What do you eat during Ultra?

Just gathering my snacks for Saturday's Ultra and realising I'll need a bigger rucsac!

Have the usual gels and Chia Charge bars but wondering what other people take as more appetising options....perhaps more re taste and psychology rather than pure nutritional value???

Planning on ....

Peanut butter and jam sandwiches - small squares in cling film

Bag of mixed nuts mixed with chunks of tropical fruit

Beef Jerky (never tried that but its very light and a different taste)

(I am lucky as I could probably stomach a  full fried breakfast during a run image but altho an egg and bacon buttie would be magic the stove and time would be even too ridiculous for me)



  • crisps and chicken and mushroom slices.... peanuts and jamie dodgers...and sweets


     I have bacon and sausage sandwiches for breakfast before my races


  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    Slower runners.
  • HH

    everything in sight.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Totally depends. What I fancy after 5 miles is usually completely different to what I fancy after 5 hours.
  • David,

    You might have a bomb-proof stomach, but I'd still be wary about trying anything new on race day.  In any event, beef jerky is ok to chew on, but it's not all that calorific and there are probably better things you could eat (i.e. with more calories).

    Nuts and fruit are good, as are the PB&J sandwiches.

    Try cold, boiled potatoes if you want something savoury, or cook a couple of sweet potatoes in the microwave till they go really soft then decant the squishy insides into squeezable tubes/soft flasks.

    I've started experimenting with pouches of baby food recently on very long runs.  They're good because the ingredients are generally wholesome and nutritious, and they come either sweet or savoury, so if you've had enough of gels, biscuits and sweets you can have something entirely different.  In fact, on a recent long run, I stopped at a country pub about 40 miles or so in, and had a pint of bitter shandy along with "roast chicken, sweetcorn and vegetable".  Granted, I got some funny looks sucking on a sachet of baby food, but it was pretty tasty.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    I'm waiting to be eaten by VDOT52... But how can you eat slower runners? Surely they are behind you? So if you wait for them then technically they got to the same point as you so aren't slower! that's just an excuse to have a rest image

    Anything and everything, two of my favourites are peperami and sausage rolls.  I always buy loads of healthy mixed berries / nuts to eat, and never end up eating many of them, and going back to sausage rolls n peperami .

  • David J 27David J 27 ✭✭✭

    Some good ideas. Perhaps not too much change this time - but in future think I'm going to start experimenting more on the savoury side.. and more variety. The mash/sweet potato mix sounds good - might have it for tea tonight image

    Baby food's too closely linked with baby sick in my mind. Sadly. No idea why as it was 12 years or so ago and the girls didn't throw up that much...

    I used to love fig biscuits but they've changed nowadays they're all biscuit and no fig. Just not the same at all.

    Too many times I've returned with energy bars and gels in pack still - as just couldn't face them later in the run.

    Also like the idea of the psychological rewards along the way - something actually tasty when I get to the top of the next hill. Thinking of my dream foods now ... pork pies, mini scotch eggs, choc cake, those fish & chip crisps ... need a bigger bag!

  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    If you want savoury try these; Cooked rice fried up with chopped bacon, egg to hold it all together and salt. Form it into balls or flatten it out into a baking tray, cool it down and chop into bite sized pieces.

    Take it easy on the butter/oil or they will not hold together.

    Most important; keep in fridge for no more than 4 days or out of the fridge 24 hours. Because cooked rice does not keep very well!

  • Malt loaf, fig rolls, cheese sandwiches/wraps, Kendal mint cake.

    I've just discovered/adapted a great recipe for really easy-to-make energy balls (dried mixed fruit including dates, ground almonds, cinnamon) so I'll be trying those out while running as soon as I'm back up to longer distances again.

    Hm, I wonder if falafel would work while running...

  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    Booktrunk, the key is to start 10 mins after everyone else. Then you catch the slow ones when they are already exhaustedimage
  • SideBurnSideBurn ✭✭✭

    I find falafel too dry Debra, maybe I need to try a different recipe?

  • SideBurn: they can be dry, but shouldn't be horribly dry - recipes do vary. I've not yet tried them while running - I'd say "I'll let you know" but it could be a while as I'm presently at 12-15 minutes barefoot jog on grass on my way back from a pelvic stress fracture...

  • Yes, not a lot of fun and messed up my plans to run Comrades. Grr.

  • David J 27David J 27 ✭✭✭

    Hmmmm ... brought most of my carefully prep'd snacks home. (Got my hydration right tho - for a change! One bottle of flat coke and one bottle of electrolyte kept on the go). Chia Charge and flap jacks just seemed too dry/chewy/unswallowable and ended up ejected at the path side. Loved the Chia's on many other days.This time I was on a sweet kick - gels welcome and tasty - savoury just not fancied at any time. Only 4 gels and next to no solid food - but felt great and full of beans. Who knows....?? 

  • +1 for the flat coke and electrolyte combo - I drank equal amounts of each throughout the Endure 50 mile race at the weekend. I also vary my food between caffeine energy gels and malt loaf, mini mars bars and mini milky way bars, plus the odd Cadbury Brunch Bar too. Although I stopped eating solid food at about 30 mile and relied on the flat coke to give me the sugars I needed, which worked well.

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I am quite random when it comes to food on long runs.  I tend to not carry much and stop at shops and eat whatever i fancy.  For long races, I like to eat savory stuff.  I have done 2 ironman races and packed myself cheese and marmite sandwiches and peanuts to eat on the bike.  I can rarely take gels and i dont like them so i just keep putting off having them.  I just did comrades and i went with whatever was on offer, salted potatoes, biscuits, sandwiches and coke.

  • tricialitttricialitt ✭✭✭

    Tailwind, plus crisps, clif bars, ginger beer, and percy pigs. On a long ultra I might also add more substantial savouries like mini pork pies, cheese, and those baby food things ( preferably cheesy pasta- type, or apple, avoid anything with cauliflower, it repeats on you!).


  • DazDaz ✭✭✭

    As I would a short(er) distance running or triathlon event to a point ie gels and the odd bar washed down with electrolyte drinks.  If you're optimising your running pace (and almost redlining) then you need those fast release sugars and salts.

    I could usually get to circa 50miles at a decent pace this way.  For anything longer I'd start to introduce more cal packed foods inc a higher % of fats and proteins.  The pace would invariably drop along with the HR at this point anyway so the stomach is under a little more pressure to process.  Mentally it gets tricky of course so some of your favoured snacks come into their own here.

    As already mentioned you can assist the stomach in various ways.  I would take a zantac before the race, omit fizzy drinks, and have some ginger later on (not that I felt it made a difference).



    Endurance Coach @ DazCarterFitness.com
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
Sign In or Register to comment.