Nutrition is a very individual beast to master, the XMiles team have been helping athletes find products that work for them, plan for target events and tweak strategies over time.
It is always a great learning journey to hear what others have found works (and what hasn't!). How they have overcome issues, and what they have done to change how they plan for their next event.
So we interviewed our ambassadors in order to find out how they prepare for their race day. How do our ambassadors prepare pre-race, during their race, and after their race? How do they hydrate throughout their attempt? We will show you throughout this article, so here we go:
Daily supplements / Pre race – Xendurance Extreme Endurance and Xendurance Immune Boost. I use these as a base for getting some vitamins and helping recovery on an ongoing basis. Closer to an event I increase the dose of the Extreme Endurance. I find this helps my prep and taper, making my legs feel less ‘heavy’.
During a race I mostly fuel on Tailwind and more solid foods and bars like the Clif bar. Then I tend to take ‘real’ foods at aid stations – fruit, nuts, pork pies! I find Tailwind meets most of my needs including calories, carbs, electrolytes and salt. With a good selection of flavours and caffeine ones if I need that extra kick. For shorter runs I swap the Tailwind for Xendurance Fuel 5 which is similar but has lactate in the mix also. I occasionally take gels on the longer mountain adventures. Mountain Fuel jellies of Xendurance Energy gels being my go to. I find both of these really easy to consume and tasty.
Post race its always a Tailwind Rebuild for me. Chocolate flavour being my favourite and great for a warm hot chocolate in winter too!
Pre Race Nutrition - I like to ensure I start a race hydrated so will use Precision Hydration leading up to a race, especially if somewhere hot. Other than that I tend to have breakfast, either cereal or porridge with oat milk. If the race is later in the day I will then have a bar of some kind about an hour before the start. I vary which bar I take but I am a fan of the Clif bars and Chia Charge Flapjacks.
During Nutrition - During the race depends on the length and type of race. For a shorter race (i.e. half marathon) I will usually just drink water but always carry and ‘emergency gel’ just in case. My favourite gels are the ones from GU, they seem to sit better with my stomach. For Ironman I start with tailwind in my bottle and eat a mix of GU or Clif bloks, and bits of bar which I break up beforehand. I save the gels for the run or I find there is just too much gloop in my belly. For ultramarathon I like a bit more ‘real’ food such as PB sandwiches from aid stations and crepes like you used to put in your lunchbox. I also use precision hydration salt tablets to compliment the aid station water and have a whole range of bars/emergency gels as who knows what you will want when you get to a certain point...
Post Race Nutrition - Post race I try to rehydrate and get some protein in me as soon as possible to aid recovery. This will be in the form of a protein shake or bar before I eat a proper meal a bit later. I love the Chia Charge crispy bars or Tailwind vanilla flavour shake. If I have too much dairy it disagrees with my stomach so they are both good vegan options.
Pre Race Nutrition - Porridge, banana, cinnamon - sometimes use Mountain Fuel sleep protein night before and their porridge in the morning. Electrolyte drink and SiS gel just pre swim
During Nutrition - Ironman distance - post swim on bike use Generation UCAN plus near end of bike use Mountain Fuel jelly gels then squeeze about 6 gels into a bottle that I carry on the marathon and can sip from during. Then save the caffeine ones for nearer end of race
Post Race Nutrition - Protein shake SiS rego, whatever is offered post race then another protein shake pre bed.
Pre Race Nutrition - I generally just go for a regular breakfast for early race starts. Either bagel with peanut butter and banana or if it's a big race I'll have porridge with honey and banana. Races starting later in the day then I'll usually go for pasta or pizza about 6 hours before the start and then start sipping on an electrolyte drink about 4 hours before. I usually take a gel 5 mins before the start, just so I know I'm set for the first 30-45 mins.
Marathon to 50 mile - I'll stick to gels as my only source of calories, alongside Mountain Fuel Raw Energy, and look to have 2 gels per hour. I use a mixture of Mountain Fuel jellies, GU gels and Huma.
100 miles - I'll mix food at aid stations with Mountain Fuel Raw Energy and I'll take one item (gel/bar) per leg (depending on distance between CPs) and I will take a zip lock bag to take something from the CP with me for the leg too, like a banana or energy bar etc. This just means I don't have to carry as much in my pack and can rely on whatever is in offer. Got found out once using this method as I spent 10 minutes trying to chew a ham and cheese baguette in a race in the Alps.
Post Race Nutrition - I struggle to eat post race and often feel sick. I usually just eat what is available at the finish, like chilli or pasta. I normally make up for it over the next few days. I will try and force a milkshake into me, either a specific recovery shake or failing that a chocolate milk off the shelf.
Pre Race Nutrition - I use Precision Hydration H2 pro tabs for pre race hydration
During Nutrition - I'm a huge fan of Huma Gels at the moment and they are currently my go to for Ultras.. I love the chocolate flavours and the strawberry ones the best. High Five zero tabs are my hydration choice although I will also use Tailwind if it's not too hot (always orange flavour). Once temp gets above 25 degrees though it makes me feel sick so then just have high five zero's
Other than that it's strawberry jams sandwiches all the way for me...... not that you sell those at XMiles!
Post Race Nutrition - I am all about the Battle Oats bars. really enjoy those to refuel after a race and they are a favourite post ultra race snack. Cookies and Cream and White choc and coconut are my favourite! Most people then opt for a beer but I'd rather have a Pepsi Max.... not the best recovery drink I know!
Need help with you nutrition?
If you need help with your nutrition you can reach out the the XMiles team and we can assist with advice via our chat or on-line form or full event planning and courses.