How to Fuel for the Big Red Run


The Big Red Run is a unique event, requiring detailed attention to all areas of preparation  physical, mental, and Nutrition

If you are doing this race it is essential to plan your nutrition and to practice it at every opportunity. Hammer Nutrition have put together the basic guidelines and information to get you started. Treat the knowledge like gold and you will have a much more enjoyable run.

These are the 6 basic topics you should know about your nutrition. Take 15 minutes to read this information and you will be well prepared to make some crucial decision that will better your performance.

For far more detail we strongly suggest that you read the bible of Sports Endurance Nutrition.

The Endurance Athletes Guide to Success

Once you have this information you can then make a better informed choice.

Hammer Nutrition has a 1300 913240 line dedicated to giving advice.

5 main things to consider:

  1. Amount of fuel (Kilojoules/calories) required for an hour
  2. Hydration and electrolytes
  3. Things you don’t want to do
  4. Fuelling Choices
  5. Recovery

Related Links:


1. Amount of Fuel

Consumption should be limited to between 250 calories and a maximum of 350 calories / hour (1025 – 1435kj). This is the maximum amount of calories you can comfortably digest when your body is under stress. Any more than this amount can cause stomach distress.

2. Hydration and electrolytes

Proper Hydration is essential for successful completion of the event.

We consider around 590-750 ml / hour to be approx. the right amount.

Both under and over hydration can cause serious problems. Do not count the water contained in a Perpetuem bottle as part of your hydration.537320_512472345466372_1414751306_n

Electrolytes are to the body as like “oil is to car”. Over this sort of distance it is crucial to take on extra electrolytes in the right format.

Hammer has 2 ways of providing Electrolytes in the form of Endurolytes or Endurolytes FIZZ. Both are formulated to provide an excellent cross section of Electrolytes. Salt Tablets only contain sodium and Potassium; you will need a full cross section of Electrolytes (Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Chloride, Sodium, Potassium, and Tyrosine).

Many variables—body weight, level of fitness, weather conditions, acclimatization level, and biological predisposition—come into play in regards to optimally fulfilling one’s personal electrolyte requirements. It is vital that you experiment with a dosage that is suitable to you.

Generally taking approx. 1-3 Endurolytes or 1-2 Endurolytes FIZZ / hour would be sufficient for most.

 3. Things you don’t want to do

  • Make bad fuel choices. i.e. take products with simple sugars, take caffeine all day long.
  • Over consume calories.
  • Don’t consider taking Electrolytes
  • Under or over hydrate.
  • Not make a fuelling plan and practice it.

4. Fuelling Choices

General rules regarding consumption of fuel

  • A complete liquid fuel is possible to complete the event, however most will feel the need to eat small amounts of solids – Make solid food consumption the exception, not the rule
  • Choose a base fuel to use 50-70% of the time. A fuel which you can rely on. Our choice would be Perpetuem.  Plan other supplements/ small snacks around this. This variety is crucial to avoid flavour fatigue.
  • Ensure the solid fuel is kept below 350 calories per hour. I.e. eat small amounts of solids at one time
  • Avoid foods which are hard to digest, high in saturated fats, refined sugars etc. –Remember garbage in, garbage out.1-IMG_4836-(c)MikeRichter2012
  • We strongly recommend that you avoid simple sugars, i.e. lollies, chocolates – What pushes your blood sugars up quickly, will also drop quickly and usually lower than original starting point.
  • Avoid consuming solid foods while going uphill.
  • Seriously think about your usage of caffeine in regards to amount and timing. We strongly recommend that if you use caffeine, to lower your caffeine intake (25 -50 mg max/hour.) and use it towards the end of the course, rather than the beginning. Caffeine is a stimulant, whilst there is an upside there is also a downside.


We have to put together a fueling plan for you. As noted above it is vital you practice your plan as much as possible during the lead up to the event. If you have any questions please email us at

Fuelling plan

5. Recovery

Recovery is vital in any multi-day event, especially the Big Red Run. How well you recover today will determine  how well you perform tomorrow. Exercise creates physiological stress; you become weak and depleted after an Endurance run. It is during recovery that your body rebuilds itself. Recovery includes many factors, including rest, stretching, muscle stimulation, sleep, and nutritional aspects.

  • Re-hydrate with water and electrolyte, to replenish the water and minerals lost during the event.
  • Consume 30-60 grams of quality carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes after the race
  • Consume 10-30 grams protein, preferably whey protein, during that time as well – Recoverite supplies carbohydrate and protein in an ideal 3:1 ratio for superior glycogen synthesis and muscle tissue rebuilding, the two main components of recovery.

Related article to recovery: Recovery well, Reap Rewards


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