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Food and Hydration for the Superior Trail 50 Mile

Posted by scott on September 18, 2009

Here is a rough accounting of how I fueled and hydrated for the Superior Trail 50 Mile race this year.  This is probably 85-90% accurate as far as exactly what I ate and calorie estimates, so take it for what it’s worth.  While I was training I just always wanted to see a complete plan to get some idea of what other people did as a whole picture, not just “I like this” or “that does down well”.  Times are very approximate, and likely won’t add up exactly to my race time – I’m just not bothering with being that accurate.  It is what it is.

Important Note: This should not be considered any type of plan or recommendation.  This is just what happened to work well for me that day, in those conditions.  It probably won’t work well for you, and it probably won’t work for me again.  Like I said, it’s just a snapshot.

AS = Aid Station.  Also note that a major ultra rule I broke is that I spent a lot of time in aid stations.  I even got kicked out of one (thanks Dale! That was funny.).  Most people recommend no more than about 2 minutes per AS.  But guess what?  I loved it!  My family was there, I got to eat a bunch, and it’s part of how I really enjoyed the overall race.

Segment/AS Time Spent (h:mm)
Food (cals) HEED (oz) Water (oz)
Start —- —- 8 —-
Start to Sonju 1:38 1/2 Clif bloks 100
Hammergel 100
1/2 Lara bar 100
20 —-
Sonju AS 0:02 Pretzels 60
Potatoes 50
8 —-
Sonju to Crosby-Manitou 0:55 1/2 Lara bar  100
Hammergel  100
1/2 Clif bloks  100
20 —-
Crosby-Manitou AS 0:04 Banana  80
Cookie  50
Strawberries 10
Potatoes 50
1/4 PB&J  100
8 —-
Crosby-Manitou to Sugarloaf 2:23 Monkey Fuel (see below) 620
Clif bloks 200
—- 20
Sugarloaf AS 0:12 1/2 Ramen 190
Egg burrito piece 50
Potatoes 50
Sugarloaf to Cramer 1:15 1/2 Clif bloks  100
Hammergel  100
20 20
Cramer Road AS 0:07 1/2 PB&J  200
Bananas w/PB 50
Oranges  25
4 cookies 200
Cramer to Temperance River 1:48 Clif bloks  200
Hammergel  100
20 20
Temperance River AS 0:07 Turkey wrap  50
Potatoes 50
3 cookies 150
Hard-boiled egg 75
Temperance to Sawbill 1:18 Clif bloks  200
Hammergel  100
20 20
Sawbill AS 0:10 1/2 Ramen 190
1/2 PB&J  200
Oranges 25
Cookies 100
Sawbill to Oberg 1:22 Clif bloks  200 20 20
Oberg AS 0:08 Strawberries 10
1/2 PB&J  200
Cookies 100
Oberg to Finish 2:05 1/2 Clif bloks  100
Hammergel  100
16 16

4935 calories
2.12 gallons of HEED (272 ounces)
.9 gallons of water (116 ounces)

Monkey Fuel mix (Inspired by Scott Jurek’s drink mix)
16 oz. Rice Milk (I like enriched Vanilla Rice Dream)
3 tbsp Soy Protein (I like Yammer Soy Essence)
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp chia seeds

Other Notes

  • I took an S! cap every 45 minutes, religiously, throughout the day.  I might have been able to up that to 1/30 mins in the middle of the day during the heat.
  • I frequently had a very full stomach leaving the AS and and to walk for 15 minutes or so to clear it before running again, but I preferred that to eating large amounts on the trail.
  • The honey and chia in the drink mix worked well for me during training, but didn’t seem to taste right during the race.  Maybe it was the heat?  I could have left the honey out for sure, maybe even the chia.  But it was nice to pack in those calories in liquid form.
  • I carried 2 Nathan handhelds for most of the race, thus the 20/20 for HEED and water.  For a couple of longer sections I could have drank more.
  • This works out to about 350 calories per hour (almost 14 hour race), which was my original plan.

5 Responses to “Food and Hydration for the Superior Trail 50 Mile”

  1. Paul Caldwell said

    Yes, I think Chia can be quite healthy for people. The supposed highest nutritional value comes from a unique proprietary selection of the seeds known as “Mila” that are specially processed for the highest bioavailability available anywhere. The website is to get more info.

  2. JKal said

    congrats!! nice race … but wow, dude, that’s a LOT of food!

  3. scott said

    Yeah its a heck of a lot, but it worked for me.

  4. Funny how it took you only 55 minutes to go from Sonju to Crosby. It took me 1.5 hours. I thought it would take me 45 minutes.

  5. scott said

    What’s funnier is your comment that you were only running those 12 miles to prove to everyone that you couldn’t run anymore. I love that. But I bet that 1.5 felt even longer than that with where you were at.

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