Controlling the Controllables

One thing I’ve learned this winter during training for my first 100k is that I have to let go of the things I can’t control (see also: snow storms) and embrace what I can. Part of what I can control is how often I practice race day nutrition. In my lead-up to the 100k, I wanted to find a local shorter race to practice what I can. I was hoping for sunny and 45 but ended up getting a layer of ice, 6 inches of snow, and 17 degrees. This was a bit disappointing knowing that my race is taking place in the desert in April, it will look a bit different. It still didn’t deter me from lining up at the start and do what I set out to do with testing my nutrition.

This particular race was several varying loops over a set amount of time which was perfect for dialing in how many calories per hour I was consuming. It also helped because my car was parked at the start/finish line which made it easy to grab my pre-portioned fuel. I already fuel pretty well during my long runs and I think this helped me become determined not to fall behind on my calories. I’ve found that what works well for me is using a concentrate of 400 calories in a soft flask and then alternate sipping water and the Tailwind concentrate, always aiming for 200 calories per hour. I am someone who doesn’t really consume a lot of sugar in my day-to-day, so I was a bit nervous to see how my body would react to consuming 50g of sugar per hour for 11+ hours. I had only used Tailwind in my training runs but none of them were the length of this timed race. It turns out, I had nothing to be worried about. Fueling went incredibly well, better than I could have hoped for, especially for someone who has never run for that duration of time and distance. Since I’ve invested so much of my time and energy(& money!) into training, I am very happy to have such a solid day of fueling under my belt going into these last few weeks. 

Testing your nutrition is an important step in ensuring a successful and enjoyable experience during a race. Our bodies rely heavily on a well-fueled system to meet the physical demands of a race, whether it's a marathon, triathlon, or any other athletic effort. By testing your nutrition beforehand, you have the opportunity to fine-tune and identify what works best for your needs. 

Written by Megan Jurgens. Photos Provided by Megan Jurgens 

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