Gear and Nutrition

Another 38km training run done and dusted
Another 38km training run done and dusted

It’s been a while since I posted, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been out there doing it.

MdS training is in full swing, long runs are approaching Marathon length, all other daily runs are around 10-15km each. Plus, the house build is coming along which is adding another 10-15km per day of walking, not to mention all the climbing, lifting etc.

So I’m getting fit.

Perhaps I’m not quite as fast as I was during my Ironman training, but it’s nice to be able to get up in a morning and run a marathon (with a 10kg backpack) if I feel like it, then continue on with my day as if nothing has happened. Well maybe that isn’t quite true, I do feel a little weary by late afternoon and my hip flexors are likely to ache a bit, but for someone who a few years ago vomited after 100m, it’s not a bad improvement.

My weight has even started to drop a bit, I’m almost back under 100kg and I’m sure with a few diet tweaks in the next few weeks that will start to drop as well.

My focus at the moment though is GEAR and NUTRITION. I never thought I’d spend so much time pouring over spreadsheets looking at Product weights, Calories per Gram for food and the like.

But at least it is coming together, some of my gear has been chosen. My WAA backpack is great, it’s only 25L and has to do me a full week, but I’ve been trundling around with it on all my long runs and it has been fantastic. My gaiters arrived last week so I’ll have to get a new pair of runners to attach them to and start to do some practice. Sand goggles have also been sorted. I managed to track down a pair of Fuglies, which are used used by the Australian Defense Force, they look like a normal pair of sunglasses, but also have a lightweight rubber insert and elastic strap that can be added if required to turn them into proper sand resistant goggles, this will save having to have both sunnies and goggles and will also save my eyes should we get hit by a sandstorm. I’ve also picked up my sleeping bag. I finally chose a Sea to Summit down bag. Total weight 450g and it squashes down to the size of a grapefruit. It might not be the warmest bag, but I’m a hot sleeper and I’m assuming I’ll be partly dressed at night (I’m modest) so hopefully I should be warm enough. There is still lots of gear to choose, but hopefully I won’t need the antivenom pump which is mandatory…..

Below is a sample of my Equipment list

Mandatory Grouping Equipment Type Chosen Weight Notes
Shorts / Running Tights Salomon Endurance XL
Socks From Sock Drawer
Spare Socks
Buff Colt Buff
Hat & Neck Cape Racing the Planet caped hat
Jocks From Jock Drawer
Spare Jocks From Jock Drawer
Sunglasses – Sand proof Fuglies
Shoes Salomon Speedcross 3
Gaiters MDS Gaiters
Pack & Sleep
Yes Backpack Official MdS Backpack
Yes Sleeping Bag Sea to Summit Spark 1 458
Sleeping Mat
Mandatory Gear
Yes Compass
Yes Lighter
Yes Whistle Attached to Backpack 0
Yes Headlamp
Yes Spare Batteries
Yes Survival Sheet
Yes Knife with Metal Blade
Yes 200 Euros
Yes Salt Tablets Organiser Supplied
Yes Signal Mirror
Yes 10 x Safety Pins
Yes Distress Beacon Organiser Supplied Organiser Supplied
Electronic Transponder Organiser Supplied Organiser Supplied
Sachets for Toilets Organiser Supplied Organiser Supplied
Passport Normal Passport
Medical Kit
Body Glide
Yes Sunscreen
Yes Tropical Disinfectant
Anti Venom Pump 29
Toilet Paper
Baby Wipes
Ibuprofen (or equivalent)
Athletic Tape
Contact Lenses
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
GPS Watch Garmin Fenix 3
Garmin Charger & Battery
Ear Plugs
Evening Clothes (Only for first night in camp then dispose of)
Stove & Fuel
Tin to boil water
See Separate Nutrition Spreadsheet


From a nutrition perspective my plan is slowly coming together as well. I have to carry all my food for a week on the MdS so weight vs Calories is extremely important. No gourmet dinners here, just fuel to get me through the 250km in the Desert. Breakfast is relatively easy, just a homemade concoction of Oats, Almonds, Sultanas and Protein powder. Dinner is also easy as well, with some sort of Freeze Dried meal and desert being easy to get. It’s been food on the run that has been the hardest. I’m not really one for lots of energy gels. They don’t agree with me and they are heavy as well. The best I’ve come up with so far is a couple of liquid meal replacements (such as optifast), hydralyte and lightweight muesli bars. I feel that I’m almost there with my nutrition, but there is still some work to do. I’m going to try a full week of work and training on my chosen diet in  a couple of weeks so I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’ll post a copy of my diet as soon as I’ve updated it.

Chat soon.