Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

April 5, 2022

Nutrition for Ultrarunning

Sooo...a week and a half ago I ran 100 miles.   I had no stomach issues, no cramping, no problems really.  Weather varied from high 60s to low 40s at night, dry and sunny.  I stayed very close to the pace I had predicted, and finished in 23:53.  My weight was within a pound at the finish of when I started.  I probably drank 2.5 gallons of water, had to pee 4 times and go #2 once.  I drank 5 bottles of my drink mix (recipe below), as well as a couple cans of Coke and Diet Coke, a couple slices of pizza, some peanut butter pretzels, potato chips, some chocolate, a tortilla with cheese, and other small amounts of aid station snacks.  Not much really.   

Here's my blog if you missed it: https://hikerdawn.blogspot.com/2022/03/buffalo-run-100-mile-24-25-march-2022.html

I finished with a couple blisters which didn't bother me during the race.  I'll lose a couple of small toenails which also didn't bother me during the race.  My right Achilles is sore and my right knee, but every day brings improvement and my quads are finally feeling like they won't break if I do a deep squat.  My sleep took about a week to get back to normal, I would nap at odd times but then couldn't sleep at night, but all good now.  My energy was fine within a few days, and I was energetic and wanting to do things but still limping from a little heel pain.  In other words, I feel mostly fine now and really to get back to training, and I credit a lot of that to the supplements and nutrition plan that I use to replenish my lost nutrients.  

Without further ado, here's my nutrition plan....key supplements are randomly linked below to show you the specific brands I like.

Week before Race:  
Before really big races, I try to take all my supplements more often, just to top up my nutrients and make sure I have the ingredients I need to perform well.  If you're not healthy at baseline, then attempting to do something like a really long race will be too much of a stress on your body.   In the week before a race, I add extra  ColostrumDigestive Enzymes, Creatine, oral BPC-157ElectrolytesEssential Amino Acids, Salt, and Magnesium.

I'm not a big fan of eating much on race morning.  You do you.  I always drink my Keto hot chocolate, which I mix up myself from heavy cream powder, butter powder, cacao, allulose sweetener, collagen peptides, a tiny pinch of borax, and a little salt.   Sometimes I have a little unsweetened yogurt with berries, nuts, and chocolate chips.   Sometimes I don't.  

30 Minutes before Race:  
I usually make up a little baggie of supplements that I'll take an hour or so before the race start.   The timing doesn't matter that much.  This includes Creatine,
 Colostrum, BPC-157, Digestive Enzymes, Electrolytes,  Essential Amino Acids, and Kava (this is a liquid).   This is the time to liberally rub AMP PR Lotion on the muscles you think might get sore.  For shorter races, this is also the time to chew some 2 mg nicotine gum, or drink some caffeine.  

During Race
On really long races, like the 100 miler I just did, I will actually carry a baggie of supplements and take a handful occasionally.   Shorter races there's no need.   These include chewable Colostrum, BPC-157, chewable Electrolytes, Essential Amino Acids, 
Digestive Enzymes, Nicotine Gum, Caffeine Mints, and Kava.    I try to race without a pack where ever possible, and most races I start with just a little baggie and an empty drink mix bottle.  Definitely depends on terrain and distance, but don't be that guy with the 3 liters of water sloshing horribly from side to side in a badly fitting backpack.   You want to be fast?  Be light.  

My drink mix bottles contain a serving each of: 
UCAN superstarch
MCT Powder
Essential Amino Acid powder
Colostrum powder
OSMO Electrolytes.   
I put all these in a 1/2 liter soft flask, fill it at the first aid station, drink most of it, then refill it once or twice.  So I guess I'm drinking about 1- 1 1/2 liters of water for each drink mix.  Word to the wise:  not all flavors go with all other flavors.  Choose wisely.

After race
Honestly, do whatever feels best.    I'm usually not hungry for hours after I finish something really hard, but that's me.  The most amazing thing I had to drink on a 100 miles bike ride day during RAGBRAI was a cold beer handed to me by a child at mile 99 as I rode into town in 100 degree weather!  And I don't drink beer.  

Further Experimenting:
I just read a book about how important salt is for athletes, The Salt Fix by Dr. James DiNicolantonioHe advocates adding up to 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt per hour of exercise.   He just shoots it from a plastic baggie with a water chaser!   I'll be experimenting with extra salt from now on, and I might make the switch from OSMO to LMNT, as LMNT has much more salt in the formula, OSMO has almost none.  But in the end, OSMO is short for osmolality (potential speed of gastric emptying) and I'll go with whatever makes my stomach happier.  Listen to this podcast for more info on salt and for a free sample of LMNT.  https://hubermanlab.com/using-salt-to-optimize-mental-and-physical-performance/

I'll also experiment with KetoneIQ:  The folks at HVMN have a new product out, liquid ketones in a more digestible form, which raise your blood ketones for 5-7 hours after you drink it.    This new product is a vast improvement on their first liquid ketones, mostly in the price, which was originally $30 a serving (it's under $4 now).   Taking these liquid ketones while fasting helps you get into ketosis much faster and lowers your hunger levels as well.   Taking them with carbs while exercising can give your body two different systems to access at once for energy, but taking them for recovery is also supposed to be beneficial.  Finally, taking them before bedtime with perhaps amino acids, can improve sleep as well as raise your HRV.   Lots to unpack in these statements and this podcast goes into much more detail.  

You also might have noticed I've mentioned Kava a couple of times.  I threw up a blog about it here:  https://hikerdawn.blogspot.com/2022/01/kava.html  On the 100 miler, I wore a mouthpiece fitted to my lower teeth, which lets me close my teeth and strengthen my spine while still breathing through my mouth.  The problem is, when I run really hard, I have to open my mouth to get more air, which negates the benefit of the mouthpiece.   But...I noticed that after drinking a shot of Kava, my airways seemed to be open a little better, and I could then run with my teeth closed on the mouthpiece and still get enough air.   That seems pretty amazing.  Kava causes a slight numbness in the mouth for a few minutes after drinking it but the breathing effects with my mouthpiece lasted for a long time.  

Also, I'm not going to tell you that I do anything illegal.  But there are some microdoses of plant medicines out there that have amazing benefits for both life and long runs.  I would be amiss if I didn't mention them.  The fact that some of these are illegal, yet alcohol is not, tells you a lot about how screwed up our government really is.   Here's a bit of information to get started. https://bengreenfieldlife.com/article/ben-greenfields-microdosing-compounds-2/

I'll be switching over to Ironman training for the summer, so I'll be doing more biking in the heat.  With this new research, I'm gonna try using my drink mix + LMNT + Ketone IQ + Kava in my bike bottles.   

In 2018 I wrote about what I use to fuel myself for long runs.  Amazingly, not that much has changed.  And yet, some of it has.  But I suggest you go back and read that one too for more details.  Perhaps I was more verbose back then.


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