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What are the most common real foods at Ultra aid stations? (Read 93 times)

Stevepf


    I am new to Ultras. My longest training runs (actually run/walk) are now getting to be over four hours. I figure I should start fueling these with real foods rather than the gels and sports drinks I would take on a long run of lesser duration. It makes sense to start with the ones I am most likely to encounter at aid stations.

    So the question: Which foods do you see most commonly being offered?

    If you could give me just a couple from the categories of savory and sweet I'll start with those.

    Thanks!

    wcrunner2


    Are we there, yet?

      You might be better served by trying various foods that you like and discovering which sit well during a training run.  Then you can supply your own at races and be assured you'll have something you can stomach.

       

      There will be some regional variation as well as a varying number of choices, some races providing a wide selection and others the bare minimum.  Common foods include bananas and oranges, cookies, M&Ms, Twizzlers, PB&J, chips, boiled potatoes and salt.  You may also get hot soup, burritos, burgers, and pizza at longer races.  Drink choices often include Coke, Mt Dew, and ginger ale besides water and a sports drink.  You need to see which sports drinks you can tolerate because you can't count on your favorite being the one that is offered, and may have to supply your own.

       

      Some races will post a menu so you can see what's available and supplement it if needed.

       2021 Races:

           05/15/21 - 3DATF 50K

           07/03/21 - Hainesport 12-hour

           TBD - 100K (maybe)
           TBD - 24-hour (maybe)

       

      runlikeagirI


        Savory - Bacon, potato (dipped in salt....mmmm), avocado wraps, cheese quesadillas

         

        Sweet - PBJ sandwiches, bananas, watermelon, m&ms, gummy bears

        Running Problem


        Problem Child

          Whiskey.

           

          Actually it's probably PB&J, M&Ms, coke, and plain/salty potato chips. I've done one ultra and paced one ultra (western states) and this is what I remember, and used, in those two events.

          Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

            From what I've read, heard,...

             

            I would think your body would have a hard time digesting fat and protein during an ultra.... so even though you're probably burning lots of fat from your fat stores during the run...

             

            I would think simple sugars etc... would be the only think you could actually digest and take with you while running....

            300m- 37 sec.

            paul2432


              The weather and whether the race is at night (or through the night) will influence the foods.  Generally you’ll have more hot food it it’s cold or overnight.  Soup, quesadillas, coffee, things like that.  Candy, pretzels, potatoes, chips, fruit are all common.

               

              EDIT: This applies to races in the USA.  In Europe things like salami, cheeses, etc are more common.

              berylrunner


              Rick

                Fruit, if you are lucky, avocados.   Everything else is processed.  Overly sweet, overly salty.  It is what the runners like.

                 

                Best thing to do is look at the race website or email the RD.  Practice with those foods.  You can do your own nutrition,  but that is time consuming,  plus your entry is paying for the aid stations.   Use what they have.

                 

                Aren't you doing Comrades?  I have no idea what a big road ultra would have.

                 

                4-10-21  Zion 100 (Utah)

                 

                berylrunner


                Rick

                  From what I've read, heard,...

                   

                  I would think your body would have a hard time digesting fat and protein during an ultra.... so even though you're probably burning lots of fat from your fat stores during the run...

                   

                  I would think simple sugars etc... would be the only think you could actually digest and take with you while running....

                   

                  Keep in mind most Ultra runners are going slower than their recovery training pace.  It is easy to handle about anything at that pace.  Two slices and a beer hits the spot at mile 60.

                   

                  4-10-21  Zion 100 (Utah)

                   

                  wcrunner2


                  Are we there, yet?

                    From what I've read, heard,...

                     

                    I would think your body would have a hard time digesting fat and protein during an ultra.... so even though you're probably burning lots of fat from your fat stores during the run...

                     

                    I would think simple sugars etc... would be the only think you could actually digest and take with you while running....

                     

                    At the pace and effort you're running/walking in an ultra, you're relying more on fat than sugar for energy.  Limiting yourself to sugar could lead to sugar highs and lows.  For what it's worth, I was advised to go more with high protein and high fat foods initially and save the high carbs/high sugar foods for late in the race; this from someone who has been the team doctor for several national ultra teams.

                     2021 Races:

                         05/15/21 - 3DATF 50K

                         07/03/21 - Hainesport 12-hour

                         TBD - 100K (maybe)
                         TBD - 24-hour (maybe)

                     

                    slingrunner


                      My experiences with ultras is that you are usually going to find a decent amount of candy type food, and depending on the race, there may be some warmer foods soups or potatoes.  It really can vary.  Most races will let you know if you ask.

                       

                      Unlike for a marathon, personally I wouldn't worry too much about preparing by eating the same sorts of foods.  It's hard to predict what you are going to want to eat during a race, and I don't think experimenting will be particularly relevant, since your training runs are presumably nowhere near the distance of the actual race.

                       

                      The one thing that I've learned though is for me at least it's really important to eat a lot of salty food.  During my last race there wasn't a great option, so I literally just dumped a bunch of salt into my handheld.

                      5k- 18:55 (2018)    10K- 39:04 (2017)    Marathon- 3:00:10 (2018)