In general the harder you push yourself the more difficulty one has with digesting calories. Carbs are king in a race like this. Glucose drinks and gels are in a form easier to digest than most foods. This is important as blood is shunted away from your digestive tract and food becomes more difficult to process. Anything more "substantial" as in solid food, for most runners you risk gastric aches and possible vomiting. Too many calories are a problem as is too little. Aim for a balance. Experiment with what works for you. As a general reference for the average size person on a clear day at Pikes, a bottle an hour of gatoraide or water (20-26oz) and a 100 calorie GU every 30 minutes will do the trick. Despite much talk to the contrary there is no evidence that in a race this short that sodium levels will drop to a point where taking salt pills are necessary or will do anything to prevent cramps. They do become beneficial for those that unnecessarily over hydrate with water. Ignore the advice to over hydrate at altitude or prior to the race. Hydrate normally. Eat a small amount of easily digestible food a couple hours prior to the race. Drink to thirst during the race. If you finish a few pounds light this is beneficial. Do not take any NSAIDS, such as Ibuprophen, Alieve or Aspirin. In this setting with large muscle breakdown and potential dehydration they complete the trifecta to destroy your kidneys. If you must take something for pain 1 Gram of Tylenol is safe. Reference: http://www.amazon.com/Waterlogged-Serious-Problem-Overhydration-Endurance/dp/145042497X
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Even in a race as taxing as the PPA/PPM??
What's your take onthe "Gu" gels and such? Enough for this type of race? or do we need something more substantial?