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Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites
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Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites on 10/06/2012 16:50:19 MDT Print View

I'm trying to get info for a (hopefully) upcoming attempt to do the Connecticut Challenge -- hike/run the 56 miles of the A.T in Connecticut in one day. I'm down to 4.3 lbs of base gear carried in a Murmur that will allow a bail out camp if need be.

WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR --> I know that there are very experienced ultra runners and fast-packers here --- what I want is your foods / drink mixes / proteins / electrolytes of choice.

ME: quick background is that I competed for 15 yrs in Sprint to Olympic distance triathlons, with a Half-Iron and a few marathons thrown in, as well as a 50K trail run early this year. My longest hiking day has been 35 miles (with a base of 8-9lbs plus regular few days of food). MY stomach does get a bit sensitive during long exercise, so I'm trying to gather everyones best ideas.

Here is a photo from my recent Northern Long Trail hike! Thanks to all for any input and thoughts!

Vermont Long Trail

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites on 10/06/2012 17:42:55 MDT Print View

For nutrition look at Hammer Perpetuem, pre-measured into Ziplocks. And since this event is only 56 miles, basic maltodextrin would be fine, but Perpeteum is readily available.

Mix a slurry that you can tolerate in a wide mouth water bottle. (This maximize the calories per mix.) Compliment with clear water. Start your intake at between 300 to 350 calories per hour, using this water to supplement your hydration requirements. For instance, 150 calories every half hour (with water), and additional water at 15 and 45 minutes.

By creating a nutrition and hydration schedule you will be able to monitor your intake. If you "eat when you need to" you will fail, because when the pedal is to the metal, you won't feel like eating or drinking. But if you look at the bottle and realize you are 150 calories behind, you have a chance of setting things right.

Make your own electrolyte supplement by filling gelatin capsules with a mixture of regular salt (NaCl) and lite salt (KCl) and take as needed, based on your water consumption. Capsules make it easy to adjust, unlike integrated products.

The experiences of others is always interesting, but the only way to find out what works for you is to build a schedule, monitor your training runs, and adjust as needed.

Edited by greg23 on 10/06/2012 17:53:55 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites on 10/06/2012 17:51:18 MDT Print View

I agree with Greg on the Hammer Perpetuem, except that is the only food I would use for a 56 miler, would not bother with any separate maltodextrin.

if you feel the need for some solid food I would recommend Stingers, maybe one every hour or two. high calorie per weight and they go down very easy.

also Perpetuem has enough electrolytes already in it that you should not have to supplement much if at all.

I mix 600 calories (4.5 scoops) into a 20 oz wide mouth bottle. I then carry additional in baggies like Greg suggested. I also carry some pure water.
Some people go as high as 1,000 calories per 20 oz, but that is too thick for me.

Edited by asandh on 10/06/2012 17:51:58 MDT.

Michael Cockrell

Locale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
Re: Hammer on 10/06/2012 18:06:51 MDT Print View

I also use Hammer products for my only fuel on hikes. I do 15-25 miles per day.

Nice to just pump or Steripen water, pour powder, shake . . . go!

I only put a "little" dribble of gel for flavor. I also squirted some lime & lemon into the bottles.

I stayed with the 230-250 kCal per hour. No problems, and I 'charge' along my pace!

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Thanks for the good info and keep it coming ! on 10/06/2012 18:45:22 MDT Print View

I appreciate the prompt input so far and will continue to compile all this excellent info. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to give your opinions and insights as to what works for you.

Jeff Gerke

Locale: Utah
Gels on 10/12/2012 09:10:42 MDT Print View

When I run ultras my main fuel is gel. I use PowerBar Gels cause I they have a thinner consistency than most gels and also have more electrolytes that most gels. I pop one every 20-30 minutes depending on how I'm feeling. At aid stations I will sometimes grab some pb&j and/or fruit but gels are my main calorie source.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Gels on 10/12/2012 12:40:44 MDT Print View

I would definitely add in some solid food along the way to change things up a bit. eating just gel all day will get very old.

when i've ridden centuries on my bike i'd 'bring gel, honey stinger waffles, banana (eat first since it will get smashed and is heavier), granola/candy bar.

benefit of this time of year is that things won't melt so chocolate things you'd think twice about in the summer are back in the mix

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites on 10/12/2012 13:05:48 MDT Print View

just reread your initial entry.
I too have stomach issues during ultra length events.
that is why I switched away from gels to Perpetuem.
gels would tend to contribute to stomach upset beyond 5-6 hours for me.
the Perpetuem has really helped minimize stomach upset.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Info on Fastpacking / Ultra Running Self-Supported Fueling Favorites on 10/12/2012 14:24:11 MDT Print View

True, Perpetuem does tend to be gentler on the stomach than the typical overly sweet gel, assuming you can get past the taste and consistency to begin with. For ultra distance, or any sustained endurance activity, Perpetuem provides more than just straight "Gu" type gels over the long run. It can be a solitary fuel source for a day of running, whereas gels usually have to be supplemented with some solid or denser caloric source in my experience.

Greg Gressel turned me onto straight maltodextrin powder, which has pretty much replaced gels for me. Pure maltodextrin powder with a bit of fructose and Mortons Light salt mixed up in water provides a great source of calories/electrolytes that digest well for me. Cheaper than gels and no sticky packaging.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Food on 10/12/2012 14:32:43 MDT Print View

I'll go against the majority.
Can you stash food on the route, or have helpers midway? Why carry anything?
Proper food is better than any of that sh$t, and that distance isn't too baddd....

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
West Highland Way race on 10/12/2012 14:48:53 MDT Print View

I've posted this video before. It's a popular Ultra, but take a look at the leading racers eating style. 95 miles through Scottish mountains.
West Highland Way Race

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Food on 10/14/2012 17:45:34 MDT Print View

I asked my college adviser who is a PhD in Nutrition about maltodextrin based stuff and she said it was not bad. it is just a complex sugar that burns slower than straight glucose.

that said I agree that mixing in real food is a good idea but for 100calorie boosts a few gels along the way and some calories with hydration like Cytomax or similar is useful.

setting up food drops along the way in CT would be do-able in a few spots but how "self supported" is that? it would be time consuming since connecting the dots from road crossings would be a lot of backroads.

also your video shows one food station... those hydration packs with all of the pockets aren't there for show.. i'd guess they had plenty of gel and other fast snacks along the way

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Thanks for the good info and keep it coming ! on 10/14/2012 17:56:18 MDT Print View

Appreciate the good info and the video post (Awesome!). I read Greg Gressel's PCT journal on postholer (also Awesome!) and have also started getting in some other nutrition options to try out on some training runs.

GOAL: My specifics for this self-imposed challenge are :

1) Carry ALL nutrients consumed during the event, from the very beginning -- no added "aid" stations along the way.

2) WATER must be pulled from regular locations along the trail and treated -- can't stash water either.

3) Simply get from one border (don't know if I want to do it N->S or S->N yet) to the other as fast as I can -- less than 24 hrs.

4) The 24 hr period does NOT have to fall all on the same calendar day.

5) Can go from car-to-car or camp both nights..doesn't matter, can use trekking poles or not.

We shall see if this fall weather holds out long enough for me to do this - - having fast-packed while post-holing through snow last year - - that is not fun, nor doable for the purpose of this challenge.

My longest trail run was 32 miles with 7,000 ft of elevation gain and it took 6 hrs 45 min, and my longest hiking day was 36 miles. Just want to see if I can do it without injuring myself, and how quick I can do it.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Thanks for the good info and keep it coming ! on 10/14/2012 18:12:10 MDT Print View

I would go south and get Bear mtn and Everett out of the way while you are fresh. then you can have the flats after Cornwall Bridge to look forward to. going down Bear at the end of all that would not be a fun time.. especially if it was dark.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: spam on 10/14/2012 18:51:02 MDT Print View


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: spam reported on 10/14/2012 18:52:41 MDT Print View

reported. All of them.

Delete this post too.

Michael Richey

Locale: Southern Utah
ultra run energy supply on 10/15/2012 11:30:24 MDT Print View

Yes, Perpetuem all the way. It's powered my Rim to Rim to Rim and martahons. It totally rocks and it's really easy on my stomach!

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
another perpetuem user on 10/30/2012 13:23:50 MDT Print View

another perpetuem user here- I pre-measure 2 scoop packets and then add to a 20 oz bottle (lasts about 2 hours)

I do like to add a little "regular" food along the way on very long days- I like fig newtons (original), mojo bars and occasionally a p&j sandwich

I also use Cliff blocks-typically 2-3 an hour

a foul stomach is no fun on a long run, some antacids are worth throwing in (and hopefully they go unused :))

for electrolytes I'm using one endurolyte capsule w/ one salstick capsule/hour- I blame some of my past stomach ills on lack of Sodium

looks like a great run-best of luck!

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: another perpetuem user on 10/30/2012 14:24:01 MDT Print View

Mike, what are you using for the packets? Snack size ziplocs?

I've been just a big ziploc and the scoop, but find it's awfully messy. Might need to switch to the idividual packets.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Re: another perpetuem user on 10/30/2012 18:54:36 MDT Print View

Chris- I bought off ebay a couple of years ago a bag that contained ~ 100 each of different size 2 mil bags from 2x2 up to 3x5, I believe I'm using 3x4 for the perpetuem- fits two scoops w/ just a little room to spare

I've gotten more use out of those various size little bags than you can shake a stick at :) the little 2x2 ones are perfect size for a days worth of electrolyte tablets