A BIG mistake people make close to an Ultra Marathon

Mark Wolff - 30 June 2022

A BIG mistake people make close to an Ultra Marathon

With the day’s closing in on Comrades Marathon (a 90km ultra running event in South Africa, know as The Ultimate Human Race), we’ve been getting a lot of questions around nutrition. So, we’ve decided to put a series together to tackle pre-exercise nutrition, training nutrition, post-exercise recovery and nutrition, immune system recovery nutrition, hydration, as well as leading into race day, and making sure that you have the best possible race day ever.

 The first thing I want to touch on now is daily nutrition and then also talking nutrition around training sessions as well.

Don't fall into the "I need to drop weight" trap!

I hear a lot of people telling me, I’m a few kilos overweight, I need to drop my weight for race day etc. With Comrades so close, this is not the time to be losing weight. Absolutely not! This is the time to be maximising your energy levels, putting a big focus on recovery, and making sure that you can adapt from session to session.

Weight loss happens in what we call the ‘foundation phase’ of training towards an event. It’s way too late for that. The race is around the corner. This isn’t about weight loss. This is about getting to the event healthy and in the best possible shape and by doing that, you need to make sure that you have, what we call an energy balance.

 In other words, the calories that you’re burning off on a daily basis, you need to be consuming very close to what you’re burning off and making sure that you maintain that energy balance. So that you can recover from your sessions properly, adapt from those training sessions and, also look after your immune system and your health (in Immunize we’ve created a product to help with this).

How a calorie deficit can lead to injury & illness

When people eat in a very severe calorie deficit while training for big events, any ultra-endurance event, for example, the risk of injury and the risk of illness is extremely high. I see it often, people get injured, and people get sick, purely because their nutrition is not up to scratch and not up to standard with the amount of training that they’re actually putting in. So just bear that in mind.

In the next video Mark looks at how to decide on your fuelling for a training session.

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