Bigfoot Eating

I’m still trying to dial in the nutrition plan for the Bigfoot 200 event. Just something like this at each aid station would be a start.easily-plan-thanksgiving-meal

I’ve been trying to determine a good solid food that I can eat prior to running each day after taking a nap. I’ve been experimenting with flour tortillas and boiled/mashed potato filling. The only problem is they don’t last that long outside of refrigeration but they seemed to give me some energy and the best part weren’t noticeable on my stomach.

I’ll definitely be employing my liquid nutrition that I used during my 100 miler and it’s been working well again as I slowly ramp up the weekend trail miles. The only gotcha is I need to cut back on the salt pills. In my experience during just normal training runs, the salt pills really help me with keeping the muscle strains at bay. I’ve even not taken a salt pill while doing a run, felt my hamstring start to tighten, taken a salt pill and voila the hamstring almost immediately felt better. Timing was the main issue with the 100 miler and by the end my hands were as big as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.staypuft

Definitely too much salt so with this going over multiple days I really need to find a nice regulation of salt pills so the experiments there continue.

For the liquid calories, I’m about 150 per hour and then if I just grab what looks/seems good at the various aid stations I should be okay. I felt fine calorie-wise through the 29 hours of the 100 with that approach. From reading race reports and seeing various race videos, the aid stations at Bigfoot have a ton of real food to choose from, burgers, bacon, breakfast burritos, soup, the list goes on. Its like each aid station is a Cheesecake Factory which if you’ve seen a Cheesecake Factory menu has every possible type of entree you could ever conceive. Every time I go there it takes me forever to decide on a dish…WAY TOO MANY OPTIONS for sure. Most new ultra runners liken the aid stations to a Las Vegas buffet as there are always LOTS of options.



This is where I have to be careful not to just gorge on everything and anything even though it may “look” good. Messing up my stomach during the middle of this thing could spell disaster especially since the distance between aid stations is larger than normal up to 20 miles. I already plan to carry like 2+ hours of extra calories just in case I get stranded due to the legs just not wanting to move as fast as expected. If things are real bad, it could 5 hours PLUS between an aid station. I’ll also be carrying some water purifier drops too just in case it’s extra hot and I run out of liquid or need some water to wash down my emergency calories. This worked out pretty good when I was training on the Appalachian Trail doing 8 hour runs. I’d fill a water bottle about 5 hours in for just extra and it wasn’t too bad at all. The only gotcha is the water drops require a “mix” together stage and I’m not sure how long they last in that form before requiring to be put in the water. I streamlined a bit during that training but this time I’ll probably just carry the separate water drops rather than pre-mixing.

There’s lots of details in all this that probably most ultra runners ignore but I just like to have everything covered as it reduces my STRESS big time. Plus I’ve been notorious in my past for just blowing off nutrition when I get tired. Quite a few failed marathons due to that behavior so having it all prepared and ready plus my watch giving me my time based reminder has made things go smooth in the recent past.

I drink about 12 oz. of nutrition per hour so calculate 72 hours and we have 864 ounces and just under 11 thousand calories. Of course there’s sleep in there so probably moving time is roughly 62 hours which is only 9000 calories and just over 5 gallons of nutrition. I need to figure out the simplest way to put all that liquid into the various drops bags along the way. I guess perhaps I just put the powder and mix on the fly at the various aid stations. Maybe I should experiment mixing actually inside the hydration bladder?  Hmm…

This is where people recommend going into the event with a “few” extra pounds is necessary. I’ll probably be burning about 250-300 calories per hour so with just the liquid I’ll be running about 100 or so calorie deficit per hour. Sure it wasn’t a big deal for 29 hours but for 60+ that could be a problem. I have this idea of eating some serious solid aid station food right before getting sleep for the day. Maybe adding turkey to that list of solid food would be a good idea for that Tryptophan. 😉 Anything to boost a chance of feeling sleepy in order to get some solid sleep time or like my Garmin tells me “deep sleep”.

Like everything else, nutrition will have a lot of uncharted territory but I’ll do my best to limit the unknowns.

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