Approaching the topic of nutrition is like opening the floodgates because there is a lot of noise to decrypt. Having the opportunity to lay down a small insight into a hot topic for the benefit of other runners has us keen as mustard.
I won’t be going on my usual rant about vegetables, rice, and lentils. I will instead let you in on a little secret that has got me through a number of endurance events such as UTMB, TDS, BUFF Epic Trail and GOW100.
I was lucky enough to spend a summer with Ultra Running Coach, Robbie Britton , a gentleman better known for his running talent than his skills in the kitchen. But the one thing he taught me in the kitchen was how to make a small parcel of power for the trails.
This is real food running fuel, a concept I encourage you to explore and experiment within your running.
The Power Parcel is simple yet effective. Train with it and understand how it works for you and like all trials with nutrition adapt it accordingly to your desires and needs.
Step by step here is the preparation method.
1 cup plain white rice – for 10cmx10cm container
3 Tbls Nut Butter- any kind really
3 Tbls Jam (50% fruit or greater)
The ability to refrain from eating ingredients, during the process
Reusable Pouches OR Aluminium foil (10cmx10cm squares)
How to shake & stir:
Slightly overcook the rice- get it sticky and moist
Pat down one layer of rice in chosen container or deep tray and pack it down fairly firmly- 3cm-ish layer
Employ the ability to resist eating all the nut butter
Spread nut butter over bottom layer of rice- 0.5cm-ish layer
Spread Jam over nut butter- 0.5cm-ish layer
Lay down a top layer of rice over the NB&J and pat down -2cm-ish layer
Maybe a sprinkle of Salt for some electrolyte inclusion
Cover and send it to the fridge overnight
When it is nice and chilled out.
Flip it (the container), ensuring the slab of goodness comes out as one
Dice it up in 3cm x 3cm blocks
Wrap it up into small Power Parcels
OR mash it and put it in reusable pouches for Power Pouches
That is it, keep it simple, keep it real and don’t eat them all before your race.
There are many different options here for personalising a Power Parcel such as add some fine chopped nuts, a sprinkle of chia seeds or add some dried fruit. But the main goal is to keep it simple.
There is not room or need to get all amped up like a Master Chef and make a gourmet gut bomb!
In order to be successful in the long run use these as just one option, in what should be a full menu of potential fuels for running. I incorporate these Power Parcels with products such as gels, chews, fruit bread and Tailwind.
Down Power Parcels every 30mins and start early in the event. Don’t stop eating until you finish.
Run, eat and enjoy- it’s all part of the challenge.
The Long Run- Majell Backhausen