As a professional ultra marathon runner and coach, I often get asked what I eat. It’s a great question because nutrition is one of the most important choices runners and non-runners have for health, energy and performance.
Fueling during ultramarathons is very important and can make or break a race. I have raced in over 35 ultras and my fueling is dialed in very well. I race best on 140-160 calories an hour and drink about 16-20 oz. of fluids an hour depending on conditions. I even won the Bighorn 50 miler in 2014 on just 300 calories for the entire race.
Before races, I usually have a smoothie with bananas, berries and kale. It’s usually around 400 calories. During races, I try to rely strictly on Hammer Nutrition products. They work really well for me and I almost never have GI issues. I use Hammer gels and Perpetuem for calories, 1-2 Endurolytes an hour to prevent cramping and sometimes Heed for hydration.
During 100 milers I will eat more solid foods including tortillas, bananas, Hammer Bars and PB&J. The 100 miler in India, I ate lots of naan, dahl and traditional Indian foods which was fantastic.
What I eat daily is a major reason for my high energy levels, performance, health and injury prevention. For years I have eaten a whole foods, plant-based diet (vegan). It is very high in carbohydrates (about 70% of my calories are carbs, 15% fat and 15% protein). I drink 3-5 large smoothies a day since I require massive amounts of calories with my training and lifestyle. The base is: bananas, berries, kale, flax seed and turmeric. I’ll add other foods for performance, recovery or flavor as well. Dinner is often wild rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes with veggies. I don’t eat any oils and very rarely any refined foods.
What you eat greatly effects your health, running and lifestyle. I highly recommend finding what works best for you. Lindsey and I are both certified in Plant-Based Nutrition and Lindsey has a Masters in Holistic Nutrition for Sports Performance. We offer nutritional coaching for everyone. If you have any questions, you can email us HERE.