With my patients I am fortunate to be able to know some of the most incredible adventures that can be lived. In this case the patient is Ignasi Prat, enamored of the sport and owner of Gadgets for running and the adventure is The Ultimate Ice Ultra, a race of self-sufficiency of 230km separated in 4 stages of Ultra distance (44, 50, 46, 90km) in Lapland At temperatures that can go between -10 and -30.
In this case I could prepare with Ignasi the nutritional part of this race taking into account the low temperatures but, so that you know what is necessary to carry out this adventure and, above all, as Ignasi lived this experience, I have decided that he Count in first person
How did you decide to embark on this adventure? I want to do all the Arctic or cold races in the world. Why? What is calling your attention? Well, I like extreme racing and my heat is not going well for me. So you only have the cold ones, right? Exactly, in addition to my jungle theme I do not like much about the subject of the bugs (laughs).
What real weather conditions did you have when making the race? The truth is that it was hot and that was a handicap. Normal temperatures are about -20 ° C and we were below -10 ° C. I see that it was hot relative. Yes (laughs) but it was a problem because it had showed a lot and this temperature caused the snow to be pasty and therefore the terrain was like sand but slippery which forces you to run with snowshoes. You wear rackets because the organization has told you, but what you cannot imagine is that you have to run 230km with snowshoes.
What preparation does a person need to do this career? First of all a training supervised by a personal trainer who knows of ultradistancia and takes you a correct training.
It would also be the part of the equipment, knowing what to buy and what to bring. You have to wear a mask to warm the incoming air, not suffer lung and not give an extra expense to the body by heating the air. And you have to equip by layers, you have to carry 3 layers: a lightweight of wool (I wear merino), one depending on the time it takes and the third layer in case the conditions are strong. But when you run with cold you do not have to be too warm, you have to carry the equipment just, that you are hot but that you do not sweat because only when you freeze everything. You cannot skimp a euro on equipment. In fact in this race there were people who skimped money on rackets and then had problems.
Another very important part is the feeding, knowing what to eat during the whole race and just after each stage to recover and have strength for the next day. The usual thing in the camp is to eat with freeze-dried food, which is indeed very good!
Being a self-reliance race (i.e. you have to carry everything on) the weight is very important. What did you do to keep it in mind? You have to take into account the weight of the material and of course the weight of the food, which is what I was calculating with you. Let the gels be as heavy as possible but give you the necessary nutrients. In this case we chose Agisko’s weighing 37g. As for freeze-dried food the weight is not so important but if the packaging. They are wrapped in aluminum. It is best to remove it and put it in a zip bag, which reduces the bulk considerably.
Think that you start the loaded race like a mule and as the days pass the weight is lightening. Take everything you need from the start: mineral salts, gels, food, etc. And always taking into account the worst scenario, which will take you longer to do the race. You cannot go short of food because if you run out of food you do not finish the race.
In fact before passing my query you told me that you did another race, the Arctic Yukon and that food is what made you lower performance. Yes, the Arctic Yukon was 100 miles with self-sufficiency. I went very well the first 100km but then, I made a very important descent due to poor nutrition. He had no gels; he had his own food that was not adequate.The food affected me in this case very negatively.
We calculate a theoretical feed for this race but then you go and you find the reality could you fit well or was there an unforeseen inconvenience? I left some mineral salts and 2 gels. But hey, we had it calculated a bit to have left, right? What was fair but better always on?
As we talked every hour or 50 minutes I took 1 gel, isotonic drink every 15-20 minutes and some salt pills. In the last stage, which is the longest, take me freeze-dried food to make during the day. So mentally you make a break and eat something solid that gives you more energy. In the camp I immediately took a stove, ate and slept.
Well you’ll be happy for the race, right? You actually finished third. Good finish third for the circumstances. Longer a career depends more on how you organize, the decisions you take and the care you must have of your feet. That people sometimes do not give much importance.
To finish what was the hardest time, the most beautiful and the most enjoyable? The hardest was the first day. I had been feverish for a few days before going and I did not notice 100% and it cost me. But at the end of the first stage I started to feel good feelings. The most beautiful was when in the last stage I saw that I was going to do podium. This excited me because I am not a person to do podium and I was excited. And what I enjoyed the most, well are many, small moments that you love, that landscape, be there and meet the people you meet in these races that are incredible people.
So would you recommend people to experience the Ultimate Ice Ultra? Of course you have to go prepared and have the right advice. Since you make a race so enjoy it and do not finish the stages agonizing but with the feeling that you have something left. I remember that, in the end, in the last stage I arrived not sprinting but happy, with the feeling that there were still resources. That is the interesting thing.