Who better to share their tips on endurance fuelling than an elite ultrarunner?
Finishing in the top 10
Sophie Grant has been storming the ultrarunning scene since 2013. Just five years on and she’s achieved several podium finishes in many of the world’s hardest races, including the Transgrancanaria, the North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail and the Highland Fling.
Competing for Great Britain
In 2016 Sophie competed for Great Britain in the World Ultra Championships and if that’s not impressive enough, she has also completed the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc an amazing four times!
Therefore we are thrilled that she’s taken time out of her busy schedule to share her top three fuelling tips as part of our ‘Things I have learnt…’ series.
Nutrition can be tricky
Sophie has sometimes found it tricky to balance her nutrition during races, “if I don’t get it right, it can affect my race results and in certain races, it’s actually resulted in me being physically sick. This has meant I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years, some of which have worked and some of which haven’t!”
Here are Sophie’s three ‘things I’ve learnt’ about fuelling for endurance events...
1. Practice makes perfect
“I’ve been working really hard on practising what I eat while I train. All too often I’ve been known to head out and not think about fuelling during my long training runs, just surviving on air and water. Since moving to the mountains and spending longer days running around the Alps I make sure I never head out empty handed. I ensure my pack is filled with the good wholesome fuels that I am going to use on race day. You can’t expect your body to suddenly cope with forcing loads of food into it during a race if you’ve not practised that during training.
2. Fuel at every opportunity
“I often struggle to take in enough calories especially at the later stages of races. Therefore as well as eating real food I try and use rehydrating as an opportunity to fuel and no longer just drink plain water. I always add a carbohydrate mix and electrolytes into my drinks. “
3. Make it simple
“I don’t know about you, but I get really sick of eating sweet sugary gels. However, I also struggle to eat proper food as I don’t seem to produce enough saliva when I’m running to allow me to chew and swallow. In the past, this meant that I often gave up on fuelling, as I couldn’t face eating. Thankfully, my friends at Longhaul have taken chewing out of the equation by blending their recipes. It’s such a relief to be able to eat real food during any stage of the race and to actually look forward to doing so!”
You can follow Sophie’s adventures via Twitter: @SophieAmyGrant