Snarky elite marathoner David Olds is found of saying about marathon nutritional fueling, "It's a race, not a meal."
In other words, don't go crazy "replenishing" your system immediately before and during your standard 26.2-mile marathon. A couple GUs, some electrolyte replacement drink and you're good to go.
Ah, but it's a whole different thing when it comes to nutrition for ultra marathons. Tonight at 7 at Fleet Feet Sacramento (J and 23rd streets), veteran ultra runner Mo Bartley comes down from the hills long enough to educate aspiring ultras on the ins and outs (caloriewise) of fueling during the race. Details here.
Sorry, David Olds, but when you're out on a 50- or 100-mile run, it is both a meal and a race.
Back in 2008, I wrote a story on people who run to work (and back) as part of their ultra training. Here's what ultra-legend Tim Twietmeyer had to say about his fueling:
Eating on the run is not a problem for ultramarathon superstar Tim Twietmeyer, five-time winner of the famed 100-mile Western States Endurance Run.
When Twietmeyer recently started adding a once-a-week 36-mile round-trip run from Auburn to his job at Hewlett-Packard in Roseville, he'd be like any commuter, stopping along the way for snacks.
"In the morning, I'm usually on the road by 5:30 and get to work by 8 or so, depending on how many coffee shops I stop at," Twietmeyer says. "Especially on the way home, when it's hot. I'll stop at this cool mini-mart in Penryn, about six miles from the finish, and eat an ice cream sandwich. It cools the core and smoothes everything out."
Ice cream sandwichs: snack of champions!