In barely three months, you’ll be on the start line of the 32nd MARATHON DES SABLES. Say goodbye to roast turkey and Christmas pudding, say hello to freeze-dried food! But not just that: to be effective on MDS, you need to eat the appropriate food for the time of day. Meals, snacks, refreshments, race food… Let’s take a look at the ideal strategy.
BEFORE A STAGE
Combine efficiency with pleasure: dried muesli with fruit puree or rice pudding.
DURING A STAGE
Like for any long race or hike, equip yourself with energy bars, fruit bars, dried fruit, etc. Avoid chocolate snacks and energy gels and drinks, which tend to react badly to the heat.
Long stage: don’t hesitate to stop and prepare yourself one, or even two, proper meals. The check-points are ideal places for a food break, take advantage!
JUST AFTER A STAGE
Immediate recovery: treat yourself to a refreshment, for example an energy drink (glucose, mineral salts) with a fruit puree or rice pudding (dried) and a salty snack (cashew nuts, crackers, etc.). Avoid making yourself a hot drink, which would be a waste of time and energy. If you finish late, you can take some nibbles towards the end of the stage and skip this refreshment to spend your time on healthcare and preparing your dinner.
Starter, main course, dessert: prepare a soup (miso), a dried dish (that you will naturally have tested at home to make sure it tastes good and is practical, e.g. rice is more complicated to rehydrate than pasta), and a rehydrated dessert (fruit puree, etc.).
Reminder: food self-sufficiency
Food self-sufficiency starts on 9 April at breakfast, and ends on 15 April at breakfast.
The following meals are provided by the organization:
07 April: lunch (packed) and dinner on the bivouac
08 April: breakfast, lunch, dinner
15 April: lunch (packed) - dinner at hotel
16 April: breakfast and dinner at hotel - lunch as you like
17 April: breakfast
Reminder: obligatory calories
Remember that at technical controls you will need to justify the calories that you are taking with you. This involves drawing up a list featuring all of the food that you are taking, with the quantities and associated calories, and ideally identifying which day and meal they correspond to. Therefore at every meal, you’ll easily be able to find what you had planned, and you won’t tap into your reserves for the following days.
Summary of minimum calories to present every morning:
• Technical control: 14,000
• 1st day: 14,000
• 2nd day: 12,000
• 3rd day: 10,000
• 4th day: 8,000
• 5th day: 6,000
• 6th day: 4,000
• 7th day: 2,000
Equipment: portable stove
We recommend that you take a portable stove that uses alcohol tablets. Don’t forget spare fuel or you’ll be eating your meals cold! For safety reasons, gas stoves are strictly prohibited. Also be aware that airport security staff carry out very strict safety checks.
Be organized, test out your products first, and everything will run as smoothly as if you’d reserved your own gastronomic table in the desert!