Kilian Jornet nutrition test on a 24 hour elevation record

Got to say we're feeling pretty proud at the moment. When one of the world's best buys your products and is using them as a key part of their nutrition/performance strategy you know all the hard work is paying off in developing effective products that don’t just follow the norm.

The background:

Kilian is widely known to not eat or drink much during his racing but this isn't necessarily a personal choice, on the longer races he's suffered with nausea and an upset stomach which curtails what you can take on board in longer races.

Although widely received as a new 'record' Kilian saw it more as personal achievement as records need to be conducted following the same rules, location etc. This was a personal 'test' for him on a number of levels, how much elevation could he achieve in 24 hours and could he successfully follow a nutrition plan which he could then look to adapting for the coming year.

At this point it's worth adding a little bit of background as to how Kilian came across Mountain Fuel. I first met Kilian after he successfully completed his Bob Graham Round in the Lake District and it was during that time we chatted about the issues he has when racing and taking on board nutrition. Now as many of you know, none of our athletes expect or get any freebies from us, but it's not every day that you get chatting to Kilian so I did offer him a discount on his orders. But fair play to Kilian, he was more than happy to pay full price and says a lot about the character of the man who let's be honest could get pretty much anything for free in the running world.

He found the Sports Jellies in particular worked really well for him, as did the Ultimate Recovery Fuel. Having successfully used the Sports Jellies in races over the Summer and Autumn Kilian was keen to explore a combination of fueling that could help him on longer races and the 24 hour elevation test was the perfect platform.

Lemon and Lime Sports Jelly

Nutrition strategy:

The strategy was to take in around 250 kcal / hour. Kilian started eating Sports Jellies/Spring Energy gels after 1 hour and every 30 minutes from then on. He alternated his mix of Mountain Fuel Sports Jelly with Spring Energy gels, carrying 3 to 4 with him at a time.

After 10 hours 35 minutes he needed a change from the jellies and gels (purely from a taste and texture perspective) and he ate a slice of pizza and then for the next 4 hours he also ate a small slice of pizza, a small portion cheese sandwich and the occasional biscuit when he reached the bottom.

Chocolate MF Sachets

After this he went back to the Mountain Fuel Sports Jelly/ Spring Energy gels combination from 14 hours to 17 hours. He then had a 10-minute break to eat a slice of pizza and a bit of warm mashed potato, changing his jacket and resting a bit. He then ate his alternate sports jelly/ springer gel combination every 30 minutes for 2 hours 30 minutes. After 19 hours 48 minutes he took another 10 minutes rest to drink a hot coffee with a Mountain Fuel Chocolate Ultimate Recovery and ate some pasta. During the last 4 hours he ate a piece of chocolate (10 gr) every 30 minutes. In total Kilian ate 5500 - 6000 calories over the 24 hours.

To drink, he had water, or water with a little blueberry syrup, about 1 litre every 3 hours over the whole challenge, taking small sips approximately every 15 mins.

The results:
Over the 24 hours Kilian completed laps of 2.7 miles with 1,804 ft ascent and at night he shortened these to 2.2 miles and 1,404ft ascent. He was able to sustain a pace of  978.8 meters (3,211.3 feet) per hour which includes transitions and down hills, Kilian had a short recovery period every 30 minutes. Only four pee stops were needed and no poo stops which helps save time and hassle on a timed challenge/event. He totalled 78,274ft over the 24 hours.

These are truly staggering statistics and made all the more remarkable as Kilian said for the first time in along race he experienced no stomach issues at all and felt good post challenge with limited muscle soreness the following day.

So, can we learn anything from Kilians nutrition test? Could we take on board elements of Kilian's strategy and apply then to our own race strategies? We think so but there's a bit to discuss so that's an article in it's own right...  (coming soon)