From what I’ve read and learned from my team, fueling for an ultra is much different than fueling for a marathon. The constant stream of fuel your body needs turns it into an eating contest with running thrown in.
I’m a strange case, but I actually like Gu. Most of it is that I’m highly allergic to dairy, and all of their energy gels are vegan (unlike Honey Stinger, sadly), and it gives me a chance to get some chocolate in my life, something that otherwise, I have very little of. So for marathons and training runs 22 miles and shorter, I know what works for me and how to space out fuel.
But I also know that after so many hours on my feet, I’ll need more than just energy gels. So now begins the fun work of figuring out what I can stomach while I’m running!
Like all good Yinzers, I made a Sheetz run!
I’m sure I amused the clerk after wandering the aisles reading nutritional labels for things that were dairy free!
This past weekend I ran 18 and started trying things. After my first loop I had the RX Bar, which was really good and sat well. My only reservation is that further into a race, it will be hard to chew. That was also about 200 calories, which is what I think I should be aiming for, although I’m used to 100 calorie Gus. Something to think about I suppose.
After my second loop, I grabbed two Oreos. Oreos are wonderful because they’re vegan. They shouldn’t be, there should be some dairy in that filling, but thanks to those sweet, sweet chemicals, I can always have an Oreo! Anyway, those were no problem to gobble down, although they sat a bit uneasy in my stomach, which surprised me.
Anyway, the plan, whenever possible, is to keep trying new foods on runs and seeing what works. Having a looped course works for this, as I’d rather not use a vest or anything like that and having my car as a mini aid station works perfectly. I need to try to find some jelly beans and some non-dairy Pringles (Sheetz only had flavors with dairy), and I want to try some boiled potatoes as well. From there, I’ll be scouring what races list as their offerings at aid stations and see what I haven’t tried yet, and continue to train my stomach to eat solids as I run!