Ultra Training Nutrition & My Longest Run Ever

I had my longest run ever yesterday – 27 miles!  Getting to that point has taken a much greater focus on ultra training nutrition and doing all the “extras” besides running that are needed to make me ready.



I thought I was doing pretty good on the nutrition front, but after watching a couple webinars from my coach, it made me think that I still have quite a bit of work to do.  I have been doing pretty well with breakfast, but tend to like to sauté things quite a bit (such fried eggs, fried veggies in an omelet).  The more mileage I put on, the more those types of things tend to make my stomach queasy.  This morning’s day-after-the-longest-run breakfast accomplished the healthy fat, protein, and veggies I need without the excessive frying.  I was out of bread, so took the opportunity to go to Panera for fresh bread.  Those bagels were calling my name but instead I stuck with the bread 🙂  I still felt a little queasy later, so it must be both the greasy stuff and the eggs that are bothering my stomach.  I still have a few more weeks to iron out my non-long run/race nutrition.

Poached egg with spinach and avocado on fresh sourdough bread

My coach recommends 150-300g carbs and 300-500 cals for your pre-race meal.  My race will be at night but since I’m so used to a pre-race breakfast, I’ll be having breakfast for my late dinner.  I’ve never paid attention to the carb and calorie amounts of my breakfast so I recorded it all down last weekend for my Saturday & Sunday morning long runs.  Looks like oatmeal is still the winner.  I had oatmeal (quaker whole oats, 1/2 cup) made with 1/2 cup almond coconut milk, a handful of tart cherries and dark chocolate chips, 1 banana, 1 T walnuts, and a cup of coffee.  This worked out to be about 560 calories but only 89g carb.  Yesterday before my 27 mile run I switched regular milk for the coconut milk and 1 T almond butter for the walnuts.  I felt GREAT during my run.

Don’t forget that the night before a long run/race is just as important to your race day nutrition.  Last weekend was a typical back to back but with some high mileage (target 4 hours Saturday and 2.5hrs Sunday).  We went out for dinner Saturday night and I had flautas.   Bad idea.  Nothing against flautas, they’re fantastic actually.  But flautas the night before a long run or race?  Just don’t do it!  My breakfast was something that I had eaten before previous long runs with no issues, but let’s just say that about 5 miles into my run I was seriously regretting my decision to run the back country roads.  Shortly after that 5 mile mark I actually called my husband to pick me up.  I had NEVER had to do that before but that’s how bad I felt.  I ended up having to finish my “run” on the elliptical machine at home.

All the gear for a 5 hour long run

On the run, I had also been trying to go longer without fuel – waiting up to an hour or so before I have a gel.  I thought that by running at a true easy pace that maybe I was going to start burning fat for fuel.  So I had to switch my mindset into realizing that I need to fuel more often.  During a race, it should be about every 1/2 hour.  Although I don’t really have to do that for a training run, I wanted to practice that for a few long runs to see how different I would feel.  The difference is very noticeable.  I am NOT fat adaptive lol!

The Longest Run

The weather had forecasted rain with possible thunder and lightening.  Great.  I almost chickened out and postponed to the next weekend, but rallied and reasoned that I had run a marathon in light rain before so I could tough this one out.  Lucky me, the rain held out.  The heat didn’t unfortunately (86 degrees by the finish) but I will chalk that up to good training for my race, which goes until 11am in the middle of July.  I ran at a park that had a 1.5mile loop, to practice how I would handle my race which is on a .97 mile loop.

I started the day at an early 4:45 am,  had my breakfast of Oatmeal and coffee, and got all the “stuff” (see earlier picture) ready for my run.  I started the run by 7:00am with my hydration pack filled to about 40 oz water and 2 scoops of Nuun Performance, carrying a Stroopwafel and some gels.  I had my 1st gel at 45 minutes and had my watch beep at me every 1/2 hour after that, running for the 1st 2 1/2 hours before going back to my car.  At around 9:30 I ditched the pack and filled a small water bottle with ice cold water from a cooler I had in my trunk, picked up some more fuel, and put a baggie of ice in my hat.  Then I started my next set of loops, running about 4 loops before making another car trip.  Surprisingly the time seemed to pass quickly and I wasn’t even bored like I thought I would be due doing so many loops.  At the 4 hour mark my husband brought the kids to the park to set up an aid station table for my last few loops.  LOVED this!

Cecelia, one of my aid station “volunteers”

Besides gels I also had 2 stroopwafels and a banana to try and get used to chewing food during a run.  Overall my pace was better than I had planned and even in the heat I felt great.  I definitely plan to use this same nutrition plan – maybe with the addition of some broth and more ice packs for the daylight hours – for my race.  My goal was to run 27 miles so that I would feel confident in my ultra knowing that I can run farther than a marathon.  I ran 5:12:43, making it the longest run for me in both time and distance.  I am feeling SO ready for race day!

Perfect top off after 27 miles!! #milesbeforethesun #nuunbassador #nuunhydration #oisellevoleeil #oisellevolee #ultrarunning

A post shared by Carol || Miles Before the Sun (@milesbeforethesun) on


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