Nutrition during man vs mountain

Hi all, I would appreciate all advise as the race is less than two weeks away.

I've again entered in for Man vs Mountain which for those who don't know is a 23 mile trail race over Mt Snowdon. The problem with me is I have never paid enough attention to nutrition before, during or after the race. Typically during the race last year I had my first isotonic drink about around 5 miles and then some flap jacks at about 11 miles which is roughly the assent of Snowdon. I obviously did not replace lost energy and soon hit a wall. Although I finished the race it was more of a struggle than a canter.

what I need is advise on nutrition during the race, types of food, drink and how often to take it please as I want to put in a better effort. I have not learnt by my mistakes and whether it's right or wrong currently training by doing 11 mile runs with around 340ml of cordial with some salt and glucose mixed it and after I finish I do feel some what knackered.

So can you help me with my not too distance forward plannig for this race please.


thanks Mart


  • Isnt it just Snowdon - not Mount Snowdon ?image

    I think you need to be eating and drinking little and often. I cant cope with solid food like flapjacks on a run - so in marathons I use gels and start at 5 miles and carry on every 5 miles.

    If you're racing 23 mountainous miles - I'm not sure running 11 miles is enough ? I'd want to get up to 20 mile runs.

    I'd try gels or jelly babies or energy drink from the word go - but ideally you test these as you do the long runs. Not on the day.

    I'm not sure you have time to do a long run before the race now.

    Good luck with it anyway !
  • Been busy out training ?
  • Hi Cougie and applogies for not replying sooner.

    I've done a bit more training training but mainly hill climb in preparation for the assent of the big hill known as Snowdon haha.

    Like you said I can't do too much so trying to tailor it to suit me instead of breaking world records. I've tried using some different things for the race in seem to be ok with gels, although some solid food might be ideal as well, but I won't be taking a family hamper either. I didn't feel 100% on the day last year at the start woke up with a head cold. Thinking I would try and sweat it off if was ok for the first 13 miles and then he it hit me, it hit me. So last year I would partially put down to my condition and to the other lack of nutrition during the race. When I finished the race, my legs weren't aching as I knew I hadn't pushed myself and that was to the level of training I've done for this year. So like you say, it's mainly prepering for the big day, trying to pack the right nutrition before, during and after the race and going for it.

    One question I would ask and not sure if you'd know, is what 70% heart rate to hill runners like in this race try to run at. I'm relatively fit with a resting heart rate of 60% so if I'm pushing myself too much during it. When training I can take for long during my heart rate up to around 175 and over and at the age of 42 tomorrow I know it's over my max level. I cope ok but would expect it not to be ideal over 5 to 6 hrs on my case tomorrow.


  • I'm running it as well and it's a bit late to try anything new. I'll be carb loading from Wednesday, with porridge, pasta and energy bars. Race day will be porridge with a banana, with a gel 30 minutes before the off. During the race I'm planning on 6 gels, one every 30 minutes, then 2 or 3 energy bars whilst climbing Snowdon. planning on just liquid on the way down for speed. Like I say though I wouldn't try any of this if you haven't practiced it or you'll end up with either an upset stomach or a massive stitch....

    Better advice it to take extra layers, Snowdon Summit forecast for Saturday lunchtime is a balmy zero degrees windchill.

  • Hi Craig, 

    I'm not sure if you've done it before but as I live in the northwest I've been to snowdon a few times as part of my training build up early in the summer. I did what I called "the Llanberis loop"; it's about 12 miles and starts and finishes at the race finish line and included the drinks station which is about 8miles into the race, up,Snowdon and around the vertical climb. It's tough and you're right about the weather, most times I've been the clouds or winds roll in at around 700mtrs and picks up the higher you get. I'm kitted out ok in regards to equipment as used it before so just needed to sort the food supplies.

    I've been talking to a nutritionalist friend also in the build up to the race and last year I didn't carb load until the day before, oops. And on the day I was well under the supplies I needed for the duration. This time I will be better equipped. I've tried gels and seem to run ok on them, drinks wise will likely be come cordial, containing glucose, salt and some BCAA's. I will also take some carbs foods too. I'm not going to break any records, but want to better my time of 6hrs 25 minutes from last year and finish the race in a better condition.

    I don't know whether you've done the race before Craig but there is a fueling station at the bottom of the Llanberis pass and would suggest refuelling up before hitting the vertical climb With drinks ampnd maybe some gels to go.

    Good luck for the race 



  • Ah you sound pretty well prepared. I did Snowdon last month, up the ranger path and down the llanberis track, it was cloudbound and raining sideways! I'm aiming for 6h30, but nutrition at least I'm trying to get right to avoid cramp. Packed my pack today with lots of layers its pretty heavy. Ah well good luck mate, it'll be awesome image
  • Do you wear compression sleeves on your calfs. I used to suffer with cramps or the odd time shin splints but when using the compression sleeves they work wonders for me. Mine are made by Zensah but there are other brands. Like I said earlier last year I was under hydrated but I still didn't cramp up.

    The right waterproofs are a must and they will check your gear on the Friday checkin. You sound organised also and 6:30 is still a good time and if I come before my 6hrs 25 then it will do for me ????

    The sleeves is just a thought if you haven't come across them as I will use them also for the Snowdonia marathon in October.
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