It's not easy to know what the best way is to fuel your training and racing. There is so much sciencey information but what does that mean for us when out for a run?
In this session with Rupert Bonington from Mountain fuel, we talk about some simple top tips and ideas about how to get the most from your fueling. We also chat between the differences in short, medium and long distances and how to adapt for different conditions such as heat and cold.
This episode is dedicated to Fueling and Nutrition, and you can watch it . We had a lovely chat with Rupert Bonington from , the first company to exclusively specialise in the formulation and development of nutritionally balanced supplements targeted at individuals involved in extreme & endurance sports.
Long Run Fuel Bundles
Sometimes it can be hard to know how much and when to eat on a long run or race. We end up carrying too much, or not having enough and flagging. Mountain Fuel is a complete sports nutrition system and these bundles help with knowing what to eat and when.
We have also provided lots of flavour combinations so you can pick and choose exactly what you enjoy 😋 Subscribe to get a regular delivery so you never run out and also get 15% off!
“Whether you’re vegan, whether you’re on a low-fat, high-carb diet – you have to find the products that work for you. If you’re doing an ultra, you have to think carefully about what you’re going to have at the aid station. A lot of people carry too much food,” Rupert mentioned. You need to be in touch with the organiser and find out what they normally provide or even get in touch with people on Facebook groups to find more information.
The key principle is quite simple, especially when it comes to ultras: eat little and often and try to opt for things that are easy on the stomach but can release decent amounts of energy – like rice balls and salted boiled potatoes. “Create something that binds itself together so that when you get it out, it doesn’t crumble,” Rupert added.
You are looking at something like 30-60 grams of carbs per hour. Energy drinks typically have around 40g of carbs and often include your electrolytes and minerals as well. Rupert also recommends having a recovery fuel midway through a long-distance ultra.
How do you motivate yourself to eat when you’re not hungry?
Rupert recommends starting as early as 15 minutes in, even if you’re only sipping and nibbling. “People kind of think that they’ve got an hour and a half worth of energy in their systems – which is true. But if you wait till then, your glycogen levels have already depleted, and you’ve sucked the life out of your muscles. If you’re doing a big, long ultra, the better you replenish your muscles, the less stressed they become, and this means you’re less likely to cramp up and have issues.”
Jonathan Albon, who is a world champion, sets the alarm on his watch to remind himself to eat or drink something every 20 minutes. If you don’t naturally do it, Rupert recommends Jonathan’s method.
What would be the ideal meal the night before the race?
“I would avoid processed foods, meaty meals, and generally things that are hard for your body to break down. For example, if you eat a massive steak the night before the race, your body will be trying to break it down for around six hours, and it’s not going to help you sleep very well.”
When it comes to short runs (around one hour, one hour, and a half) in the morning, you can skip “breakfast” – especially if you are trying to lose weight. It’s important to keep in mind that running on an empty stomach is quite challenging and is not recommended in general.
More about fueling
“On the medium runs, you need to ask yourself what kind of runner you are and what you are trying to achieve – the answers will point you in how much fuel you need. For example, if you are trying to smash a three-hour marathon, for example, your chances of success increase if you are having 60-80g of carbs an hour. It depends on your goals,” Rupert said.
That being said, we hope you found this article useful and learned a thing or two about fueling and nutrition.
There are some great resources on the Mountain Fuel website. Some that may be of particular interest to trail runners are below:
These are broken down into different categories such as Ultra, half marathon, 10k etc. so you can really tailor it for your training.
Info broken down into main components e.g. protein, carbs, fats.
Some delicious and easy looking ideas such as the rice balls we talked about.
Some fueling ideas if you are stuck on what to eat when out and about. These have come in from our Facebook page!
- Banana and peanut butter wraps
- Jam sandwiches
- Salty boiled potatoes
- Rice pudding
- Malt Loaf
- Christmas cake!
- Flap jack
- Mini pork pies
- Quorn ham and cheese on 'thins' bread
- Flat coke
- Lidl protein balls
- Pizza! (John Kelly...)
- Bagel with peanut butter and marmite
- Salty nuts
- Dried fruit
- Baby food / pouches
- Sushi balls
- Hard boiled eggs
- Pickled gherkins!
- Nakd bars
- Mini Snickers
- Quorn cocktail sausages
- Apple and oat bars