eating during 90-Miler race

I’ll be doing my second real race this weekend: the Adirondack 90-Miler (30 miles a day for three days). For my only other race, I was alone in a kayak for 14 miles on the Hudson, rather than with six others in a war canoe for 30 miles with portages, so some different thinking is needed.

Any suggestions? I’m planning on very dilute Gatorade and plain water in my Platypus bags. I guess I will succumb and eat caffeinated Gu, which I tried once and found disgustingly sweet. What do you racers eat that keeps you going but that you can’t choke on while you’re huffing and puffing down the lakes? In particular, do I need to figure out some kind of protein to eat, or should I just concentrate on carbs during the race, with protein before and after?

– Mark

I use a combination of
-for hydration: half gatorade and half water

-for nurishment power-gel. (I’ll take it about ever 7 miles).

-and then some small oat meal cookies sized so I can pop a whole one in my mouth.

It’s workked for me on a couple of previous ones and also on the Suwannee river 52 miler and the Lumbe River 40.

We are leaving here from NC in about another hour.

See you there (look for a old guy with a bad limp) !



heres my menu for the weekend
similar to the previous post

-gu each hour

-boiled potatoe cut into cubes with a lil salt in one container.

-a mixture of granola chunks, bananas and fruit slices in the other container.

-gatorade cut in half

Each container fits into a foam cut-out in front of and behind my seat. i use the re-usable glad containers with lids so my pit support can just swap them out and they are secured during portages. the gu is duct taped to the boat by the lid so you can just pull one off alredy opened when you want one.

see you there!

Eating During 90 Mile Race
I think the two other posts had some very good advice - find what works for you. There are some constraints you just can’t get away from. Your gut can only absorb ~300 cal of carbohydrate per hour, and your liver/muscles can provide ~ 2 hours of glucose derived energy from stored glycogen. And unfortunately, the body doesn’t take glycogen from leg muscle to fuel arms during extended exertion. It’s pretty site specific. So, look at eating during a race as replenishment rather than refueling. Refueling happens immediately after exertion ceases (post-race). In fact, in a stage race, the refueling is critical for the following days. The body/muscle is rebuilding, refueling, and processing lactate into glycogen. There is an incredible amount of information in the Sports Medicine literature and much of it can appear contradictory - the devil is in the details!

Sorry about the long intro. but that puts my recommnedations into context. I use Hammer gel for short term carbohydrate (

It’ll Choke Ya, But…
Peanut M&Ms will keep your energy level up and give you some protein. Salted pretzel rods will give you complex carbs and keep some sodium in your body. I’ve used this combination on many, many one day endurance events on the bike.

What Jack said… oatmeal cookies… very true. Vanilla Wafers are also very digestible for lots of folks.

for our longer
outrigger canoe races, I use Accelerade (sport drink with carb and protein in it) and Accel Gels, also with protein, some have caffeine.

Those work well for me; some of my friends swear by the Hammer products. I’ve heard from many people who use the engineered products (Accelerade, Hammer, Cliff, etc) that it’s really about what works for YOU. Different people can have different results.

What’s hard is to try a new food product during the race. We always tell all our racers to avoid trying new things on race day; use the fuels your body is used to, so you don’t get bad belly. That would take the fun outta the whole thing!

Have a great race!

night before
Will be in old forge tomorrow. Hvae a pound of chicken night before. And I love brown rice and lentils and spinach. Maybe from grocery store becuase diners are stingy on meat. It must be something you are used to during race suchas squeeze bottle of honey. I did 70 in a rec mode. Give your body time to digest. Dress to swim with neoprene shorts becuase of perpendicular to shore when launching. Have packets of powder and add to water at water stations. Have laces tied around ankle in case mud sucks off your shoe. See you there. Start slow and stick with it. Stretch and wear wells lamony gloves with fingertips cutoff.

GW Gorp
we use gorp in flip top bottles and take a hit every 15 minutes. The race mix is heavy on M&Ms and raisins and light on nuts; peanuts require too much liquid from a dry mouth when you are breathing hard. Which all of us non-athletes do on this race.

The first day is by far the hardest, but it is the day your pit crew can resupply you the easiest and most frequently. Getting your hydration topped off before you set out across Raquette Lake is important. You have about 40% of the distance to go and your pit crew can’t get to you again till the finish line. Don’t depend on the official pit stop at the Marion River carry for more than a cup of water as you pass by. They aren’t there to give you the liter you may need from there to the finish line; you need to have it with you. It is the stretch where you will be tiring and if the sun is out, sweating the most. Running dry in the last 10 miles will put a big hurt on you.

We start the day with a gallon each, and get topped off on the Brown’s Tract Carry. You can get a drop into your boat at the Raquette Lake Village bridge and top off your hydration before you set out into the lake. There is no place to stop under the bridge, but just past it, you can stop as you go into the lake.

Good luck, pray for dry weather and light winds, and see you in Saranac Lake on Sunday.


thank you
Thanks, all, for the details, high-tech and low-. I look forward to meeting you folks in the ‘Daks.

Tigh: Either your post got truncated or your intro overwhelmed your recommendations.

darkstar: I like the potato idea. Maybe I’ll lightly fry some for extra calories and a different glycemic profile.

davemcadoo: A pound of chicken?!? I’m a chunky 220 pounds, and I’m not sure I could down a pound of chicken. I will give it a try.

HappyCamperToo: So you’re sayin’ that the double six-pack of Gu I just bought is not a good idea, given that I tried the stuff once upon a time and decided not to continue with it. Maybe I’ll wait for the last two hours of Friday’s race to start with the Gu, so I can recover Friday night if my gut rebels.

plaidpaddler: I was planning on five liters for Friday. It sounds like that squares with what you take in but isn’t generous. True?

– Mark

bring lots of fluids! the remnants of gustav are projected to hit the adk around friday and the forecast is for extremely hot (near 90) and humid weather. in fact, the projection is for heat and humidity approaching the highest of the summer!

good luck.

If your tummy is good with it, then go for it. BUT, please please please make sure you drink plenty of water with each and every packet or you might be sorry. Very. Sorry.

One of our paddlers did that last year…Gu, and no water. Paddled hard for a couple of hours, then started lossing it. Rough seas, bad belly, she ended up on the escort boat because she flat out hit the wall, then the sea sickness set in, then the hypothermia. Bad juju.

Have fun!