The Ultramarathoner’s Fueling Answer
BY ARYNN MAZNIO
When faced with an ultramarathon, nutrition choices can make or break the race. Improper fueling is a double-edged sword: lack or overabundance of the wrong fuel, and you are guaranteed to bonk— essentially, run out of energy. Repeat unhealthy habits and you might as well add gastrointestinal distress, excess soreness, poor recovery, and a whole host of health issues to the list of problems you are likely to encounter.
After completing several ultramarathons, I have seen everything when it comes to unhealthy and unhelpful fueling strategies. Typical aid stations will provide a “free-for-all” fare of candy, salt-laden chips, and artificial “sports” drinks. Not only do these options provide ZERO energy for the participants, but they are also unfortunately tied to the myth that you are allowed to eat whatever you want during an ultra. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Sure, a handful of chewy sweets may look enticing in the moment, but do you really want to sacrifice the rest of your race for a moment of tempering your taste buds?
My response to these sugary, synthetic, and empty calories is to fuel up with Hammer Nutrition’s Perpetuem Solids. Endurance athletes who are familiar with Hammer products rely on Perpetuem, a product designed for workouts and events lasting over three hours. This delicious powder is formulated with a blend of complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin), soy protein, and healthy fats, with additional performance-benefiting ingredients. It is a fantastic way to find longlasting energy, protect your muscles, and stay strong on your way to the finish line.
While this product is a top-notch solution for endurance athletes of all disciplines, ultrarunners have a unique problem to address: lack of storage space for their fuel. Cyclists have water bottle cages on their bikes, seat packs, and jersey pockets, and even longdistance hikers have hefty packs, but ultrarunners are faced with scant options. Combine this with the fact that not every race is equipped with drop bag stations and ultrarunners have a challenge even before the race begins. There are three main options ultrarunners have to provide on-the-trail fueling: hand-held water bottles, waist belts, and hydration vests. Depending on the race, items jousting for real estate in my vest or pack include nutrition, hydration, a packable jacket, gloves, a phone, a headlamp, moleskin, and perhaps trekking poles. That’s a lot of gear to carry, so I spend significant time planning my race-day strategy— nutrition supplies always take the top priority.
Enter Perpetuem Solids. These convenient tablets contain the same ingredients as the product’s powder counterpart, but in a chewable, packable form that takes up less space, does not spoil, and will curb the hunger and protect against muscle breakdown runners experience from multi-hour events. Utilize the chart on Hammer Nutrition’s website to customize your serving size, pick a flavor, and measure out hourly doses in a storage method that works for you. Add some Endurolytes (Fizz or capsules), a few Hammer Gels as a back-up plan, and you are ALL SET for the race or longduration workout. It really is THAT simple!
The next time you run an ultra, pack some Perpetuem Solids to ensure you have quality nutrition; these tablets will provide a straight-forward fueling plan that keeps you from experiencing the disastrous consequences of aid station snacks. In fact, you just might be able to bypass the aid station time-trap altogether! Don’t complicate race-day nutrition; keep it simple, safe, and effective with Perpetuem Solids.