Of the three 50 mile events that I have competed in to date, the 2012 TNF Madison was, by any criteria of success, the most successful. This success was due, in large part, to my fueling before and during the race. Unlike my first 50 mile race last year (the only other 50 mile race that I have completed) -- the Voyageur 50 -- I never experienced any extreme lows. I attribute this fact to a change in nutrition and supplements. First, my pre-race consumption consisted of:
Supplements 1 B-vitamin, 2 Hammer Mito Caps, 2 Hammer Race Caps Supreme, 1 S! Cap
Nutrition 1 table spoon of Udo's Oil, 1 bowl of rice chex, and 1 banana about three hours before the race; 1 Hammer gel fifteen minutes before the race
Hydration 20-30oz of water, 12 oz coffee
I arrived on the start line without feeling full, heavy, or hungry. Especially promising was the fact that I felt energized and well fueled as the 5am start approached.
Second, my consumption during the race, perhaps the most important aspect of a successful race, was consistent and well balanced. I consumed roughly 220-240 calories per hour and roughly 20-30oz of half water / half electrolyte replacement per hour. In addition, I continued to take Mito Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and S! Caps. The totals were thus:
Supplements 5 S! Caps, 4 Mito Caps, 4 Race Caps Supreme
Nutrition A total of ~1,400 calories, which included 4 servings of Hammer Perpetuem (~1,080 cals), 3 Hammer Gels (~270 cals), 1/4 of a banana (~25 cals)
Hydration 140oz of half water / half electrolyte replacement, 2 small cups of mountain dew, 1 small cup of pepsi
I started using Perpetuem over the summer and saw improvement in performance. The product has an 8 to 1 ratio of soy protein to complex carbohydrates and a 16 to 1 ratio of fat to complex carbs. The combination gives the body a bit of fat to burn, a lot of slowly digestible complex carbs, and just enough soy protein (the easiest protein to digest quickly) to help muscle repair during the run. The gels served as a quick and easy way to consume calories if I began to feel hungry (this, too, is a complex carbohydrate, but without any fat or protein).
While the second half of the race proved more difficult, and though the pace did diminish, this was largely due to the continuous pounding from the downhills. My performance didn't diminish much, but the decrease in performance did not seem to be the result of nutrition based shortcomings.
Given my success at TNF Madison, I plan to continue to implement this nutrition/supplement schedule in future races.