Nutrition on Trans Atlas Marathon
Nutrition is a key element on the success of any endurance event and the TAM definitely falls into that category.
Keep in mind that even though distance per day is not much higher than pf a marathon distance, the time it takes to complete the course is much longer.
For an average runner it will take between 6 and 10 hours. On top of the fact that it takes more hours keep in mind that recovery is crucial as we have six consecutive days.
Therefore a different approach to nutrition is needed.
Four elements comprise the right nutrition during such a race: calories, salt, BCAA and proteins.
the combination of BCAA and proteins will ensure that muscle breakdown is kept to a minimum and that muscle tissue is re vitalised. I would suggest to take (or better open and pour inside your water bottle) the content of one BCAA pill every hour of the race and that during the race eat / drink at least 25 grams of proteins. Easier to consume it as a shake but for those who can, a protein bar will work just as well.
Combination of calorie intake and salt will keep your energy level up and will maintain salt levels. Unlike in shorter races, calorie intake needs to start from the first hour and continue throughout the race. This translates into 100 calories every 45 minutes starting from the first hour onward. It can be in the form of a gel, a date, a fig or any other source of energy that you are used to. Better not to stick to one source but use alternative foods so you are not fed up with it after a day or two.
If you take gel there’s no need for salt or isotonic drink as the gels contain the necessary ingredients so stick with water only. If you don’t use gels then isotonic drink can be useful but keep in mind that after several hours of running intake of liquid other than water can be tricky.
Post-race recovery: because it is a stage race, fast recovery is critical. Immediately after the race, drink (not in one shot but over 1-2 hours) a protein shake (25 grams). Eat well even if you are not hungry. Make sure that your meal has enough carbs and enough protein and if necessary compliment it with your favorite snacks. Keep dehydration to maximum and make sure that before you go to bed you are fully dehydrated.
Author: Daniel Keren (ran TAM in 2016)
Meals to bring for the race
In 2017 competitors will also be required to bring 8 extra meals for the race days (6 days). This is so that when runners finish each stage they have a meal to cook for themselves between arriving and the main evening meal (provided by the organisation). Some runners will require this meal as they arrive several hours before the last runners. The main evening meal takes place once all runners have arrived and therefore some would have to wait too long without having their own meal.
Each competitor must have mandatory 1000 calories during the race day, 1000 calories per day : ( 1000 x 6 = 6000) calories required to start the TAM.
Hot water and cooking gas will be provided for you at each camp.
Water is provided at all check points along each stage.
Elizabeth Wiggins (UK)
Wow…an absolutely amazing experience. I saw aras of Morocco that I would never have seen other than running like as did through the mountains. One of the hardest things I have ever ...Read more Runner Reviews