Athletes, particularly ultra-runners, accept the fact that running long distances is not for everybody. This is because they have to endure some time on the road without company. Then, of course, there are all the really weird foods they eat while running.
According to runner Chris McDougall, ultra marathons are similar to drinking and eating contests with a bit of exercise added. In order to win and complete it, you need to have some added nutrition, especially during the actual run.
So what do they eat during an ultra marathon? Check these out:
Runners do eat candies during marathons. For them, it is a source of sugar, which gives them more energy and mental boost.
Jax Mariash Koudele, an American ultra-runner, said that in order to finish one of the most difficult races on the planet, the Atacama Crossing, she had to rely on her go-to-snacks, which include Swedish Fish, Starburst taffy, and Pay-day candy bars.
She also added that she knows certain runners who eat Pop-Tarts, an American brand of fruit-filled and frosted biscuits that modern moms call junk food.
An Odd Smoothie
Why would ultra-runners prepare this odd smoothie? Aside from the fact that it is easy-to-make, it doesn’t have calories and doesn’t spoil.
This recipe is inspired by a runner’s story. Christian Schiester recalled, “On a stage race, I carry a bottle of olive oil into which I’ve mixed nuts, corn, and dates. After a week, it’s not very tasty, but it contains a lot of calories.”
The eccentric mix gave him enough energy to run 260 kilometers across the desert—nonstop.
Salty Snacks from Seafoods
Whether you believe it or not, these salty treats from the sea work best for ultra-marathon runners. Why? It is because they have low-impact salt-delivery. To eat this, one can just grab a handful like potato chips, then chew.
In Japan, runners who go around Mt. Fuji bring along dried fish chips and dried seaweed as snacks. They prefer these treats not only because these are lightweight. They want them because they do a pretty good job in replenishing salt, which is lost during long and sweaty runs.
Raw Fish or Sushi
Do you think raw fish makes a good treat for runners? The answer is yes. It actually contains pure protein, which is needed by the body in forming blood cells.
Just like other typical Japanese races, aid stations are often stocked with loads of sushi. Apart from being tasty, it also contains pure protein.
Although it sounds like a weird snack, mashed potatoes are opted by many runners. This treat contains carbs, calories, and salt, which are needed by the body when running.
For athlete Ryan Sandes, a bag of mashed potatoes keeps him going. But if you are worried it might spoil, simply throw it in a ziploc bag.
Bone broth can be difficult to bring when running, but it is considered a great source of protein. If you are thinking about taking some soup with you as you run, just put it inside a water container.
To prepare this, simply grab a bag of bones and let them simmer with some veggies for added flavor. This will provide you with magnesium and calcium, which help keep the bones and muscles healthy.
Since it is heavy for the runners to carry while they’re on the race, it is often placed at aid stations.
This treat is another popular source of protein and fats. In fact, this is opted by majority of the runners. Ryan Sandeslikes even takes some of these with him, particularly the South African version, when he goes on multi-day runs in the Drakensbery Mountains.