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What to eat for a 24h Ultra

Posted on 15 May 2010

With a few single day ultras under my belt I am heading off to once more tackle the Namibia 24h ultra marathon. 126km / 78miles through the Namib desert lies ahead of me. It is a self sufficiency race, so I will be carrying food, water, and equipment with me, in total about 10-12kg.

In addition to the distance and the self sufficiency, the climate will do its best to repeat what happend to me last year when I collapsed after 61km…

I have changed my food plan quite radically this year. I have trained with this food and so far I think that it is really working for me. Namibia will be the ultimate test, but this is how I am going to tackle the energy need:

– Main energy source will be Hammer Perpetuem powder. Hammer nutrition has developed this product over many years and for me it works like a treat. Rather than the spikes of energy from normal powder, this gives me a much slower release. I will carry about 2,500 kcal of powder (works out to be about 700g or so).

– To add to the powder I will eat sunflower seeds. at 570kcal / 100g they are hard to beat for a person with nut allergy. I was always thinking that it was a petty I couldnt eat nuts, but now I have found my seed of choice :-). In total I will carry another 1,140 kcal in form of the sunflower seeds.

– Dried Mango. More for breaking up the taste and having something different to chew on. One bag has about 300kcal.
– Dried meat. Same as above, something savoury to give yourself as a treat
– Olives. This is truly a luxury since they are quite heavy, but I will pour out the liquid and carry a small bag. Their saltness will taste amazing after a few hours in the desert.

That is it, I hope that by doing it this way I can get around all the fuss of boiling water, carry pots etc and instead focus on the task ahead. The slow release of energy has been really great for me.

All in all it will be 3,500 – 4,000 kcal and I think this shall be plenty for the race. However you never know and the only thing I can say is that I can report back in about 2 weeks time to say what works and what didnt 🙂

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