Next Saturday, I am about to take part in not only the biggest race in terms of distance covered, but also in terms of prestige: the Western States Endurance Run 100 miles. In order to succeed in this major challenge, I intend to put all the chances on my side, and it goes without saying that the nutrition aspect will be one of the most important aspects to manage on the day of my race in order to be successful.
So, it is my pleasure to share with you, five important aspects that I will make sure to follow the day and the week of the race:
Tip 1: Consume a high-carb diet 3 days before the race
The week before the race is the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries. One thing I often tell myself is that I should never be hungry the week before a big race. I make sure to eat my fill, and 3 days before my race, I start to do a carbohydrate refill.
Without overdoing it, I make sure that carbohydrates are the first ingredient in my meals. My favorite pre-race meal is pizza (a little treat at the same time). And the morning of the race, I always eat a peanut butter bagel with a sliced banana.
Tip 2: Fuel every 45 minutes to 1 hour during the race
Same strategy as before the race, I try to keep a constant nutrition, and eat every 45min - 1 hour. I often use the aid stations as indicative, and I make sure to have something to eat between each aid station.
Since it should be super hot Western style, I plan to consume a lot more liquid calories than solid ones. I therefore always plan to have a flask filled with coke, and a flask filled with Näak's drink mix, which will ensure a constant energy supply.
I will later add Näak's ultra energy gel (prototype), which includes carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, in order to ensure long-lasting energy. Of course, I plan to snack on comfort foods at the aid stations: chips, watermelon, and Näak waffles! The important thing is to have lots of options during the race, so you can really eat what you want on race day.
Tip 3: Hydrate well and plan more liquid than necessary
It's really hard to assess the hydration needs on a race with such a big fluctuation in temperature, and such high temperatures. The important thing is to listen to your needs and always plan more liquid than necessary.
I'll see how I feel on race day, but I plan to leave each aid station with at least 1 liter of liquid, so 2 full flasks of 500ml. Above all, I always plan to have a flask full of the new Näak ultra energy drink mix, so I make sure to get in at least 250 liquid calories per hour or so.
Tip 4: Visualize what you're going to take on each aid station
I always try to do the pit stops as quickly as possible, but above all I try to stay calm and enjoy the moments with my crew (it's full of energy). When approaching each aid station, I mentally prepare myself for what I am going to consume.
That way there is no hesitation. I ask my crew to spread out the items that are available to me on a towel, so that I can quickly take what I want at each aid station.
The key to success is having lots of options. And of course another thing to consider for the Western States will be the cooling. At each aid station I will have to take the time to cool down, because a major aspect to control during the race will be my body temperature.