Eight Point Two

Ultra marathon nutrition

We have now finished filming the 2nd in our series of three films following the training plans of three athletes who are all competing in the Ultra tour of the Peak District this June 21st/22nd.  This month we have been talking about the effects of nutrition on the body when competing in something as physically and mentally challenging as an ultra marathon.  Nutrition seems to be a minefield and in every article you read on it, you will find something that contradicts everything you have been taught.

The overriding message from listening to Sally, Amy and Matty’s opinions seems to be – listen to your body, and just use common sense.  Stay away from processed food on the whole – stick to meals that you make yourself from scratch but make sure that you treat yourself from time to time.  Interestingly both Sally and Amy mentioned that when they are racing in ultras, food becomes something to look forward to – something that drives you on to the next checkpoint, a reward for your efforts.   I have definitely found that when you are going through a low point in a race and you still have a long long way to go, the thought of launching myself on the food at the next checkpoint always picks me up…vulture.

Amy talked about how she likes making her own energy food and views gels as a last resort, Sally switches between both making her own and snacking on food such as Running Food’s Chia Charge and Matty is a huge fan of Torq gels as a source of immediate energy but also as it can bring the weight of his pack down.  I think it is very easy to get bogged down in reading various articles and following new superfood trends, and it is easy to forget that everybody is different.  What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everybody.  Some people crave sugar when running and others need savoury.   It’s also important to take into account what you find easy to digest – the last thing you want to worry about when you are 30 miles into a 60 mile race is your digestion playing up – there isn’t much to hide behind on Stanage Edge!

A tip I was given before my first ultra was to make sure to hydrate well before the race – and to actively go out of my way to drink way more water from about three days before hand.  With hindsight it seems quite obvious but then it didn’t even cross my mind to start hydrating before I was was even thirsty.   According to a few articles I’ve read we should be looking at drinking around 3 litres of water a day  (it seems to vary from researcher to researcher), just during a normal working day, how many of us can say we drink that much?!  It takes quite a lot of effort and a lot of bathroom trips to drink 5 pints!

Sally mentioned one thing that stuck in my mind, and that is that she makes sure she eats a colourful diet – that is one lesson that I had been taught years ago but i’d forgotten whilst being preoccupied trying to cram as many superfoods onto my plate as possible!

Possibly one of the driving forces for me was something Matty mentioned:  the great thing about running in ultras is that you are able to pig out at the end of them – 60 miles for as much macaroni cheese as I can eat – ok then!

Hope you enjoy the film and good look with the training…


It’s only 40 days until the Dig Deep Peak District

– still time to book yourself onto a race!  We have everything from a 60 mile to a 10k to choose from!




Trail races and ultra marathons in Suffolk

Check out our latest addition to the Dig Deep Race Series: Dig Deep Suffolk, 6th&7th September 2014.

Featuring 4 fantastic trail races through Suffolk:

5.5 mile Rendlesham Dash Suffolk Trail Race starts at 10:30am on Sunday 7th September £13.00

20KM Rendlesham Suffolk Trail race starts at 10:15am on Sunday 7th September £17.00

28 mile Suffolk Trail ‘Intro Ultra’ starts at 10am on Saturday 6th September £40.00

50 mile: ULTRA Tour of Suffolk (Suffolk trail ultra marathon) starts at 8am on Saturday 6th September £55.00




Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: