T-Rex - I had a read of that, he was an amazing runner. Some of his long fell race records and the BGR record are awesome. But I suppose he did put in training miles on fell that are up their with what the semi-elite road runners do, he can't have ever stopped what with a day job and family, as those miles take way longer even at his speed!
booktrunk - Yes, well done to those out their in Chamonix. Always envious to see those out their taking on those beasties.
GKD - Cracking, look forward to hearing about that one as its on my "one of these days" list.
Cragchick - Glad you've got your targets sorted. Does sound like the best approach. I've not got around to writing anything about the run yet, hopefully will soon. I'll pop a summary on this thread in meantime tomorrow if I get chance.
Next ones for me are HP40, Yorkshire marathon and maybe a trail marathon/or 20-30m trail run in Nov-Dec. half my mind is already on next year now. Won't be 12 ultra's again, probably less long ones, more focus on a particular event domestic or continental and tickover with hardmoors trail series or similar. A new "target" has entered my sights - Blue Trail Tenerife - as I like the idea of crossing the whole Island working up to the giant Mt. Teide (which is quite a big higher than most of the Alps long trails go I think - 3500m+). But for various reasons the timings might not be right next year. May throw my hat in the CCC/TDS bag, UTMB is not a possibility as don't have the points for 2015. Not to mention a whole host of cracking domestic options.
Hi Booktrunk, sounds a solid plan and hope it saw you well? If it works and you find you come back with lots of food still, then make a note for next time to carry less. Always good to have something you get on with as a banker, as you might find on the day in some runs that the checkpoint offering doesn't agree with you over either immediately or in repeat doses.
As somebody said earlier its a lot in the mind what your eating and I think most things will give you mentle buzz by having the reward of eating and the feeling that will see you good for a bit longer. The relative energy providing quality of the fuel is probably only of negligible importance and you probably won't notice a massive difference between eating something that's all sugary carbs and something that has more starch and fat, protein as well at an 'ultra pace'. Best thing you can do is have a large carb-packed tea the night before like pasta with sauce, or curry with rice (+nan or chappati) which I find better still, or whatever you get on with - then a decent breakfast too.
I completed my multi-dayer last week. On the 40+ mile 11-13.30 hours days I got through 1L of chia charge drink and 1L water with electrolytes as my staples. And as I was at a comfortable pace of about ~4mph most days I was able to eat without any "sugar strike".
Tried to eat something at least every two hours, whilst maintaining a normal daily pattern of something more fulfilling for breakfast, lunch, tea.
Amongst the "snacks" I used were chia charge flapjacks, 1 x clif bar, luxury nut/seed mix (with choc covered nuts included), crisps - I didn't use as much as I'd packed as relied on the meals.
Breakfast was cereal before I started most days, but supplemented with a meet/veg pasty on an early start day when didn't have much. One day the B&B did a breakfast from 6.30 so filled my boots with cereal + scrambled egg on toast. I had a cup of tea before start each day which seems to set me up for any run, particularly runs before breakfast in training.
A few days lunch became two-fold as couldn't get much from shop at first stop place. On my 54m day I had packet sandwich for tea, but then hit a place where a fish and chip shop had just opened at 4.30pm so enjoyed some chips. The next day (44m) I took some ham sandwiches with me as first major stop for food wasn't till after 2pm, then had a spicy flatbread (I think?) later. Usually washed down with cola or some other sugary drink I wouldn't normally drink if not running.
Longest day I finished at 9pm so tea straight away (thai curry), other days I finished earlier so picked up a milk-based drink to swig at the end so didn't have to rush for tea too much.
Managed to consume 4000-4500cals most days probably, and on the long days probably burned 4300-5300. So made up much of what used, just couldn't manage the extra 1000+ for general body maintenance.
Thanks Steve. Distances sound a lot, but two days of 44 and 43 miles were very flat stages, which makes the distance pass quicker. I used the salomon bag. Very good for what it does I think, although with 12L packed full of any lightweight bag I think you get some bag movement - but v.little with this comparative to a more traditional-style rucksack. I've used an OMM Ultra 12L and whilst light it rubs into my shoulders (due to strap position I suppose), the last drop 10 with similar webbing straps caused me no issue. Not tried the Ultra 15L. The only bigger pack I've used is OMM Adventurelight 20L, which is a good 'traditional' pack, light, padded shoulders, options to compress down for smaller loads. Pretty good, but since getting the Salomon s-lab 12L and 5L I'd rather use them where I can for runs due to ride comfort, comparative lack of bounce, front and side storage options, etc.... I reckon though that the vest-style packs might start to see their "ride" benefits eroded when on bigger and heavier pack designs. Would be great if I'm wrong though.
I was going to comment above but forgot, I tried the towel rolling technique to dry things a few days and worked well. Got a v.small bottle of concentrated detergent liquid from blacks. I wore the same smelly kit a few days though as didn't have masses of mud, heat or rain. Was only really socks and t-shirt I needed to wash. Apart from socks/shorts/t-shirt jacket I wore each day I carried a spare of each, thin base-layer (used one day), warm baselayer and waterproofs. So quite minimal really, I changed into spare kit on night after getting warmed up and didn't have cold nights so could head out in that to get food on night I cound't get where I was staying. I didn't make a provision to dry shoes and used a hairdryer in B&b one day and didn't need to on others (but had hairdryer, etc, where stayed if needed or would put up with damp shoes).
Back from my multi-dayer, to borrow SteveC's description a non-purist fastpack. Plan had been over 180m, but came closer to 160 only because I got blisters first day, so put more tarmac into route on two days, which backfired in that feet got very swollen and I got an infection under a big-toenail, which was causing issues. And I only wanted to do this whilst still enjoying. Route was pretty much as description above with a travelling day to first B&B and prologue 8m 'out and back' to the trackless summit of local hill at 2200' and back along infant river from source near peak. Then 3 days of 43 to 54m and a mere 7m on last day when trying not to exacerbate foot problems. The longest day was also the most undulating and off-road, through Wensleydale, I'd recommend anybody follow paths through it for a lovely varied run - especially if you deviate from river a bit to run up the ridges a bit.
But apart from the foot problems everything else went to plan or better. I put all packed kit into numerous small plastic bags, many with plastic ziplock or similar. I didn't go as far as using compression bags as first discussed. But with minimal kit it all went into a quite full, but overall not heavy 12L bag and small bumbag. Which meant in turn that a 4mph pace didn't feel hard work over the first 4 days and legs stayed relatively fresh for days and no significant shoulder aches.
And by the end I still had plenty of packed flapjacks and suchlike I hadn't used as I'd not usually eaten more than every two hours at that pace and picked up a lot of food on route.
FRG - Didn't even need to mutilate a toothbrush in the end, just took the removable head from electric toothbrush.
SteveC - Sounds an interesting idea for summer run outs.
Hi Pudge, maybe a slight jelly-ness where the seeds expand in water, but still very liquid and thinner than consistency of some energy drinks I've tried. Good point on clogging, I'd forgot to mention that it isn't compatible with some bottles as contains whole seeds (small as they are). If anybody is after a bottle to try with I use the old-style red-top SiS 500ml bottles if they are still available out there?
I too like the more natural ingreadients of the chia charge products, e.g. I saw a program on the stevia sweetner recently which seemed to pop-poo any idea that this natural sweetner will do you any harm. Much like others mentioned here, I guess most of us although we need to eat more due to fuelling demands try to make that 'fuel' pretty healthy.
It's a bold experiment and whilst I agree there is too much carb-emphasis for some types of long distance, low-tempo running/walking I'm not sure I could back-off the carbs too much. So much conflicting advice out there, things just have to be tried for yourself to see if of benefit.