The following are recommendations relating to food that can be easily consumed while transiting the day’s stage. I have previously touched upon basics of calorie counts and will be using an average of around 2800 Kcals/day for the purpose of this discussion. Of this amount, breakfast and evening offerings will contribute approximately 1400 Kcals total leaving another 1400 Kcals for consumption during the day. I recommend varying from these amounts depending upon the stage. The long stage will have additional on the move calories and less evening fare, while a rest day will be reversed.
Most ultra runners are fortunate to be able to ingest food during exercise with little ill effects. As with any ultra event taste, convenience and form are the important criteria for the evaluation of trail food. Taste is obvious, if you don’t like it you will not choke it down. It has to be convenient also; no long preparation times, excess packaging, and difficulties with handling. Finally there is form, is it moist enough and easy to chew? Will it disintegrate into crumbs?
The following meet my above criteria and have served well in previous events for “on the move food”. Brand names are not a particular endorsement.
•Nuts (Smoked Almonds, macadamia, pinon, peanuts): 2oz /340 Kcals
These are good and easy to eat. Bring a variety.
• Slim Jims: 2 oz/320 Kcals
Nice treat, easily packed. Suggest only original and mild flavors.
• Epic Bars: 1.5 oz/160 Kcals
Similar to Slim Jims but designed for ultra events, many exotic flavors
• Jerkey: 1 oz/80 Kcals
Not very high in the calorie area but for protein and salt it is great. Numerous flavors.
• Various energy bars: 2.2-3.0 oz/230-390 Kcals
o Cliff Bar Chocolate/Apricot/Cool Mint: All of these are OK but somewhat dry.
o Pro Bar: Very high calorie but somewhat dry. A couple of these could suffice for a breakfast
o Hammer Nutrition Cranberry: Love these but on the low calorie end.
o Hammer Nutrition Almond Raisin: Very good
o Power Bar Triple protein (may melt)
• Stinger Waffles: 1 oz/160 Kcals
I love these, easy to eat and slightly sweet. Fragile and can be reduced to crumbs.
• Electrolyte tabs: 0.6 oz (2-4 tablets)/0 Kcals
These are in addition to any other electrolytes you may be taking. Mainly bringing to flavor the water. I usually use these at half strength
• Powdered recovery beverage 2.1 oz (1 each)/250 kcal
Slam when done with the stage. Of course you can use your favorite powdered recovery product. Powdered calories are also good for ingesting on the trail or as an emergency calorie pick me up.
I believe these selections will serve most well and give a starting point for those of you who are new to the sport. They will provide the variety and nutrition necessary for the long days of exertion. Do not forget, a hearty breakfast and dinner are necessary to round out your culinary adventure.