If you are new to Ultra running ,food can be quite a confusing area, Here are a few pointers.
1.) Most importantly make sure you have some!! (whether it be solid or liquid food)
2.) Don’t try anything new on race day. Practise consuming different foods on your long runs, see what you can digest, what you can stand, but remember what you can face eating after 5 hours and what you can face after 25 hours is a different story.
3.) Some form of electrolyte supplementation is very important, electrolytes are the essential minerals contained in your body to keep everything going right. If the calorie intake is the fuel for the car, the electrolyte supplement is the engine oil that’s keeps everything running smoothly. Cramp is one of the ways your body serves notice that you’re on empty as far as electrolyte goes
4.) Logically speaking it would be reasonable to assume that if you burn 600 - 800 calories an hour, you need to consume the same amount in food to maintain your energy levels right? – Wrong! When your body is operating at levels even as low as a fast walking pace for some people, the bodies systems are working to supply oxygen and fuel to muscles. Not to digest food. In fact very few people are able to digest more than 35% of the calories they burn on an hourly basis during constant exercise of 40% VRmax +. This makes Endurance events more dangerous, because they are an energy depleting entity at a rate of about 3 / 1 and its impossible to fully replace all of your energy stores while underway. Eventually you will get to empty and be forced to rest completely.
5.) Its also very important to drink to thirst. No more. Your body is well able to cope with a bit of dehydration during exercise and its normal to complete an event like this 2% - 4% down on body weight. This is recovered quickly afterwards by normal eating and drinking. To over hydrate is extremely dangerous and athletes doing so risk hypotranemia, a condition in which water becomes toxic to the body by diluting blood plasma levels and over riding the liver / kidneys functions in supplying sufficient minerals to the blood stream and system.
I found this out to my cost in the 2007 WHW race, when shortly after arriving in
Kinlochleven I woke up in Fort William ITU with acute kidney failure and IV’s running into my arms. I had failed to take on sufficient electrolyte replacement & nutrition and my body had literally began to digest its own muscle tissue to fuel my energy needs. The waste by product of this process is toxic to the liver and kidneys.(RHABDOMYOLYSIS) . This experience demonstrates the importance and knowledge of fuelling and serves as a reminder of the dangers of getting it wrong. Even for accomplished,experienced athletes
Ok remember this is only a guideline, depends on bodyweight and fitness levels but roughly
250-350 calories per hour and 500ml of water per hour (slightly exceeds in hot temperatures).
Sucseed do great electrolytes and so does Hammer (endurolytes)