Fueling My Way to a Tarawera 50k Podium Finish

Fueling My Way to a Tarawera 50k Podium Finish

- by Kate Avery

Each race starts with a sign up and this one for me was even more exciting than normal as it was a new challenge! I have been creeping up my race distances and 50km both excited and scared me at the same time. On top of that, New Zealand has always been somewhere I have wanted to travel, so I figured what better way to see it than to race 50km in the lush forests around Rotorua. I was lucky enough to land five days before the event which meant I could check out a few sections of the course – this only lead to the excitement of the race.

I had a few targets leading to the race. The first was to nail nutrition – I believe this is a key to running well in the longer races. The second target was to finish in the top three. This would allow me to qualify for a race called OCC, the UTMB World Series Final in Chamonix, France. In order to be able to achieve the second target, I knew I would have to achieve the first. My fuelling strategy was to take on between 80-90g of carbohydrate per hour. The GU summit tea energy drink enabled me to get a bulk of these via drinking (59g /serve) and the rest I made up with gels. On top of that, it also had the benefit of a little caffeine, electrolytes and amino acids – all additions that enabled me to finish the race the way I had planned! I especially appreciate the subtle taste of the summit tea, particularly when having to mix it with sweet gels and chews!

By having my fuelling strategy locked in I was able to pace the race in a way that allowed me to relax and stay comfortable. The pace early on was relatively quick which I think suited my shorter distance experiences. The early climb saw a couple of the leading ladies move ahead of me but I really tried to stick to my own strategy and stay within a zone that I felt comfortable with. As the race went on I took confidence in the fact that I was moving at a good pace, was in a good position in the field and had been keeping on top of my pre-race fuelling and hydration strategy. I wasn’t able to catch the early leaders but I am over the moon with a podium finish! My mind, body and particularly stomach had all functioned well that day!

Everyone knows the fuelling doesn’t end with the finish line though! After a little sit down to rest the legs it was straight in to a GU protein recovery drink to start the process of repairing damaged muscles and getting some energy back in to the cells!

Thanks to the GU NZ team for their help! 

Follow Kate's adventures HERE>>