North Face 100 Nutrition Plan & Drop Bags 2014

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This post had 40 likes in 2012 so I think it’s worthwhile updating with what worked and what didn’t. As you can see, it’s an eating competition with a bit of running thrown in. This year I’ve been making my own gels, so where I write ‘flask of gel’ I actually mean apx 4x commercial gels, because each flask holds about 4. I’ll probably carry a few commercial gels as well, this will help fight flavour fatigue. Let’s go……

Provided at Checkpoints

Endura sports drink (pre mixed)
Water to fill bladders
Fruit
Bread/buns (Not at CP1)
Lollies
Cliff Bars- New sponsor for 2014
Gels are available at some checkpoints, but you can’t depend on them, and if you do, you might have to take grape flavour, which is quite vile tasting. Other items I will have to carry.

Running Start to Checkpoint 1- 10.5km
Drink 600ml sports drink at the start, discard bottle
1x Banana
1x Gel
At CP1- Drink 500ml Endura at checkpoint, fill 2x 750ml bottles when leaving.
Pick up 2x mandarin to eat while waiting at Tarro’s Ladders
*May carry little or no water on this section as much of it is on road and the section is short.

To Eat While Running Checkpoint 1 to Checkpoint 2- 20.5km, total 31km
2x Gel
1x packet Gu chomps
2x Salt tablet
1x Perpetuem solid

At CP2
Drink 500ml Endura at checkpoint,
Check bottles/ fill with Endura

To Eat While Running Checkpoint 2 to Checkpoint 3- 15km, total 46km
Eat a Growling Dog bar while exiting CP2 before the climb up Ironpot Ridge
3x Gel
1x packet Gu chomps
1x Perpetuem solid
1-2 salt tablets

At CP3
Drink 500ml Endura
Check bottles/ fill with Endura- don’t fill up too much- only 11km to CP4!
Pick up Gel flask
Pick up 6x Perpetuem solids
Pick up 2 boiled eggs and some fruit
Get a treat- possibly a coffee from the van or a 600ml Coke

To Eat While Running Checkpoint 3 to Checkpoint 4- 11km, total 57km
2x Gels
1x Fruit
1x Gu chomps
1x Perpetuem solid
1-2x Salt tablet
Important- must eat at bottom and part way up Nellie’s Glen!

At CP4
drink 500ml Endura
Check bottles/ fill with Endura <<21km to next checkpoint
Pick up Gel flask
Take a cup noodle with me, drink Coca cola from drop bag

To Eat While Running Checkpoint 4 to Checkpoint 5- 21km, total 78km
4x Gels
1x Gu chomps
1x Perpetuem solid
1x Growling Dog bar
1-2x Salt tablet

At CP5
drink 500ml Endura
Check bottles/ fill with Endura <<22km to Finish!
Pick up Gel flask
Pick up Coke

To Eat While Running Checkpoint 5 to Finish- 22km, total 100km
4x Gels
1x Gu chomps
1x Perpetuem solid
1x Growling Dog bar
1-2x Salt tablet

At the Finish
Need to make sure you eat something or you’ll be ridiculously hungry when you get back to your hotel room!

 Contents of Checkpoint Bags

This means I’ll need to carry from the start of the race to checkpoint 3-
8x Gel (2 flasks)
3x Gu Chomps (1 spare)
1x banana
Tube of 6x Perpetuem solids
Loads of salt tablets

And I’ll need to pack the following

Checkpoint 3 bag
3x Gels (1 flask)
2x boiled eggs (peeled, in a sandwich bag)
Banana
Gu Chomps
600ml Coke

Checkpoint 4 bag
4x Gels (1 flask)
Gu Chomps
Growling Dog bar
Chips
600ml Coke
Proper headlights (will be carrying low weight versions during the day)
Clothing for night time- Fleece as per rules
Leave sunglasses in bag here
Pick up sunglasses with clear lenses for night running

extra mandatory gear if required

Checkpoint 5 bag
Lemonade/ Coke
Gels (1 flask)
Gu Chomps
Chips

Discussion
Where it says ‘Drink 500ml Endura’ that is about 3x 150ml cups. I can usually drink that much at once without bad effects, you may find otherwise. The instructions to eat more up Nellie’s and along Federal Pass are because these have been where I’ve had low points, and more food usually helps. The Growling Dog bars are hard to eat, and need to be cut into squares and put into a sandwich bag in prep. I also quite like the James Magnusson Missile bars from Body Science. I will also try to incorporate some Perpetuem Solids in the early part of the race, they seem to work well for me, probably one or two per section. I probably can’t eat that many bananas, but not a bad idea to have them available.

I’m going to do this race without a bladder in my pack. I will carry 2x 750ml bottles on my front and a 5-600ml bottle in my pack. This will give me the required 2l of fluid carrying capacity.
Gu Chomps- I also like the Cliff Shot Blocks, particularly the Margarita flavour, but really- these things can be easily and CHEAPLY substituted with bags of lollies from a supermarket. Sure they have electrolytes etc, but just shove a handful of lollies in your face and a salt tablet. Sorted.
Fruit- they often provide watermelon, mandarins etc and sometimes I prefer these even though bananas are probably better race food.
Cliff Bars- I find these a bit hard to chew but if they have a nice sounding flavour available I might have one or two during the race.
Nellies Glen- I have found over 3x doing this race that I don’t have a major crash if I eat at Nellie’s Glen once when entering the single track (this goes for about1500m) and again part way up the stairs. There are about 511 stairs, so count them off in lots of 100. Each 100 stairs is about 20% of the distance. This makes it easier mentally. Forgot your count? Who cares? Just go again from a logical number. You’re trying to keep your mind off the task, not really counting stairs anyway! Same goes for Golden Stairs (xx stairs?)and Furber stairs (933 stairs) at the end
CP4-5- This section will take a long time, must make sure to take enough fluids and food.
Cp5-Finish- this section is even longer, but there is an emergency water stop at 91km, so don’t worry too much about fluids. Remember to DUMP YOUR WATER at the bottom of the Furber steps up to the finish- NOT on the trail. You don’t want to be carrying much up those final 933 steps!

Real food- I had some macaroni & cheese at CP3 last year, and to be honest that was a bit heavy, or maybe I just ate too much of it. Another suggestion has been potato salad- yum! This has some decent carbs and is easy to get down because of the mayonnaise- don’t skimp on the mayo! But what I really like is boiled eggs- I will probably boil, shell, then freeze a couple of these in a container full of water so they aren’t full of salmonella when I get to them at CP3.

In 2013 I went a bit crazy and spent 2 weeks shopping for treats to put in my drop bags. This is not necessary and will cost you time because you can’t decide what to eat. Just put one or two things in there- you may not eat them but it will make you happy knowing they are there.