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How do you manage your food intake in a 24 hour
I have tried all methods of food intake over the years. I have tried
eating 50g of carbohydrate per hour as recommended by nutritionist
but found this impossible (too much to take in), and have finally
ended up with an easy strategy - make sure you eat a minimum of
one item of food per hour after running six hours. I tend not to
eat early on in the event but rely very heavily throughout the race
on sports/carbohydrate drinks. My favourite foods during a 24 hour
race tend to be boiled new potatoes, custard, plain yoghurt and
soup. It is best to eat what suits you and what you think you can
keep down, running and eating do not go together very well!!
Do you need a special diet to get through a normal week of training?
To do the amount of mileage needed you need to have a diet high
in carbohydrate (things like pasta, rice and potatoes). Ideally
60-70% of your diet should come from these foods, 15-20% from protein
and 15%-20% from fat. Timing of food is very important to take advantage
of the '2 hour' window after heavy training when the body replenishes
the fuel at a faster rate. I always plan my day ahead for food so
that I have time to eat at appropriate times to my training. I often
have to supplement my diet with carbohydrate drinks to gain enough
Is there any particular ultra athlete that has
Yes, when I first began looking at ultras I read so many articles
on Eleanor Robinson and the fantastic world records she held (I
believe she holds the record for holding the most Guinness World
Records). I always remembered seeing her at a local marathon in
1993 at Kirkleatham, (Langbaurgh Marathon) and never dared speak
to her. I stood with Eleanor on the podium when I won my first European
100km Silver team medal in 1995 and was room mate with her on every
international event from that day onwards. It is a priviledge to
be on such good terms with Eleanor and she is always a fascination
to listen to and will never tire of her talking about her events.
Have you ever found any running shoes particularly
outstanding for ultra races?
No, not really. I have mainly been a Brooks person, my first pair
of shoes were Brooks, but over the years I have won various makes
of shoes - Asics, Mizuno, Reebok, Adidas, but must admit I have
always brought Brooks for the road shoes and Saucony for trail shoes.
I am a slight pronator and so try to get stability shoes with as
much cushioning as possible.
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