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Trail to AfricanX: Basic Nutrition

Trail Hub in conjunction with Stillwater Sports will be lacing up their running shoes and placing a team on the start line for South Africa’s premier multiday trail running event, the Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.

Attached Image: Cell C African X.jpeg
Runners in action during the 2014 ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance. Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / NEWSPORT MEDIA


Building up to the event on 17 March 2017 Trail Hub will have a monthly feature on the team, the training, the kit and life while training for the 2017 AfricanX. ?This third instalment touches on the equipment you may need for the event and how you should treat your body to recover effectively.


What is AfricanX?

?Born in 2009, the event has become a must-do event for trail enthusiasts. From a modest 120 teams in the inaugural event, the AfricanX Trailrun has grown rapidly and is now capped at 400 teams of two. Based now at the historic Houw Hoek Inn after four years in Kleinmond, the AfricanX Trailrun takes runners on a challenging three-day adventure through some of the most immaculate terrain in the country. The team format adds to the experience, with runners having to carefully approach each day with a sound strategy. It’s not just for hard-core trail bunnies, though, road runners will enjoy some sections of the route that are fast and flat, but remember – a rugged climb is never far off.



Date: 17 – 19 March 2017 ?
Venue: Houw Hoek Inn, Grabouw ?
Distances: ?
Stage 1: 36km ?
Stage 2: 34km ?
Stage 3: 22km ?
Pre-Entries Open: 13 March 2016 ?
Pre-Entries Close: 26 February 2017


Basic Nutrition: eating and running & eating while running

Last month we took care of nutrition for recovery, but the nutritional aspect of your training starts long before race day and by now you should know what food fuels your body effectively. The nature of staying in a race village or away from home when racing means that you may not have easy access to your normal nutritional products or routines, and while the prospect of eating out while away from home is appealing, you should keep your meals as simple as possible, but high in energy. Avoid spicy and exotic foods and try stick to foods types that you would normally eat at any other point during your training. Race organisers will provide meals in the race village that are high in energy and protein to assist with recovery and replenish your glycogen stores.


Attached Image: African X Breakfast Zone.jpegPhoto credit: Lauren de Wet


Eating while running for many will seem alien, but depending on how long you are out on the route you will find yourself getting hungry at some point and you should listen to your body; it’s your body letting you know that it needs food. Bananas are always an easy natural food to turn to as they are a great energy source and the body absorbs and converts them into energy very quickly.


Bars are also easy to carry and most are easy to consume and hopefully by now you should have found a brand that works for you, if not buy a range of bars and try them on your long training runs to see if they work for you and how they sit in your gut when running.
When eating your bar follow up with a few sips of water as this will aid digestion and help the solids sit in the stomach a little easier.


Gels are very popular as they are easy to carry and are absorbed very easily, BUT they can affect your stomach, so finding a gel that works for you while running is very important and, as with foods, should be taken with water. Many gels also contain caffeine so you will need to try these to see how they work for you.


But even before you contemplate what to eat during the run you should have your breakfast routine very well sorted, as breakfast will provide the sustenance you need on the run. Everyone’s body is different and while I stay clear of greasy fried breakfasts and stick to cooked oats and honey, I have running friends who relish bacon and eggs on the morning. My advice is not to try anything on race day that you have not tried before and stick to your tried and tested routines and food types.



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