Written By Chris Taylor
Chris is Operations Manager at Ultra X and takes the lead on planning new races and events. His interests include (and are limited to): ultra running, plant-based foods to eat whilst ultra running, and ultra running with dogs.
With two of our biggest races of the year just around the corner – Ultra X Jordan and Ultra X Mexico – many of those competing will be starting to think about their race week nutrition plan. Whether your goal is to podium or to finish, getting your nutrition right is vital to success in a multi-stage ultra (check out our pointers on what to consider when planning both your mid-race and post-race recovery fuel).
Ensuring you have enough food and are consuming the right combination of macronutrients to survive 250km of running in an extreme environment can be a daunting task. Love it or loathe it, the most useful tool for planning a week’s worth of breakfasts, mid-race fuel, recovery snacks and evening meals is an Excel spreadsheet. For those who don’t enjoy setting up formulas and geeking over the numbers, don’t worry – we’ve saved you the effort! We’ve put together a template race week nutrition plan, which can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet below.
The format for each Ultra X multi-stage race is the same: the race distance is spread over five days (Monday to Friday) with one longer stage mid-week and competitors must be self-sufficient from Sunday post-breakfast until departure the following Saturday, with the exception of an evening meal on Friday (food is typically available to purchase on Saturday, though it’s always a good idea to have some snacks handy).
Therefore, though our template has been designed with this year’s edition of Ultra X Jordan in mind, it can be replicated for Mexico, Sri Lanka and any of our future races. The template has also been completed with an example nutrition plan, to give an idea of what food a competitor at this year’s Ultra X Jordan might consume.
However, a nutrition plan should be tailored to each individual and will depend on a multitude of environmental and personal factors, including pace, weight, energy expenditure, heat, humidity, and (most importantly!) taste preference. To personalise the plan, simply download the spreadsheet, replace the example food items with those you’re considering and enter the relevant figures for calories, macronutrients and weight. The daily and weekly totals will automatically recalculate as you adjust. Happy nutrition planning!
Disclaimer: Ultra X do not claim to offer expert nutritional advice. The template provided is simply an example aimed at getting you thinking about how to structure your nutritional plan with some ideas of what food to take. If you have specific dietary requirements, we recommend you obtain the advice of a qualified dietician.
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