Long Distance Hike Fueling

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Long Distance Hike Fueling

Postby hikeleader » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:19 am

I'm looking for the best fueling strategy for a long distance hike. The hike I will be doing is 100k and must be done within 21 hours. Last year I completed it in 18 hours. The terrain is pretty much flat and I'll be carrying about 10 lbs of gear including food and water. I weigh 150 lbs and am 46 years old. My average moving speed will be between 3.5 and 4.0 mph (very brisk walk).

When I completed the race last year I pushed hard at the end and 30 minutes after finishing blacked out. Rhabdo!

I want to improve my time this year but also make sure I'm not cannibalizing muscle protein. I tried Perpetuem but only during the second half of the hike and I tried mixing it in my Camelback. Unfortunately it doesn't dissolve quite that well!

I'm thinking I'll have to have a separate bottle for the Perpetuem which is a pain as that means more weight and it's hard to reach on my backpack.

There are break stations at about every 10 miles where I can get food and water but I don't want to eat too much solids as last year I really bonked right after eating a PB&J!

Would Heed in my water plus Perpetuem Solids and Hammer Bars do the trick?
I also take Endurolytes.

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Re: Long Distance Hike Fueling

Postby steve-born » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:29 pm

Hello Hike -

I am in agreement with you that a Camelback or similar hydration system is not the best way to carry Perpetuem. As you mentioned in your post, mixing Perpetuem in a hydration pack bladder can oftentimes be an effort in futility, with the end result being not-completely-dissolved clumping of the product. Additionally, I have found that athletes who use a hydration pack to dispense Perpetuem from oftentimes find some sludge-like residue that has settled at the bottle of the bladder. This is the protein component separating from the other components in the product and settling at the bottom.

So for these reasons I recommend using a hydration pack only for water or a "carb only" drink (HEED), which doesn't separate like a "carb + protein" product (Perpetuem) tends to.

With the hike being around the 18-hour range, it would be great it you would consider making a multi-hour bottle of Perpetuem or a couple of multi-hour flasks of Perpetuem. I realize that this is a bit more of a hassle logistically but you could easily make 6 hours worth of Perpetuem and it would fit into one bottle or a couple of flasks. At your weight of 150 lbs, you'd only need 7 to 7.5 scoops to cover you for a good 6 hours, perhaps even longer. 7 scoops = 945 calories and 7.5 scoops = 1012.5 calories. Over the course of 6 hours that'd supply 157.5 - 168.75 calories/hour... for your weight I think that hourly amount would be spot on when using Perpetuem.

Using Perpetuem Solids is absolutely acceptable but you have to remember that each tablet only contains 33.3 calories. To fulfill your hourly calorie needs solely from Perpetuem Solids you'd be chewing quite a bit of them! Now, if you were to combine your consumption of them with an appropriate amount of HEED - which would be perfectly acceptable - you'd be able to fulfill your calorie requirements but without having to chew quite so many Perpertuem Solids tablets.

Lastly, using Hammer Bars on occasion is totally fine. I personally would use them somewhat sparingly, simply because they are a solid food and, as you know, solid food always takes more time, fluid, electrolytes, and energy from the body to digest. I've noted that athletes who rely too heavily on solid food tend to feel lethargic because "X" amount of blood, fluids, and electrolytes are being diverted to the digestive tract to help in the breakdown of solid foods. So yes, it's totally fine to use Hammer Bars but do so somewhat sparingly.

I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Sincerely -

Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
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Re: Long Distance Hike Fueling

Postby PowerGoat » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:43 pm

Hello Hike,

One neat thing they have out there on the internet is a water bottle holder that Velcroes to your backpack shoulder straps. Using this lets you attach your bottles right in front of your shoulders for very easy getting to. So, if you use two of these, you can fill one with dry Perpetuem powder--a reservoir, if you will--and you can use the other one to make one hour bottles with the plain water that is in your hydropack. Adventure Racers use these often, and probably many hikers do, too.

It solves all three of your concerns: the Perpetuem will now mix, because it's not in your backpack anymore, your calorie source will be easy to get to, and you will not have to eat solid food.

Have a great time, and post some photos of the event if you can.

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