If you are planning on racing the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) Enduro World Championships, you’re going to need to fuel consistently.
Spending 24 hours on the course moving forward requires a constant stream of calories whether you are running the whole time going for the win or simply happy with crossing the finish line after a full day of racing.
Luckily for you, Hammer Nutrition makes some of the best and most unique fueling products on the planet that are specifically designed for endurance racing. If you are headed to Enduro in Australia this June, here is what I recommend packing:
When racing for 24 hours, you want to show up well rested. REM Caps are a natural sleep aid that promote deep sleep. They are especially useful for rapidly adjusting to a new time zone and/or ensuring deep sleep despite pre-race nerves.
There are four products I rely on for all my endurance racing that are staples of Hammer Nutrition’s lineup. As a ~160 lbs. male athlete who has only finished outside the top 15 once out of 22 different Ultra-OCRs, here’s what I use:
A go to fuel for endurance racing that you can easily carry in your kit. Each gel is about 90 calories of easily digestible fuel. They come in options for non-caffeinated (10 flavor options), caffeinated (Tropical only) or double caffeinated (Espresso only). With complex maltodextrin carbohydrates and amino acids, they are perfect fuel with a nice variety for your race.
Frequency: 2 gels mid-lap near an aid station with water to wash down the gels. I personally like Vanilla and Nocciola (aka Nutella) flavor.
What I personally believe is the best endurance fuel available. The powder is a carbohydrate, fat and protein blend. Complex maltodextrin and fats provide a mix of fuels to ensure a slow steady burn of energy. The protein will help prevent your body from using muscle tissue for fuel.
Perpetuem provides fuel for every available energy pathway to help you perform at your maximum ability. During endurance races I will often go 12-24 hours on nothing but gels and Perpetuem.
Frequency: One bottle with two scoops of Perpetuem drinking a good portion of the bottle at the conclusion of each lap starting after lap two.
This is a safety net to ensure you aren’t getting into an electrolyte deficit sweating too much or washing out your electrolytes with over consuming water.
Frequency: One pill at the conclusion of each lap starting after lap two.
These are pills taken mid-race to help counterattack the effects of ammonia build up in your muscles. The active ingredients are designed to boost endurance, increase nitric oxide production and reduce fatigue.
Frequency: Two pills at the conclusion of each lap starting at lap two.
Frequency and quantity may vary by bodyweight and pacing.
In general though most people can’t absorb more than 200-300 calories an hour, which is much less than you are burning. Hammer Nutrition recommends going with the minimal amount of fueling at 120-180 calories an hour.
I personally like to stay near the upper range (180-300 cal/hour) to avoid possibly crashing or in case I miss a fueling window.
If you still have a full racing season ahead of your, or just want to maximize the fitness gains you made on the course, then drink their Recoverite or Vegan Recoverite (their post-race recovery blend loaded with the amino acid with known beneficial recovery properties L-Glutamine).
You are also going to want some REM Caps post-race. Your sleep cycle will be thrown out of balance and your body will hurt sometimes making it harder to get the deep sleep you need.
If you can’t decide on flavors, Chocolate is usually a safe bet for any powder. However, you can try a sampler pack to truly decide which product and flavor you enjoy the most. The ultra-running sampler pack and some REM Caps are a good place to start your order if you are still undecided.
With every athlete being different, be sure to test out any of these fueling plans prior to race day to ensure they work for your individualized needs.
With the race occurring in Australia there is usually some reservation about traveling with powders, gels and pills. As a general rule I put all of that in my checked baggage, although I have done carry on without issues. Airport security could make you throw out your gels, since they are close to a liquid if you are exceeding the 3-1-1 rule (3 oz. of liquid or less that fit in a single one quart bag).
Despite some common misconceptions you don’t need to transport them in the original container nor does it have to be sealed, nor do you need to label them. However, when possible I do recommend labeling them for your own convenience.
Train hard, train consistently, and be sure to practice your fueling prior to race day.
You don’t want to show up with a new fueling strategy that causes stomach problems. Using Hammer Nutrition also ensures success here. Rather than trying to shop for local food which you may have never trained with, using Hammer Nutrition fuel provides a predictable outcome for your stomach on race day.
Looking for more fueling, nutrition on training tips? Pick up Mud Run Guide’s Ultra-OCR Bible. The only book focused on endurance OCR.
Evan Perperis, NSCA-CPT, is an athlete on the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team and author of three books on Obstacle Course Racing. Included in his 39 podium finishes is a 2nd place Pro Coed Team at the 2018 North American OCR Championships and 1st Place Team at 2018 World’s Toughest Mudder. Find more of his content at www.teamstrengthspeed.com.