Race Energy – Garbage In, Garbage Out?

 Before too much more time goes by I thought it would be wise to catalogue what I ate during this past Blue Ridge Relay and what changes, if any, would I make in the event we run again next year.  Consumption is tricky.  Each year I put together a mental food plan and then about 1 leg in I forget what I thought would be a good idea to do for food.  First order of business for next year is to write down what I should eat after each leg.  Prior to running next year I also want to get smarter on how much consumption is required to keep your body fully fueled without going overboard.  At some point your body wants nothing solid.  At this point I think I’d be better off listening to it and putting only minimal solids in while supplementing liquid, near-liquid and gel energy into my body.  My idea of never eating the same thing twice was appealing and will be repeated in future attempts.  Here’s how it went down:


  • Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Sandwich on Wheat
  • Banana
  • Coffee
  • Water
Post Leg 2:
  • Banana
  • Oatmeal Smoothie
  • Gatorade/Water/Coffee
Post Leg 8:
  • Banana
  • Quinoa Mix (beans, mango, peppers)
  • 350 calorie bar
Post Leg 14:
  • Banana
  • Chef Boyardee Mac-n-Cheese
  • Kettle Chips (Buffalo Blue)
  • Gu
Post Leg 20:
  • Rice Pudding
  • Kettle Chips (Buffalo Blue)
  • Gu
Post Leg 26:
  • Loaded baked potato (easily the best thing I ate during this race!)
  • Banana
  • Gu
Post race was filled with more Bojangles than my shrunken stomach could stomach…Mac-n-cheese, egg/cheese biscuit, fries and a large half/half tea.  Mmm.  Somewhere in the race I ate one of the Luna bars and likely had other snacks here and there.  Complimenting a better food strategy needs to be a better sleep strategy.  Waking at 3am, driving to the start then running and staying awake until around midnight is not a great strategy.  Sleeping after leg 8 is a must as is sleeping somewhere between 14 and 20.  Runs with more sleep absolutely felt better than those without sleep – especially as the race grew older.  I am still on the fence on whether I’ll return next year.  It is a great and unique running experience.  I love running in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and enjoy the camaraderie of the fellow co-runners.  The cost on your body (e.g. tear down to the muscles) is difficult to overcome as is the sleep fatigue that resides for several days after the event.  Unfortunately, there are few events that leave you feeling like you miss it when it is all over.  This event definitely does just that.











Food & Energy, Liquids & Hydration Suggestions? #blueridgerelay #brr2011

 The shameless plug-fest continues.  We LOVE KT Tape because they love us!  We get to be early adopters of their new synthetic product…cool to be an early adopter.  Cooler of them to support us!

Let’s talk food and energy and water and hydration.  After 5 runnings in this event I have finally decided it needs more than seat-of-the-pants, night-before planning.  So I am giving it 9 days before planning treatment.  Give me another 5 years of this race and I might even have a plan.  There are many approaches that I have witnessed so far:

1) “The Heiskell” – this is an Army/West Point influenced approach.  Eat at 6:05am, run at 8:05am.  Finish running at 8:55am, immediately drink 14.6 fluid ounces of a protein, electrolyte shake, 2 cans of ravioli-a-ronis, 1 banana, 1 powerbar and 1 bottle of water.  Repeat every 3-4 hours until you have run the 6th leg 30+ hours later.

2) “The Bagel” – if all else fails just always be eating a bagel when you are not running or sleeping.

3) “The Circle K” – only eat when a convenience store presents itself.  This rule can be breached if someone is passing out something homemade for $5 or less.

4) “Bar-licious” – see “The Bagel” but replace “bagle” with “bar”.

5) “The I-Wonder-If-I-Am-Getting-Enough-Calories” plan – this basically means eat a great deal between 6am and 10am and then lose interest in eating the junk you bought.  So instead you pump Gu gels, apples, an occasional Snickers into your body and convince yourself you are well on your way to the 4-5,000 calories the event requires.

Well, this year I plan to insert a 6th and much, much more well planned approach to rival “the Heiskell”.  Here are the gory details:


5:30am:  Peanut Butter, Honey, Banana Sandwich, coffee, water

8:30am (Leg 2 done): Peanut Butter, Honey, Banana Sandwich, coffee, water

11:30am:  Oatmeal shake (oats, cinnamon, flax, banana, soy milk, almonds) via magic bullet followed by Gatorade.

2pm (Leg 8 done):  Tuna, Beans, Rice mix with hot sauce with water and a banana.

4:30pm:  Banana, honey, peanut butter, gatorade, water

8:00pm (Leg 14 done):  Quiznos? Bojangles?

9:30pm:  Greek yogurt, honey, powerbar, water

11:30pm:  (Leg 20 done):  Tomato Sandwich from leg 19 with water, chips

2:30am:  Banana and a Gu with water

3:30am:  (Leg 26 done):  Water and baked potato from prior exchange.  Maybe even a coke?

6am:  Coffee, pancakes? Egg Sandwich from a convenience store?

9am:  (Leg 32 done):  none of the food items above!!!

Suggestions?  Any improvements you see that can be made?  I’m all ears!