R. Perez, C Metzler, K Henninger, K.L Pritchett, N Kumar, R.C Pritchett

Central Washington University, Ellensburg

It has been suggested that ultra-runners may fail to meet hourly carbohydrate intake guidelines during training and competition due to improper knowledge around fueling, higher reliance on fats as fuel, lack of dietary strategies, and gastrointestinal stress (Stellingwerff 2016, Costa 2013). However; the consequences could include poor performances as well as an increase the risk of low energy availability (LEA) in ultra-endurance athletes. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine self-reported fueling habits during training and competition in male and female ultra-trail runners. METHODS: Trail runners between the age of 18-40 (males: n= 510) completed a Qualtrics survey that included training and racing characteristics. Questions regarding carbohydrate intake during training and competition were compared to current evidence-based recommendations. RESULTS: 45.6% male and 47.6% female reported incorporating fueling with carbohydrates during their workouts. 47.5% of males and 45.2% only sometimes incorporate carbohydrate fueling into their workouts. 7.1% of female athletes and 6.9% of male athletes do not incorporate any Carbohydrates into their workouts. 25% of male ultra-trail runners intentionally eat less during their easy training days and 36% of female’s athletes. However, 35.9% of males intentionally train in a fasted state and only 19.7 % of females train in a fasted state. Furthermore, 36.2% of female ultra-trail runners intentionally eat less on their easy days compared to only 25.7% of male ultra-trail runners intentionally restrict fueling during their easy days. CONCLUSION: Athletes should seek guidance from a sports dietitian to help with fueling plans that meet carbohydrate needs during training runs and races. The guidance should be focused on both male and female athletes.

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