In sport, fitness and life generally food is a passion. It’s the fuel that makes us function and it can taste fabulous and enable great social occasions with close friends and family.
A friend of mine at Wirral Athletics Club loves food…. well to be fair he loves the chippie and he really loves chips with curry sauce. He is not some lard arse though – he is a mid-40s self-employed Dad who still knocks out a 10k at 6 minute mile pace. He is light and ‘healthy’ and a wee bit mad, you see, he has entered the Anglesey Ring o Fire Ultra-Marathon. It’s a 3 day megathon totalling 140 miles on trails around the beautiful and windswept Isle of Anglesey.
His first training 21-mile training run resulted in a full-on bonk and ‘wall-hit’ that saw him back in his caravan with 2 jumpers and 3 fleeces on shivering under the downie whilst trying to recover.
On hearing of this training debacle, my pal Jon asked me for some nutrition advice, safe in the knowledge that I had fueled similar efforts on the bike. My diagnosis of his ‘fueling” was damning – the training run was fueled by some water and 2 crunchy bars…… without knowing the brand we are talking 350 kcals…. not much fuel.
In summary, we focused on fueling in the days before – not skipfuls of pasta carbo-loading – but bringing more fruits and veggies into the prep along with good quality carbs to fuel the glycogen stores in his muscles. Sure, there are traditional carb sources on the list – rice, pasta, potatoes – but not in the vast quantities that some people seem to think they require.
I’ll post more on the details of his “Ring o Fire” prescription next week.
In the meantime if anyone else out there requires nutritional advice, drop me a line.
See you on the Trail – Conrad Rafique
Head of Rock Mountain PT