Tuesday, 28 March 2006

MdS Food List

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Hi Team,

I fly out to Morocco on Monday for the 2006 Marathon des Sables MdS. I've scored race number 300. I'm healthy, well nourished and unfit.

For those interested you can track me through the MdS website which is linked on the right of this blog. They'll have progress reports each day. I'll try to update this blog from Morocco, but we'll see if they let me use the computer in the media centre in the middle of the Sahara.

Race strategy is to finish. I hope to go easy in days 1, 2, 3. Easy during the day for the long stage and keep going through the night rather than sleeping on the course. Then see what's left in the tank for the marathon. And try to cruise the last stage.

After a crap preparation due to leg injury I'll rely on 99% mental and 1% physical toughness to get me through.

I did a full dress rehearsal last Sunday, decked out in full pack, knee length sand gaiters, leigionnaires hat and total block sunglasses, iPod blaring the New Massive Attack album. Jogging along I didn't see a branch across the trail and managed to coathanger myself. There I was lying on the ground like an upturned turtle, couldn't stop laughing at my stupidity, picked myself up and started running again wondering when the concussion would kick in. Turned up at work on Monday looking like I'd gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson, a huge bleeding shiner on the right forehead.

I passed my ECG test on Friday. Was a fairly tense process. Lots of medical staff drawing breath and making "Uh oh" noises. Turns out I have an enlarged left ventricle. And my pulse dropped to around 42bpm which set some alarm off. After a bit of excitement the doctor told me that I was ok and that she'd seen this sort of result in fit people before. (I didn't fess up to my inadequate preparation).

I have now completed my food list. We need to carry 2000 calories per day or risk disqualification (the French love rules and administration). I am carrying close to 20,000 calories, given that I will be burning 5,000 per day, I expect ot return from Morocco looking like Craig Mottram.

Food is by far the heaviest thing in my backpack. My carefully considered 20,000 calories weighs in at ~5.3kg. It has been a terrific learning experience for me. What my analysis has proven is that things like Gels and Powerbars are really inefficient from a calorie density perspective. In fact you'd be crazy to take too many gels/powerbars because they would break your back due to the weight.

I went through a ritual last Saturday and decreased the volume of my food by putting every thing in separate ziplock bags and bashing it with a rolling pin then pricking the bag with a pin, squeezing the air out and covering the hole with sticky tape.

Each day I will eat a freeze dried meal from a NZ company called Back Country, this food easily available in the outdoor shops. They sell single packets with double serves within which are quite efficient from a calories / 100gm ratio. I think that they are in the order of 450cal / 100g. Even these freeze dried meals had too much air within the foil packing, so they got the rolling pin bashing treatment too.

Not sure how things will unfold but here is a likely nutrition plan..

Breakfast: Rice Crackers 493cal and 40gm of pringles 207cal and a litre of water (700cal)

Lunch on the run: 3 Powerbars 690cal and 23 Glucose jelly beans 509cal (1,199 cal)

Dinner: Freeze Dri meal 740cal and the other 40gm of Pringles 206cal (946 cal)


My Full MdS Food List

Day 1
2 Roast Lamb and Veg 740cal
3 Power Bar 690
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,845 calories

Day 2
2 Beef Curry 788
3 Power Bar 690
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,893 calories

Day 3
2 pasta vegetariano 758
3 Power Bar 690
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,863 calories

Day 4 Long Day
6 Power Bar 1380
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
2 Jelly Beans 1018
0.8 Potato Chips 413
3,304 calories

Day 5
2 Beef Curry 788
3 Power Bar 690
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,893 calories

Day 6
2 Sweet & Sour Lamb 732
3 Power Bar 690
1.2 Rice Crackers 493
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,837 calories

Day 7 Treats
11 Hob Nob Biscuits 660
2 Power Bar 460
1 Jelly Beans 509
0.8 Potato Chips 413
2,042 calories

19,677 total calories

That's all for now.. Brendan

6 Comments:

At 28 March 2006 at 6:17 pm, Blogger 2P said...

Cheers Brendan ;-)

 
At 28 March 2006 at 6:40 pm, Blogger Superflake said...

Good luck Brendan. Well you are as tall as Mottram so I can see the similarity. Eat and run well. I'll be using russian 'spy' satellite to track you across the desert.

 
At 29 March 2006 at 5:22 am, Blogger blkbox said...

Good luck Brendan - don't get lost on those big sand dunes.

 
At 29 March 2006 at 9:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brendan, Thanks for posting your food and preparation. I look forward to following your progress accross the Sahara. My name is Peter Baldock and I am working towards the MDS in 2008. Lots of training and preparation in store over the next two years! The race has captured my imagination as it has yours. Good luck and enjoy the adventure.

 
At 29 March 2006 at 11:21 am, Blogger expozay said...

Good luck brendan. I'll be fascinated to hear how you go.

 
At 30 March 2006 at 10:11 am, Blogger Clairie said...

Wow. I am amazed that you can run on a handful of pringles and crackers!!! Totally amazing stuff.

I hope the experience is everthing you want and more.

Best of luck with it and I look forward to reading your final analysis once you have recovered :)

 

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