womain packs sports bag with food

What would be your 3 top tips for ultra runners when it comes to their race nutrition?
1. Practice your race nutrition strategy in training.
2. Train your gut to absorb carbohydrate and train your gut reduce the risk of stomach issues during a race.
3. Get used to your own hydration and sodium needs for each race.

What do you recommend to fuel an ultra race?
– We know from the research that faster finishers consume more calories.
– Most ultra runners consume around 30g-90g per hour
– It is important that every Ultra runner gets used to eating even though not hungry
– Top elite runners consume approx. 70g -120g carbohydrate per hour the rest of the pack on average carry 60g worth of carbohydrate as fuel but only consume 30g carbohydrate per hour.
– Those that finish eat the most and drink to the minimum recommendations.
– Here are HPD we recommend including protein regularly through out your race to reduce muscle damage and offset fatigue.
– Add some fat rich foods for calories/flavour fatigue.

How much water do you recommend to drink during a race?
– On average runners drink around 500ml per hour.
– It’s important to get used to your own fluid requirements.
– Monitor how much you drink at the moment in a long training run and check your daily hydration status.
– We recommend aiming for 450ml-750ml per hour.
– Start where you are at and build up incrementally if drinking only 200ml increase to 350ml per hour in training, train the gut to drink more on the go.

Drink to thirst or drink to a plan?
– During shorter races it may be ok to drink to thirst.
– For longer races, self supported races, racing in hot weather/humid you definitely need a plan!

How much sodium should we be adding and where should we get this sodium from?
– Add up your existing sodium intake from foods and sports products.
– Then focus on getting sodium from one or two sources of sports products, be specific and strategic with sodium supplementation.
– Aim for 500-700mg sodium/L or  300-600mg sodium per hour in hot & humid environments.
– This will vary with temperature, sweat rates, sweat rates over time, sodium losses.
– Highly Individual – consider sweat testing

What strategies can you recommend to help manage stomach issues?
– Elite runners are used to racing, eating on the go are well practiced with their race nutrition strategy, and as a result elite runners tend to experience fewer stomach issues.
– What at your stomach issues? symptoms? What time point does it occur? Do you know why?
– You can use the gut training straggles below to help resolve and/or prevent your stomach issues and they simply following these strategies for 2weeks before the race will help (but we recommend practicing weeks in advance of your race date).
– It is important to practice eating during training when you really don’t want to, trying to get energy down in the form of food or fluids.

Gut Training Strategies we’ve tried, tested and know work!
1. Eat a meal then go straight out for run.
2. Practice eating carbohydrate in a 60minute week day training run e.g. Eat 1 x gel at 0mins, 1 x gel at 20mins and 1 x gel at 40mins. This will help to aid the absorption of carbohydrate and increase availability of carbohydrate to be used by the muscles.
3. Practice race nutrition strategies in long runs, get used to eating when not hungry.
4. Use a variety of different foods, fluids as preferred.

High Performance Dietitican
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