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Comment by Shawn Leonard on March 25, 2011 at 1:47pm

Oriana, no GI problems.  GI issues generally arise when you're body is having to work to digest the food/drink.  Fruit juice is ready to digest immediately.  I've never had any problems with bananas and grapes.  At IM Arizona, it you can't make it to a toilet, you're gonna have to be ok going in front of lots of folks.  You're never alone on that course.  But, the distance between aid stations is pretty short.


Kyndra, I was training with mostly grape juice and celery juice during that time.  I hadn't really trained much with dates at that point.  After that, I started using mostly raisins in water for a few months.  Then dates and OJ.  Experimenting with different combinations.  My favorite so far is OJ with date juice.  I don't really care for the date-orade that is made by soaking dates in water, then blending.  I prefer to soak dates in OJ overnight, then remove the dates.  That sucks the water out of the OJ, and leaves the sugar from the dates in the OJ.  It's potent.  Some folks have an issue with this, since it technically falls into the combination of citrus and sweet fruit.  I don't know.  It's all juice.  I'm not eating the orange and the date whole.  It's been good for me. 

Comment by oriana on March 25, 2011 at 10:36am
I live in Arizona too and would love to do the Ironman. Shawn don't you get GI problems with eating and drinking fruit and juice during it and what do you do if you can't get to the porta potties?
Comment by Shawn Leonard on March 25, 2011 at 6:22am


Ironman can be done raw with a little planning.  I did IM Arizona in '09, and used a celery/grape juice mixture.  I actually took it to the juice bar at the Whole Foods in Tempe, and they juiced everything for me.  On the bike, I carried 3 bottles (2 in rear hydro pack, and 1 on the bike frame) of the grape/celery mixture.  I also put 3 more bottles in the special needs bag.  In my front aero bottle, I just had water.  At each aid station, I'd grab as many bananas as I could and stuffed them into shirt pockets.  That was it for the bike.  Plenty of calories.  On the marathon, I had a hand-held bottle with the grape/celery juice that I carried for 16 miles.  I loaded my pockets with grapes at every aid station.  That's it.  Ironman aid stations are pretty well stocked with ripe fruit - at least that's been my experience.


You are both very correct.  Don't beat yourself up if you do something different.  Do what you need to do to be safe and enjoy your race.  If that means boiled potatoes and gels, then do it.   

Comment by Deb G on March 25, 2011 at 4:24am
Kyndra - I'm always unsupported, so I know how you feel.  I've decided that if I am struggling and need to eat, I'd eat the best that I could as long as it's vegan..... I won't beat myself up if I have something that isn't fruit as long as I get back on the 811rv wagon the next day.
Comment by Deb G on March 25, 2011 at 4:17am

WOW - thanks for all the responses!  No Paul - I'm not super-human, I'm just very stubborn!  I'm not fast, but I just keep on going!  I've got my first 100 miler coming up in May and I can use drop points for food, so I'm not too worried about that.  For my 24hr run, I can refuel every 6 miles, so again, that's not an issue.  My main problems are the 50s (4 of them) and the 62 milers (2 of them) where I need to be carrying everything that I have....although thinking of it now, I could probably ask the organisers to take a bag of food to the checkpoints for me....


Sorry - I digress..... I run with an INOV-8 pack with 1.5 litres of water and there is enough room in there (along with all my race-legal equipment) for some dates, sultanas, couple of bottles of banana smoothie and a few bananas... but that's about it.  At the events the checkpoints have cake, biscuits, sandwiches, sausage rolls (!) etc, and I've only ever seen fruit once........  I find that after a while I want something savoury..... I used to carry crisps with me...... because I get fed up of sweet all the time.  That's a concern to me too...


Having seen the advice here, I'll trial the dates and dried fruit, smoothies and the dateorade, and I'll report back on how I get on!  I take it the celery is for salts/electrolytes?  If I could carry my fruit bowl and blender, I'd be fine...... bit heavy though....

Comment by Shawn Leonard on March 25, 2011 at 4:00am

Deb G,

Mike is still figuring out the best fueling for the longer races.  As you've already found out, some options just aren't practical depending on the race location, distance, logistics, etc.  

At Western States last year, Mike filled his drop bags with dates.  We also carried plenty of dates to each aid station along with a wide assortment of fruit and OJ and celery juice.  Unfortunately, Mike ran into a hamstring problem during and early section of hills.  So, it's hard to tell if the fueling was right on, since he was slowed down so much from the hamstring. 


At the Vermont 100, he used almost exclusively dates.  The only problem was the amount of dates that accumulated during the race.  But, he had a great race there even with a belly full of dates.


At Leadville, the plan was to with the dates.  He again loaded drop bags with dates.  But, by about mile 30, he was pretty tired of dates (and in 3rd place behind Krupicka and Koerner).  So, I made sure that we had plenty of melons for him at each checkpoint. 


the bottom line is that it is hard to fuel properly for long ultras without a crew following you around. 


At my 100 attempt* last fall, I carried 2 bottles on a waist belt and 1 bottle in my had.  I put a mixture of OJ (valencias that I squeezed the night before) and date juice in each bottle.  The data juice is simple from soaking dates overnight in water.  Then, just use the juice - toss out the dates.  That gets you all of the sugar from the dates without all the mass.  That mixture got me about 500+ calories per bottle.  I put the same mix of OK/dates in 3 bottles into drop bags so that I could get them about every 20 miles.  so, that was 4 bags of 3 bottles around mile 20, 40, 60, and 80.  I also put a pound of dates at a couple other drop bag stops.  I think this was right on.  The aid stations also had great melons on oranges, so I was set.  I was doing this race unsupported by crew, as it was a last minute decision.  Well, maybe not last minute, but as of Tuesday, I had no intention of running the race - wasn't even in my sights. By Wednesday morning, I was signed up for the Saturday race.  I don't suggest this type of planning!!!  Anyway, on a horribly rainy day, my IT band decided to come out to play at mile 30.  It didn't go away.  After mostly walking another 24 miles, it was time to bail.  I wasn't going to make the time cutoffs.  I sure would have liked to continue to test the fueling. 


Check Mike's website that Alex references earlier.  He has great reports of Western States, Vermont and Leadville.  That should help give you some ideas.  Good luck..

Comment by Paul Blissett on March 25, 2011 at 3:29am
Deb..are you from another planet where everyone has super powers??  HUGE training weeks you have ;-) very inspirational x
Comment by Deb G on March 24, 2011 at 11:38pm
Thanks.  I couldn't find him on here in the members..... I'll check out his website though... thanks!!  Oh, and thanks for the Datorade recipe too!  I've got a 29miler followed by a 25 miler next weekend, so I'll give it a go!
Comment by Alex Wall-Clarke on March 24, 2011 at 10:02pm

You can find him on here and add as a friend. Otherwise go to his website http://www.thefruitarian.com/. He has loads of information on here about his fueling for ultra-marathons, the thing is he usually has a support team to cut up melon for him at aid stations and juice oranges etc. I think generally he doesn't eat a lot of dates but when running ultras he has no choice.


I generally don't run anything above 10k right now but it seems from other people's experience that fruit alone is a great fuel source for ultra-marathons, the struggle will be getting enough calories in consistently throughouth the race. The 'recipe' for datorade couldn't be simpler, put pitted dates in a blender with water about an inch above the dates . Then blend! You can add as much water as desired to make it digest well, some people soak the dates in the water overnight.


Well done Rich that's awesome! Onwards and upwards

Comment by Deb G on March 24, 2011 at 9:20pm
Thanks - how do I contact Michael Arnestein.

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