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    How many calories do I need to consume each hour to complete a 50km or 100km Ultra Run?

    A NUTRITION PLAN TO GET YOU OVER THE FINISH LINE

    The number of calories you require each hour depends on how fast you are going. For example, if you want to complete 100km in 14 hours you need to average 8.24 min per/kilometre or 7.14 km/h. At this speed your heart rate monitor will show an average heart rate zone and calorie expenditure. 

    A calorie is a unit of energy, so how many calories (units of energy) are you expending to average 8.24 min per/k? Keep in mind that at times you will running a faster pace on the flat and downhills than you will be on the climbs and stairs. At this pace your calorie expenditure might be around 450 calories per hour.

    Here's the catch! Your calorie expenditure will always be greater than your calorie intake. It's one of the reasons we can't just keep going and going all day every day. So, the plan with calorie intake is to consume as much as your digestive system can tolerate without upsetting your stomach.  

    Here's the other catch! Given that your stomach is like a washing machine while running there tends to be quite a gap between how many calories you are expending per hour and how many calories your stomach can process.

    Back to the numbers! To complete the 100km in 14 hours you are expending around 450 calories per hour, so over 14 hours this is a total of 6300 calories. That's about 2 and a half days' worth of food for some people. How many calories per hour would I consume based on this calorie expenditure? That's a good question because everyone's digestive system is different, and some runners need more calories than others and some runners can tolerate a greater number of calories per hour than others. There's no rhyme or reason to this. It simply comes down to your unique physiological makeup.

    Let's assume that you have a robust digestive system, and you are going to aim for 200 calories per hour. On the other hand, let's assume you are not able to consume that many calories per hour and opt for 175 calories per hour. You can change the number of calories you consume each hour by adjusting the time at which you take a KODA Energy Gel. Check out the table below for examples.

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 60 minutes = 117 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 55 minutes = 130 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 50 minutes = 146 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 45 minutes = 160 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 40 minutes = 175 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 35 minutes = 205 calories an hour

    1 KODA Energy Gel per 30 minutes = 234 calories an hour

    All the data you need is on your phone under your heart rate monitor app. Check out specific runs that you have done in training to get a gauge of what your calorie expenditure is at varying speeds. 

    The reason that KODA Energy Gels are the most preferred fuel source during an event such as UTA is the energy (calories) to volume ratio. Basically, what this means is that you can consume a set number of calories each hour in a very small volume. The smaller the volume the less pressure that is placed on the stomach. Energy to volume ratio becomes even more crucial, especially when experiencing a range of temperatures. If you are relying on your calories from a liquid source you have to consume a large volume of fluid and this can really play havoc on the stomach, especially in cold to cool conditions when the need for fluid is not that crucial.

     If you need to change it up and add some solid food option to your calorie intake. The dairy free, gluten free vegan KODA Energy Bar is the way to go. We have cut the bar in half so it's super easy to grab one piece, fold up the pack and stash it for later.

    KODA Energy Bar 

    50-gram bar - ~200 calories (2 pieces) ~100 calories per piece 

    In regard to calorie expenditure, we have used hypothetical numbers, your calorie expenditure may be higher, or it may be lower. Take notice of the information your heart rate monitor is collecting in all your training runs and use that information as a guide to plan your calorie intake. 

    Here are some other examples of the speed you need to average to finish a 50km or 100km distance in a specific time.

    50km trail run 

    • 5 hours – 6 min per km = 10 km/h (650 calories per hour) total calories = 3250 
    • 6 hours – 7.12 per km = 8.34 km/h (550 calories per hour) total calories = 3300 
    • 7 hours – 8.24 per km = 7.14 km/h (450 calories per hour) total calories = 3150 
    • 8 hours – 9.36 per km = 6.25 km/h (400 calories per hour) total calories = 3200 
    • 10 hours – 12.00 per km = 5 km/h (200 calories per hour) total calories = 2000 

     100km trail run 

    • 10 hours – 6 min per km = 10 km/h (650 calories per hour) total calories = 6500 
    • 11 hours – 6:36 per km = 9.09 km/k (600 calories per hour) total calories = 6600 
    • 12 hours – 7.12 per km = 8.34 km/h (550 calories per hour) total calories = 6600 
    • 13 hours – 7.48 per km = 7.7 km/h (500 calories per hour) total calories = 6500  
    • 14 hours – 8.24 per km = 7.14 km/h (450 calories per hour) total calories = 6300 
    • 15 hours – 9.00 per km = 6.67 km/h (400 calories per hour) total calories = 6000 
    • 20 hours – 12.00 per km = 5 km/h (200 calories per hour) total calories = 4000 

     Guide for 22km trail run

    • Consume a KODA Energy Gel at 6km, 12km and 18km

     Get this right and enjoy your endurance running even more.

    For more information on KODA Energy Gels click here

    For more information on KODA Energy Bars click here