Thursday, 19 August 2010

ENDURrun 2010 - How to Feed a Runner

ENDURrun International: 8 days - 7 stages - 160 kilometres

Thats a lot of calories burned and they all need replacing.  Not bad if you have one athlete and several days of recovery. Now consider that you have approximately 75 runners and they are all running again tomorrow on another long and challenging route.  These people need recovery food within a half hour of finishing a race and they need to right kind of food and drink.  Also need to feed the 50 or so volunteers as well as the family and friends of the runners who show up every day.

While on the course we always have ample water and Gatorade, and gels when appropriate.  That's enough to keep them going for a particular course, but once they finish they need more.  Fruit is often their first pick.

Watermelon, grapes, orange segments, bananas and other melons in season are in high demand.  Fruit smoothies have been a big hit, with either milk/soy milk and yogurt/tofu added in.

After more recovery time comes the real challenge.  Most runners have their favourites when it comes to recovery foods.  Fortunately they tell us ahead of time what works for them and we keep notes.  Vegetables, hummas, potato salads, white pasta in all sorts of forms, and protein (often lunch meats and cheese).  We also strive to meet the dietary requirements of those with lactose intolerance, vegetarians and vegans.  It's been a challange to me to cook for vegans as my family likes cheese and tend to include it in quite a few meals.

Aside from my broccoli salad, which we served three times this past week, the biggest demand was for hummus.  The first day we served it, it was a small store bought container.  That was no where near large enough.  The next day I made a single batch and that dissappeared rather quickly.  From then on, I made a double batch each day.  Great tasting source of carbs.
This is my son and myself resting after feeding the runners after the fifth stage, which is the 25k hill run at the local ski club.
Hummus with Tahini

19 oz tin of chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
3/4 cups of tahini (ground sesame seeds)
2 - 3 cloves garlic crushed
juice of two lemons

Place all ingredients in a food processor and grind until smooth.  You will need to add water to get a nice consistancy.  Make it thick enough so that it can be scooped with a piece of pita bread.  You don't want it runny.

Serve with pita bread, natcho chips, or use as a spread on a sandwich.

Of course we can't ignore the sweet tooth of these runners.  They also wanted chocolate and a bit of sweets such as cake or muffins.  That's where I have fun.  I got to bake to my hearts content, which I love to do, but then I didn't have to eat it all.  This year I was reviewing a cake book so the runners became my guinea pigs.  From their comments and the few crumbs left on the serving plate, I'll say the book is a success.  Look for my review of Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman next thursday.

With several vegans in the race as well as a number that are lactose intolerant, I wanted to try my hand at a cake with no dairy nor eggs.  A real challenge for me.  I found a suitable recipe in The Lactose -Free Family Cookbook by Jan Main. It called for eggs, but I substituted an equal amount of tofu and it worked wonderfully.  While this 1996 cookbook appears to be sold out, Jan has a newer book 200 Best Lactose Free Recipes: From Appetizers And Soups To Main Courses And Desserts that is still available.

Tropical Coffee Cake
1 cup each whole wheat flour and all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup undrained crushed pineapple
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated orange rind
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 10 inch bundt pan or spray with nonstick baking spray.
In mixing bowl, stir togethr whole wheat flour, all purpose floour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In spearate bowl, beat together banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and orange rind.  Add to dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until moistened.
Spoon into prepared pan.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until firm to touch and toothpick insierted in centre comes away clean.
I used 2 bananas as they were sitting on my counter and wouldn't get used for anything else. I did need to add a few extra minutes of baking time.  For the eggs I substituted 4 tbsp of silken tofu.
Photo Credits:
Race photos used with permission from Julie Schmidt.
Cover photo and Tropical Coffee Cake photo from Heather Pearson

Do you like to cook, try new recipes, watch movies about cooking etc.. Then click on over to Beth Fish Reads for her "Weekend Cooking" meme. You are invited to add a link to your recent food related post.


Beth F said...

Easy, easy hummus recipe -- thanks. We love hummus and I never really remember to make it myself.

I'm with the fruit eaters , especially watermelon, which is so cooling and refreshing.

And finally -- that cake looks absolutely beautiful and sounds delicious. My husband loves all things pineapple, so I'll have to give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

I love hummus and will give this a try, it sounds really good! I think homemade is much better than store bought.