Summary MdS & Superfood
I’m finally getting back to normal, still some leg problems from the race, can’t run yet. First I thought it was a stress fracture but according to the x-ray it’s probably an inflammation.
Although I was among the faster runners I too had to struggle, especially stage 2 and stage 4 with sore legs (and stomach problems stage 4).
The race course was very beautiful and the event very well organised. I got to meet many nice participants. Luckily It wasn’t as hot as I had feared, maybe 30 C at the most. Although the race was shortened I think the race was quite tough. And more so after the long stage when the body had been weakened and most runners had to deal with various foot, leg and stomach problems. It was quite absurd watching all these hobbling athletes, what a strange thing a race like this is. I was quite happy there was just one stage to go: “just” a marathon stage, since the last 18 km stage had been cut out due to logistical problems. And I was even happier after finishing. The last days in Ouarzazate before going back home I understood I was lucky the leg injury came just at the end of the race.
The superfood worked fine
Many have been curious about how the superfood worked, and I must say it worked very good. Drinking only water felt fresh. I didn’t use any products with added sugar, instead during the run I was eating dried fruits like mango and pinapple, trail mix, my home made energy balls and nuts. It felt good knowing I gave my body the best food there is and I felt that I recovered well.
For breakfast I had a light müsli with dried fruit like goji berries, mulberries, inca berries, and eating different trail mixes with seeds and nuts. I got one from Rawliving.eu with raw cacao nibs and dried raw olives that was very tasty. I had 1-2 energy balls (size of a strawberry). Usually in the morning I also had 3 spoonfuls of chia seeds: soaked in water for 20 min they develop a gel which makes it possible to keep hydrated for a long time. I also had an energetic and revitalizing smoothie with 100 % freeze dried acai powder and berrypowders from Finnberryx mixed with the new Boku Super Chi powder from Boku Superfood (made for elite athletes in mind).
Focusing on antioxidants
Eating lots of antioxidants was one of the main focuses, in order to help the body handling the oxidation from running a marathon a day. I used nutritional supplement pills and extra antioxidants for immune system boost: Medox (from blueberry), BioAstin (Natural Astaxanthin) and Spirulina Pacifica from Cyanotech, Astaxin (astaxanthin from BioReal) and Biostrath (yeast with herbs). Prior to the race I had been eating these supplements and trying the different powders.
After each stage I usually had:
1. a few smoothies (yes I brought a shaker) with different powders: acai, green powders like Green Magma (barley grass juice), Boku Superfood, Sunwarrior protein and activated Barley, and from HealthForce: Vitamineral, Greener Grasses, Spirulina, Fruits of the earth, MacaForce, etc. (these powders are mixes of various superfoods, and I got to try powders from a few of the most hardcore organic superfood companies there is);
2. a quinoa soup/porridge (quinoa is also very soothing for the stomach) with dulse algea, organic stock, flavored with herbs, porcini mushroom and french sea salt (very rich in minerals); and some
3. bee pollen for extra proteins, smoked, dried reindeer meat, and trail mix.
4. I was also drinking olive oil as calorie supplement.
One of my concerns was to get enough calories, and to have enough calories (we had to have a minimum daily calorie supply of 2000) but they never checked it. I never felt hungry and I actually didn’t loose any weight (although this diet is very lean). Preparing the race food I had a nutritional coach who helped me: focusing on nutritional content (the best fats, carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals) I could bring to the desert (lightweight of course), taste and volume. I would definitely use the superfood concept again in a long race, but I would have made the porridge/müsli and the energy balls better tasting avoiding some powders and quinoa puffs that didn’t taste so good. Important to try the food at least a few weeks before the race so you have time to make changes. I would probably more calories, it’s nice to know you have enough.
My favourite treat was the dried fruit and dried berries which gave a fresh taste of vitamins, but also I liked the shakes (chocolate, berry, acai, etc), knowing they will give me plenty of good vitamins, proteins and also some good fat (acai). I actually felt better and stronger than with normal race food. Now eating was fun. It felt like I was eating in a very smart way. Actually the super powder shakes allowed me to bring very lightweight other food. My backpack was quite light, approx 7,5 kg, before race start, but I had lots of food (approx 4 kg). Minimum weight was 6,5 kg but they never checked my bag.