This is part of a series of posts regarding how I am preparing, planning, and train to complete the 100 miles Ultramarathon Umstead 100: Road to 100. For all the ultrarunning series here is Road to 100 last week’s post and for additional ideas follow the link. Training for a 100.
For multi-hour events, fueling is not just very important but the key to the success of finishing an Ultramarathon event. Even in a marathon you most likely will consume all your glycogen by the time you get to the 20-22 mile distance. Even with burning mostly fat as fuel during the event, you will still find yourself in trouble if you can’t replace some of the carbs during the run. You must consider your fuel strategy given that in an ultra you will go past the 26.2 miles and you will need to replenish that energy to be able to continue with somewhat decent performance.
You want to once again be honest with yourself about what are the things that actually can work for you, instead of what sounds good to you or things that might settle well during a no running or training session.
- Start with a list: This will help to understand the initial options that have been tested before. Also be aware where you can find those items. For me there is a cookie crème sandwich that I love and settles well, but I need to get those way in advance as they are hard to come by, if I want to consider those as an option for the event.
- What other options are there that could be consider? New products are always available. New better version of old ones and also completely new one that could be added to your approach to fueling.
- What I know I will not like during, early or later on: For example for me chocolate is a no, no. You want to make sure you understand those flavors and food textures, so in the mist of not thinking great (past mile 60) you do not grab something that is not going to settle well and will cause more problems than relief.
The answers will help you get ready for the next step the planning session.
Now, this is my process to prepare an initial plan, I know it is not going to be perfect but it will serve as the basis to an initial approach to training,
- Preparing: I went to the super market and bought a few baby food flavors and brands to test. Also decided to go and try a few other gel brands, including Maurten, Muir, Huma and GU in different flavors and caffeinated versions too.
- Day before long runs: Have a list of the items you have been able to eat prior to the long runs and events that have not provided any challenges. For shorter runs you can take a few risks with what you eat and test. But for you longer run try to mostly stick with items that works for you. For me a single serving of pasta with red sauce and a small snack for later before going to bed.
- Pre Run fuel: My go to breakfast items are single serving of Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, prepared with milk. I add Flax seed and Chia seed. I alternate with Almonds or Almond Butter. But always my Latte. For years I have tested other options for the long run with not that great results.
- Run Fuel: Pick an item new to try every so often. Specially on those mid long runs. Take note on what worked and what did not.
- Post Run Recovery Fuel: I have been learning from all the years running. For me, one of the key things is for those long runs to quickly have available a protein shake and a vitamin supplement. What ever you decide to take you are most of the time is better to have it prepared and ready beforehand. Because you know that you are going to be tired and the last thing you want to do after a second back to back is to start preparing what you are going to take for recovery.
How is the plan going:
This week was another solid week. The workweek mileage was decent, here are some highlights,
Tuesday run: No running today as I had a Dr. visit (Endo) just to make sure all is good as I start this training season.
Wednesday run: Felt good after a couple of resting days
Thursday run: Hard workout, after a 5-mile warm-up run, did 7x Hills followed by 4 miles of cool down
The long runs were good too, Friday is the first one this week since Saturday is Christmas and I adjust the plan to have that day as a rest day.
Sunday run: After eating so much last night I was feeling heavy and I started thinking just to do 10. I was glad to come across a couple of running friends and push to complete 16 miles.
This week actual numbers: