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Looking to possibly train for my first ultramarathon in December. I've done a couple full's and lots of half marathons, but as you can imagine, I'm used to the "carb-loading" aspects of training/long runs. I'm on day 14 of my first W30 and I want to maintain this type of lifestyle, so I'm starting to research now about fueling. I'm wondering if there are any ultrarunners on these forums who train for and fuel their long runs/ultramarathons in a paleo fashion? I would love to pick your brain about what you eat and when you eat in days before an ultra, night before (when the traditional carb load meal would take place), the morning of, and fuel for during your long runs/ultras and how you best approach your recovery meal(s).

Thanks in advance!

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I ran a 40-mile ultra last year, but it was before i discovered Paleo... i've since kinda stopped running! I did read an article on a chap who was doing 100-milers on a very-low carb diet (i'm not sure if he was specifically paleo) & he seemed to have quite an advantage in being fat-adapted, i.e. he didn't have to neck a gruesome gel every 45 minutes or stop at every aid station for pizza! He just had a few hard boiled eggs & some sausages in his backpack & ate every 4 hours or so.

Sorry this is all a bit vague! Best of luck with your training & the race - have you got one in mind?

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I am desperate for other people's plans. I'm on Day 8 and I have my first ultra in 27 days. I went on a 10-miler yesterday (my first "long" run since starting whole30) and I have no idea if it was the heat, hydration, fuel or a combination of all three, but I was BEAT DOWN. I re-fueled on the run with baby food - an Ella's "red one" - and drank about 40 oz. of water during...but I came back exhausted. My poor husband is doing it too and he had a 20 mile training run yesterday (he's training for a 100-mi in October) and he was looking pretty tired too...

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I ran a 40-mile ultra last year, but it was before i discovered Paleo... i've since kinda stopped running! I did read an article on a chap who was doing 100-milers on a very-low carb diet (i'm not sure if he was specifically paleo) & he seemed to have quite an advantage in being fat-adapted, i.e. he didn't have to neck a gruesome gel every 45 minutes or stop at every aid station for pizza! He just had a few hard boiled eggs & some sausages in his backpack & ate every 4 hours or so.

Sorry this is all a bit vague! Best of luck with your training & the race - have you got one in mind?

Thanks for the info! It would be nice to avoid the gels. I don't mind them, but I know after doing the W30, the sweetness of them will be sickening. Right now, I'm looking at an ultra in North Carolina, tablerockultras.com

I am desperate for other people's plans. I'm on Day 8 and I have my first ultra in 27 days. I went on a 10-miler yesterday (my first "long" run since starting whole30) and I have no idea if it was the heat, hydration, fuel or a combination of all three, but I was BEAT DOWN. I re-fueled on the run with baby food - an Ella's "red one" - and drank about 40 oz. of water during...but I came back exhausted. My poor husband is doing it too and he had a 20 mile training run yesterday (he's training for a 100-mi in October) and he was looking pretty tired too...

Since you're on day 8, I think it might be safe to say that you're still dealing with the early drop in performance that I keep reading about. It seems that in the first week or two, athletes notice a drop in performance, always feel tired, workouts more difficult and so on... part of the W30 process. I experienced it mildly also, but not terribly since my diet wasn't COMPLETE crap to start (ate grains and such, but rarely; dairy in form of nonfat greek yogurt was my issue... oh yeah, and sweets too, like cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, etc). From everything I've read, somewhere around the 2-3 week mark, things will start to pick back up again. :)

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I've been eating clean for six months, so I assumed it would affect me slightly, but it's been worse than I thought. But I wasn't expecting such a dramatic drop in performance. I've reached out to all my paleo friends and did a little more research this afternoon. And I've decided I am going to do coconut water sweetened with fruit juice for runs of 2+ hours. Also, keep a good supply of Ella's pouches on hand and use one every 45 minutes. One of my friends also suggested making my own gels of date paste and grape juice. So I am going to try that too. Also, bananas and maybe some dried coconut. Guess I'll need to start training with a HUGE backpack to carry all this crap! Plus, I want to train with it all now so there's no surprises on race day. I promise to post anything else I come up with!

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I'd never heard of using date paste and grape juice... you'll have to let me know how that works for you! I'd heard of making chia pudding, and I'd made it once before starting w30. I used the water left over from a can of separated coconut milk, added chia seeds. I also made a chocolate chia gel (again, before starting W30) using almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and cocoa powder. I think I added some agave to it also. It was pretty good... It was like a chocolate pudding with a tapioca pudding consistency. But after reading about the bad omega's in ISWF that chia contains, I figured I might want to rethink the chia pudding/gel, maybe cycle it out with another fuel source before & during long runs.

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I'm not 100% Whole30 on a daily basis, but I'm like 99% Paleo and I am an off/on ultrarunner. I've successfully fueled long trail runs with Larabars, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sweet potatoes, and always take salt tabs. I drink half water, half Ultima.

For me the main key seems to be getting in foods that are similar to my daily macros, thus Larabars tend to a good one for me. If you find you need more carbs, sweet potatoes can be pureed and put into reusable "gel" flasks. Add in some cinnamon & applesauce, and it's super tasty besides!

I eat completely normal meals day before/morning of - same things I eat every day.

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I'm an ultrarunner and have written about my experiences here:

90 Mile Week on Whole30: http://iseetrails.wo...eek-on-whole30/

Whole30 and Beyond: http://iseetrails.wo...-30-and-beyond/

A friend also did Whole30 and wrote about it here:

http://ultrarunnergirl.blogspot.com/2013/05/ultrarunning-and-fueling-on-whole30.html

Please let me know if you'd like for me to share anything else. I've got a 70 miler coming up in 2 weeks and I feel confident that I can fuel for a successful run. I've never felt stronger with my nutrition finally dialed in. Good luck and happy running!

Katie

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I'm an ultrarunner and have written about my experiences here:

90 Mile Week on Whole30: http://iseetrails.wo...eek-on-whole30/

Whole30 and Beyond: http://iseetrails.wo...-30-and-beyond/

A friend also did Whole30 and wrote about it here:

http://ultrarunnergirl.blogspot.com/2013/05/ultrarunning-and-fueling-on-whole30.html

Please let me know if you'd like for me to share anything else. I've got a 70 miler coming up in 2 weeks and I feel confident that I can fuel for a successful run. I've never felt stronger with my nutrition finally dialed in. Good luck and happy running!

Katie

Katie, thanks for posting those! I had actually found your friend's post and then read your two posts from the links and was going to post all three for others to reference. Reading all three definitely gave me a perspective that makes all of this possible... And not only possible, but possible with great results! Thanks again!

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UPDATE! I ran 20 this weekend. Pre-run meal was actually breakfast - egg/kale omelet and sweet potatoes. Did not take in another meal before (there wasn't time). Carried two 22-oz bottles - one with plain water, the other with coconut water. Carried two Ella's "Yellow Ones" and one Lara bar (with lots of backup sustenance in the car if necessary). Got tickled because I started the run (about 77 degrees, in the rain, on a muddy trail) and it was TWO HOURS before I looked down and thought, why haven't I hit the wall yet? THE MAGIC MUST HAVE HAPPENED. I ate one baby food pouch at 2 hours (preventative wall preventer, I guess) and then another 45 minutes later. My stomach was GROWLING about 30 minutes after that so I had the Lara bar - the tropical fruit one, I think. Total consumption was 44oz water, 22oz coconut water, 2 babyfood pouches (at 60cals/piece) and one Lara bar (210 cals). Post run - canned tuna with salsa and pumpkin. My recovery was flawless, minus some minor knee pain...but hardly any muscle soreness. Which I SHOULD HAVE HAD because the terrain was a nightmare. I would consider this my first "FEEL GOOD" workout. A little over 4 hours on my feet...

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UPDATE! I ran 20 this weekend. Pre-run meal was actually breakfast - egg/kale omelet and sweet potatoes. Did not take in another meal before (there wasn't time). Carried two 22-oz bottles - one with plain water, the other with coconut water. Carried two Ella's "Yellow Ones" and one Lara bar (with lots of backup sustenance in the car if necessary). Got tickled because I started the run (about 77 degrees, in the rain, on a muddy trail) and it was TWO HOURS before I looked down and thought, why haven't I hit the wall yet? THE MAGIC MUST HAVE HAPPENED. I ate one baby food pouch at 2 hours (preventative wall preventer, I guess) and then another 45 minutes later. My stomach was GROWLING about 30 minutes after that so I had the Lara bar - the tropical fruit one, I think. Total consumption was 44oz water, 22oz coconut water, 2 babyfood pouches (at 60cals/piece) and one Lara bar (210 cals). Post run - canned tuna with salsa and pumpkin. My recovery was flawless, minus some minor knee pain...but hardly any muscle soreness. Which I SHOULD HAVE HAD because the terrain was a nightmare. I would consider this my first "FEEL GOOD" workout. A little over 4 hours on my feet...

That's awesome!! Where areyou getting these baby food pouches? I keep reading about people on W30 using baby food, and I've been somewhat perplexed by it all... just a natural, non-Gu, energy source? Please enlighten me! :)

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UPDATE! I ran 20 this weekend. Pre-run meal was actually breakfast - egg/kale omelet and sweet potatoes. Did not take in another meal before (there wasn't time). Carried two 22-oz bottles - one with plain water, the other with coconut water. Carried two Ella's "Yellow Ones" and one Lara bar (with lots of backup sustenance in the car if necessary). Got tickled because I started the run (about 77 degrees, in the rain, on a muddy trail) and it was TWO HOURS before I looked down and thought, why haven't I hit the wall yet? THE MAGIC MUST HAVE HAPPENED. I ate one baby food pouch at 2 hours (preventative wall preventer, I guess) and then another 45 minutes later. My stomach was GROWLING about 30 minutes after that so I had the Lara bar - the tropical fruit one, I think. Total consumption was 44oz water, 22oz coconut water, 2 babyfood pouches (at 60cals/piece) and one Lara bar (210 cals). Post run - canned tuna with salsa and pumpkin. My recovery was flawless, minus some minor knee pain...but hardly any muscle soreness. Which I SHOULD HAVE HAD because the terrain was a nightmare. I would consider this my first "FEEL GOOD" workout. A little over 4 hours on my feet...

 

Though I've struggled with fueling, I must say the recovery time and lack of soreness after a big workout is truly amazing.

 

I'm trying Vespa Power this weekend, it is not fuel but supposedly helps your body to utilize your fat stores as fuel. I'll let you all know how it goes.

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That sounds interesting!  I'll be anxious to hear how you like it/how it works for you.  :)

 

Though I've struggled with fueling, I must say the recovery time and lack of soreness after a big workout is truly amazing.

 

I'm trying Vespa Power this weekend, it is not fuel but supposedly helps your body to utilize your fat stores as fuel. I'll let you all know how it goes.

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Bethany,

  You can use the typical gel flasks, I personally prefer the Hydrapak Soft Flasks, they come in 4 or 8 oz, and collapse as you empty them. Easy to tuck away in your pack. You can find them on Amazon.

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Bethany,

You can use the typical gel flasks, I personally prefer the Hydrapak Soft Flasks, they come in 4 or 8 oz, and collapse as you empty them. Easy to tuck away in your pack. You can find them on Amazon.

Thank you!!

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I just buy organic baby food pouches (with the twist tops) and carry them.  I run with two 22oz bottles that have little hand holds that have tiny pockets for one package each.  You can get the baby food at any major retailer - even my local Target carries them - but always watch the ingredients to ensure whole30 compliance.  My favorites are:  Ella's Kitchen (the "red one" and the "yellow one") and Plum Organics Pumpkin Banana.  Buy a whole bunch and see which ones you like - there are a ton of organic options out there!  They are a bit little larger than gu packets and only pack about half the cals, so it get's a little tricky, but totally doable...especially if you can drop a bag somewhere or out and back to your car.  I have my first ultra trail run on Saturday - Summer Cinco in San Antonio -  and plan on staying whole30 compliant.  I am on day 31, but don't want to make any changes/reintroductions until after the race.  I will let you know how it goes!  

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Breinn -- at the Summer Cinco you can keep bulkier items at the water stops.  Parvaneah would probably even arrange for one of her volunteers to take the items there.  Love her small races!  Good luck & have FUN!

My marathon running buddy did W30 at the end of last season & didn't tell me.  Was wondering why she never fueled on long runs.  (And had so much more energy that usual!)  When we did 20 or so she just had a mini Lara bar and finally fessed up about this new diet.  So now I've done it and want to keep going as training is starting to ramp up again.
Will try the baby food pouches along with mini Luna bars.   :-)

Is coconut water the only source of electrolytes y'all use?   Thinking I'll still pop some Endurolyte pills.   

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Hey everyone --- question for you all regarding long run fueling. Wondering what, if anything, the endurance athletes might use as a protein source during long runs (2.5-3+ hours)? Or do you stick mostly to fats & carbs during even your longest runs?

Thanks in advance!

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In really long runs, I might eat a (bunless) burger around 3 hours in if the run is 4-5 hours or more. Now we're talking a mountain run, so it's not a high heart rate kind of run but a lot of climbing (hiking up big long hills, I mean). I feel like the slower speed allows for protein to digest.

 

Sometimes I'll have some compliant beef jerky (that's probably the most convenient form of protein, though a bit tougher to chew).

Mostly, I'm taking in carbs and a little fat. But have found protein to be helpful.

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Also, I promised you all an update on my VESPA Power (I used the Junior) experiment.

 

Bottom line, it worked like a charm. I didn't have any cramping/seizing of the muscles, though I did get the leg pain about mile 62, but it wasn't enough to stop me from finishing the 70.5 miles.

 

I ate breakfast of a little protein and fat. I took the first Vespa Junior 45 minutes before the race, and took in nothing til about 2+ hours in, then had a compliant sweet potato baby food packet. Took in another Vespa Junior 3 hours after the first, had half a LARABAR about 1.5 hours later, and so on.

 

My full report is here, I named it "A Modern Day Fairy Tale"! http://www.ultrarunnergirl.blogspot.com/2013/06/laurel-highlands-70-miler-modern-day.html

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