Our MdS blogger has to carry 14,000 calories on his back to complete the race – it’s time to start taste testing some desert-proof fuel
I love my food; I just don’t like carrying it, who does? It’s heavy and awkward to the extent that I even hate coming out of Tesco and walking to the car with bags – that’s how much I hate carrying food.
Now my problem with the MdS is that part of the running ‘experience’ is that you carry all your food with you. This is no mean feat - you have to carry 14,000 calories minimum (2,000 per day) during the course of the race. This is punishment of the highest order.
Therefore, this week I decided it was time to experiment with a few different edibles. I need to find the balance between nutritious and calorific foods. I will be burning well over 3000 calories a day and replacing them will be difficult, if not impossible. Feeding the beast is the main priority but keeping a close eye on the weight of the food is also essential.
As there isn’t a burger van following us around the desert (note, a cheeky suggestion for the next year’s organisers perhaps) my first port of call is the ever-reliable Clif bar. These bad boys saw me through some real low patches on my long runs, so they have definitely made the cut; in they go (x 20).
Next up is my old friend beef jerky. We first met in the US over 10 years ago and it was love at first sight. Not only is this a great source of protein, it is also lightweight and it can replace some of the lost salts I will be sweating out.
My main meals will be a breakfast and dinner of expedition foods – each meal consisting of 800 calories to fuel and refuel. I still have to play about with a few items but I am also considering dried apricots, almonds and raisins. Anyone with tips on long-distance fuelling please leave them in the comment section below – it would be amazingly helpful.
I have a 20-mile run on Saturday and then it’s time to start the taper, always an odd experience for someone as fidgety as myself but it’s essential for anyone doing a race. It gives your body a chance to fully recover, restock the energy stores and be fully fit for race day.
Now I think I’ll have to get stuck into that hot chocolate brownie with melted marshmallows (see photo)...