Training for the UTMB isn’t just about physical and mental fitness (see post on Training Volume and Intensity)
Over the years I have developed a nutrition strategy that support the muscular and systemic training load. This can be broken down in three different components: routine nutrition, effort nutrition and recovery nutrition. Routine nutrition is concerned with daily food intake (meals, snacks, hydration, supplements), effort nutrition is implemented during long runs and races (fuel, supplements and hydration) and recovery nutrition comes into play when effort has stopped and the body needs to repair and regenerate. One thing to remember is that there are no hard rules here. Nutrition needs to be tailored to genetic make-up, athletic level and circumstances. On other words my nutrition strategy is only specific to me but I do hope that the following points can help inspire many ultra athletes design their own strategy.
The most striking quality of what I eat on a daily basis is that it is made of organic, non-GMO and non-processed foods. That’s it! That is were the dogma stops. This personal guideline is not only important for ultra endurance performance but also for a healthy lifestyle. Our ecosystem has worked for thousand of years to provide us with nourishment and medicine. What about sweets then? Although I love to make desserts I limit my consumption of processed sugar to a minimum (maybe 3 times a week). I tend to not understand when I hear runners at all levels think that because they are active they can just eat what the hell they want! The human body and spirit is both strong and susceptible to toxins. Typically I eat lean proteins and vegetables and a huge amount of fruits. I have the meat usually come from Niman’s Ranch (delivery through Spud) and the veggies and fruits delivered by Farm Fresh. My lunch typically is a huge salad and I add carbs with Udi’s bread (I don’t consider myself gluten intolerant but I feel better whenI avoid it). For pasta I have been very happy with quinoa pasta.