Food and Water

FOOD

You will be self-sufficient from breakfast time on

Sunday 7 April until lunch time on Saturday 17 April.

You must provide all the meals that you will eat between these two times and dates. Freeze-dried food is recommended – add water and it’s ready to eat! We reccomend that you try the food before the event to see how well you get on with it, rather than finding out during the event. Calculate your calories carefully: The rules stipulate a minimum of 2000 calories per day, for every day of the race, but take into consideration how much you think you will need. Do NOT bring too many calories as you will end up throwing away food and it is heavy to carry. Remember that you CAN decant your food from the heavy foil wrappers into ziplocks and rehydrate it in half a water bottle in the evening.  This saves weight. If you do this, just clearly label the food type and calorie count on the outside. For instance, if you have a bag of peanuts, you would mark it  ‘peanuts – 100gms, 567 calories.’ Gels should be presented in original packaging.

Select your food carefully

Weight is a major consideration. Take a variety of foods because it does become harder to eat as you go through the race. Don’t JUST bring strawberry porridge for breakfast for example. No matter how much your like porridge…. mix it up! When planning your meals you must include a solid breakfast and high-energy snacks. Dates are great snacks as are nuts and of course Clif bars, bounce balls etc. We highly recommend a post-run recovery drink. The evening meal should, of course, replace all the calories lost during the day. If you are not going to bring a stove and just eat cold food, weigh up the pros and cons carefully. You DO need to get enough calories in. A warm meal and hot drink can be very, very comforting. Plan carefully for the long stage. Some like to take liquid cereal if they are not going to stop.

How to plan nutritious and balanced meals

Know the fundamental food groups:

Proteins Generally stored in muscles (46% of the proteins in the body)15% of your total caloric intake should be made of animal and vegetal proteins to maintain the nitrogen balance in the body.
Fats Fatty tissues store fats.Body reserves are usually 13% of the total body mass.Daily requirements in fat are about 30% of the total caloric intake
Carbs The number one need is glucose ‘favourite muscle fuel during a sustained activity.’Daily needs represent 55% of the total caloric intake.

There are two carbohydrate groups:

Sugar which is rapidly assimilated by the body after absorption
Sugar which is slow burning, found for example in pasta, bread, potatoes or rice, which are stored by the body to be used as needed.

In addition to the above any balanced diet should include a lot of water (ideally 1 to 1.5ml of water per calorie ingested). Your MdS water will be rationed but the rations are MORE than adequate if you take your salt tablets and additional electrolytes. During the MdS your minimum is 2000 calories but you may need more. With a diet composed of 15 % protein, 30 % fats and 55 % carbs (with at least, half of those, slow burning carbohydrates), water consumption should be between 6 and 7 liters per day. To that water it is necessary to add electrolytes and vitamins. Consequently, food should be salted correctly and potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, B1, B2, PP, supplements are indispensable. Take electrolytes and be OBSESSIVE about taking your salt tablets. A good system is one every half hour.

FUEL for cooking

It is forbidden to fly with any kind of fuel and it can be difficult to find camping fuels in Morocco. Gas canisters are NOT allowed in the bivouac. Hexamine cooking tablets will be available to purchase 3 to 4 months before the event, from the MdS Boutique for delivery at the first bivouac. We will let you know when it is available.

WATER

Over 120,000 litres of drinking water is consumed during the event. The organisers will distribute an allocation of water each day to each competitor, pre-departure, during the race at checkpoints and upon arrival. You must manage your water from the starting line of one leg to the starting line of the next leg. Morning meals will be taken with water given from the previous day. During the ‘NON-STOP’ stage, at some checkpoints you will have a choice between 1.5 and 3 litres.  If you take 1.5 litres instead of the 3 litres available, you will not recover it at the finish line.  However, everyone will receive 4.5 litres of water on arrival at the bivouac.

The organisers want to remind you that all water bottles distributed to you will carry your official competition number and that it is forbidden to discard empty bottles, or bottle tops on the track. You will need to either exchange the empty bottle for a full one at the checkpoint or discard it at a designated disposal point after having filled your water carriers. Please refer to ARTICLE 16 in the regulations.

www.runultra.co.uk has an absolute wealth of information about everything to do with MdS from how to train for it to how to pack your bag, to stories from past competitors. Check it out, and become a member for all the latest updates.

You will be invited to join a closed Facebook group for your specific race – don’t miss out!