Race nutrition – it doesn’t have to taste good (but it helps)

It doesn’t have to taste good, it just has to get you through race day.

My family does not like the taste of my cliff bars, gels, or energy drinks. That’s a good thing because that means they aren’t sneaking them out of the cupboard before I can pack them.


I had no idea what my food intake would be for my 50 Miler but I knew I would be burning a lot of calories and would need to replenish. I had heard all the horror stories of not being able to keep food down on these events.

For the most part, nutrition intake went well enough, although I didn’t eat nearly as much as I thought I might. I started with 3 cliff bars, 3 gels, and 2 litres of water. At the end, after 13 hours, I still had 1 bar, 2 gels, and 1 litre of water left. I grazed at the 6 aid stations: a few chips, and gummi bears at each, plus a couple cups of soup (and some Gatorade and coke).

I must have burned a lot more calories than that. It was cold enough that perhaps I didn’t need more hydration but I though I would have needed more electrolytes. I was feeling low on fuel for the last hour and I should have had another cliff bar or gel but the finish line was so close, I thought I would go without it.

And I hardly ate after the race. My stomach just wasn’t up for it. But over the next few days, oh yeah, I downed a lot of food. I am still downing a lot of food and barely exercising.


Author: Kevin

Just a trail runner in Calgary and beyond

2 thoughts on “Race nutrition – it doesn’t have to taste good (but it helps)”

  1. Kevin…congratulations. That is 80 kilometers, I can’t get my mind around this.
    Nutrition is such a big thing, and I am still learning. I am okay leaving them in my storage bin where I keep my running gear. Coconut water and Clif bars, I have had to find a hiding place. Have a 17 year old daughter, also a runner, but not a distance runner who has a fondness for them.
    Love your jersey. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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