kirbz

Whole30 for Mountaineers - Fueling Endurance Training

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Hi! I am an aspiring mountaineer/alpine climber and am wondering how to fuel long, low intensity efforts... I've seen a number of threads on people's personal experience and I plan to delve into those a bit more, but is there an official Whole30 answer to fueling exercise in the middle of it? Is it carbs? Protein? Fat? Some combination of those?

For a bit more context... I will be starting a series of long (1-3  hour), low-intensity exercise efforts (hiking, easy running, biking, swimming, etc.) that I will do a few times during the week. I may or may not find a new to "fuel" during these exercises but would like to understand what would be the best food to try if it's needed. 

On weekends, I will also be spending bigger days in the mountains (hiking, climbing, backpacking). These could be anywhere from 5-12 hour days. 

So, what do I use to fuel the 1-3 hour, more frequent activities? And what do I use to fuel the weekend, super long activities? 

Thanks in advance for your help!! 

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For long, low-intensity efforts, I'd use some real food options if possible (what is the temperature where you'll be? If cold, you could bring anything that sounds good. I once fueled a 100 mile ultra run in part with Well Fed merguez meatballs and Velvety Butternut Squash, but I had a crew meeting me at certain points).

Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage, cold shrimp, olives, pickles - all these are go-to's with some of my fellow ultrarunners.

No-Fuss Salmon Cakes could be a great choice too.

More portable things to bring: 

RXbars (tougher to chew if really cold)

EPIC bars

high-carb veggie baby food packets

coconut shreds

freeze-dried, dried, or fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries)

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@ultrarunnergirl Thank you so very much for the information! Those are all great  ideas and any of those could be do-able for me (I know I'm not particularly sensitive to real foods before or during exercise)...

Just to clarify then, is there not really a recommendation on fat versus protein versus carbs when fueling during long-duration activities? Is the point really just to get food in you? It seems your examples cover the range of fat, protein, and carbs. Is it just finding what works for you and there really isn't an official answer?

I live in South Lake Tahoe so it doesn't get excessively hot even in the summer. Right now, we just got four feet of new snow and it's cold so I could probably take pretty much anything for my winter time activities. In summer, I avoid really hot days and tend to stick with high elevations, so 85 is probably as hot as it gets. In these cases, I could partially freeze my hydration bladder before single-day outings and store stuff close to that to make sure it stays fresh throughout my day. 

 

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You will definitely want some carbohydrate out there. You will likely find you don't need to eat as frequently once you become fat adapted. If you are out there a long time, as you mentioned on your weekend hikes, you'll probably be glad for some protein/fat/real food options after several hours. For 1-3 hour efforts, you shouldn't need much of anything, maybe a few sweet potato baby food pouches.

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We snowshoed ~4.5 miles with 2k of elevation this AM.  I ate 2 HB eggs with a little mayo before we left.  And some coffee with Nutpods.  I'd agree that for <3hrs you don't "need" anything.  Those might be the good ones for pushing fat adaptation because if you bonk, well, you don't have 9 more hours to go :) 

I did a Spartan Super a few years ago on 3 HB eggs with mayo (this sits well for me - I DO have GI issues so I play it safe a lot) before the race and then brought dates in a baggy with a ton of sea salt mixed in the bag.  Salt is a BIGGY for long efforts for me.  9 miles, 5-6k elevation and all the obstacles and I was good.  But I think I'm better than a lot of people for not needing much fuel during high intensity efforts.  

If you need cognitive/technical skills (which I'd assume you do for mountaineering) then making sure you have enough with you seems important.  If it were me, I'd try to go lower carb but have the carbs with me just in case my brain turned to mush as I was trying to make important decisions.  

And PS - so jealous of your home town!  We vacationed there 2 years ago - amazing!  

Enjoy your training playground!

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