You have to eat right to be an ultra-marathon runner. Do you think you have what it takes to be an ultra-marathon runner? You might want to rethink this, but if not, be prepared. An ultra-marathon runner is just that. They don’t run just three miles a couple times a week. They like big challenges, and not like the New York or Boston marathons either. It has to be at least 50 miles, for them to consider it.
At ultra-marathons, it involves really getting out there and seeing the country. Most runs are through some rough territory, up and down roads. It also can be in some extreme weather. Think Forrest Gump, and you can get an idea. They just like to run and run, and see what they can conquer. They are held all over the world, through mountains, desserts, and even jungles. These athletes have to be physically fit and also eat right, in preparation.
Most ultra-marathons runners eat a specific diet year round, and when it comes time for an ultra-marathon, they will bulk up on certain foods. So, what do ultra-marathons runners eat? They have a priority they call, “healthy, clean, and green”. They say it is usually on the perimeter of a grocery store. All your natural things that come out of the ground, and from animals. They will pick the leanest of meats, like chicken, and pork, although it depends on their particular bodies.
Protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These are all necessary to keep up your strength when training. Dried fruits, nuts, nuts, and more nuts. yogurt and oatmeal, flax, and lots of greens are needed to keep your body filled with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to keep going. Every single meal is important leading up to training.
Don’t think that ultra-marathons runners never have fun. Sure, they indulge in a beer, ice cream or something else sinful. They should be rewarded for the hard work they put into their bodies. They just don’t do half as much as regular people, and it will only be one or two every six months or so.
An ultra-marathon runner needs to eat, what would seem like a lot more than average people do. Not that they eat more per se, but more often. Their bodies require frequent fueling, sort of like a car. If you don’t feed it gas, or electric, it will slow down and stop. These athletes eat a healthy breakfast, which everyone knows you need, every day. Then they have a mid-morning snack, usually with nuts, or a healthy goat butter with fruit and nut spread on whole grain toast. Lunch is next, with a healthy mix of greens, more nuts, fruits, and possibly quinoa. Another snack follows, then dinner, and another snack, and a good night’s rest.
This is just a diet that they follow year round. When it comes time for the ultra-marathon, within a week, the runners add to their diets. They have the usual multi-meal days, but the carbohydrates are increased, as well as proteins, and fluids. They need to bulk up in preparation for no meals when they are running. They will be able to nibble on dried fruits, and nuts, as well as hydrate with water. But their bodies are used to eating all day, so they must bulk up before the actual race so their bodies can handle the extra surge of use.
What most people don’t realize, is the ultra-marathon runner must also go into recovery. It is no simple feat to run 50 or more miles, and then just stop. Some runners develop certain sicknesses and mental issues from the runs. Muscle fatigue is a major issue, especially with the up and down terrains. They develop upper respiratory infections within two weeks of the run. Think about it, 100’s of people stirring up dust all around you. Who wouldn’t get sick?
So what do they do? First, eat a good healthy, but light meal full of all the good things needed, then get a good nights rest. Actually, they take off at least a week from running and eat healthy as well as rest. Runners are also encouraged to not do a lot of mental stressful thinking. Your mind is really put to the test when running, as well as your body. Then when you think you feel really up to it, you can start running again. Don’t overdo it, just gradually ease into it, and you will be on the road to the next big marathon. Have fun and remember to never give up. You are stronger than you think.