pre-run breakfasts into one ziploc bag. It's 4 x 72g of Cerelac which will give me 300 calories for breakfast each morning. I love Cerelac so this might even be the most delicious meal for me!

During the run fuel.

During the run I plan to use a combination of Ensure powder during the earlier part of the day and gels during the later part of the day. The first day is short so I'll only be using gels and then the next 3 days I'll use Ensure powder for the first 2 hours (the blue squeeze bottle and two ziploc bags) and gels after that. I aim to consume about 200 calories per hour while running.

Post-run recovery food.

Immediately after the run I start my recovery routine. I'll be taking more Ensure - about 500 calories, a salt rehydration solution, almost no calories, and then eating a small meal of couscous, about 300 calories. This should put back some of the calories I expend during the run and help to rehydrate me.

Evening meal.

Finally I'll be eating an evening meal. Here I've gone for flavor and more food to offset all the gels and powders I'll be eating during the day. I've only prepared three evening meals for the first three days, as I'll be eating something big, delicious and definitely not powder-based after my fourth day of running! For the evening meal I have noodles with chorizo, ham, anchovies, olive oil and parmesan, which on average comes to about 500 calories for each meal.

If anyone has any suggestions for improvements, please leave a comment for me.

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