Fueling the Fire

By Trasie Phan

The other 4 letter F word: FOOD!

These days it seems when we talk about food, it’s like a religion.  There are the born again vegetarian, the non-GMO eaters, the bacon lovers, the carb hater, the gluten free, the fruitarians and we won’t talk about the ones that stopped eating grains and attached themselves to a comet wearing a velvet robe. But, don’t you run so you could eat whatever you want? Or have you crossed over to the other side and eat certain things that give you lots of energy, speed up recovery so you could run more?

Come August 12th, no matter what your food beliefs and practices are, there will be lots for you to eat.  You will have agave for your coffee and almond milk for your oatmeal, taco night, pasta night and bar-b-que to your heart’s content. There will be a tray of meatless pasta and fresh fruit that someone just cut up, not the stuff that has been sitting in a bag for 6 days and traveled across the country. 

You thought you were going to Colorado to run and get fit and you came back gaining 10 lbs because the food was so good and you ate too much.  It’s possible but that won’t be you.  However, I caution you there will be a trap set out every morning, everything looks so go and all you want to do is eat but you have 25 miles to run. 

Keep these 3 things in mind while you are training:

PRACTICE EATING. In addition to your long training runs, eat some oatmeal before you go or eat some eggs and bacon (if that is what you like.)  Check out the details on food served CLICK HERE and incorporate similar foods so your stomach is prepared.  Back to what I was saying about minimizing discomfort and maximizing fun.  It doesn’t matter how clean a port-o-potty is, it’s not my idea of fun.

LEARN TO RELY ON AID STATIONS. The fast runners do this well.  They carry very little and eat efficiently at aid stations.  Know what your expected times for a 4-6 mile run is and prepare to eat enough calories at check points/aid stations so you don’t have to carry the food with you.  Lots of runners make the mistake of carrying too much food with them.  My best advice is carry 300-500 calories (that’s 2-4 gel packs.) Lighten your load in calories because of the mandatory gear.  The check-points are well stocked.

UNDERSTAND YOUR NUTRITION NEEDS. It’s important to know how many calories you are eating before, during and after running and know what your body feels like.  This is important as a long distance runner in general but mostly at a stage race where you want to feel good and have lots of energy.  Remember we are about maximizing fun and you can’t have fun without energy.

No one ever told you this was weight loss camp.  We just promised you great food, exhilarating fun and friendships that will last a lifetime.  How do you like them apples?

A few fun facts about how much food may be served at each meal.

One breakfast includes:

90 dozen eggs

40 lbs of bacon

25 gallons of regular coffee

1 1/2 cases of 36 lbs of oatmeal

One dinner incudes: 

400 pieces of chicken

80 lbs of pulled pork

50 lbs of squash

20 lbs of red onions

60 lbs of peppers

5 cases of asparagus

(Source: Vanessa Runs)

More on How TRR Compares to an TRAIL ULTRAMARATHON by Vanessa Runs CLICK HERE

Some thoughts on Eating During Long Runs

Check out the details on food served CLICK HERE

Trasie Phan is founder of ULTRA University.  She participated and completed the Team RUN6 Transrockies Run in 2011 and 2012.  She is an ultra marathoner who inspires everyday people to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Check out the ULTRA University Podcast

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