Its 20:30 on the first day of our “running lean” experiment, and everything is disappointingly normal. I have a light headache but no other discomfort, aside from the fact I am looking a little longingly at some smoked sausages that we have mistakenly left adorned around the galley. I could easily nail all of them. The legs are in the usual state of being vaguely cogniscent that they had been called upon, but not seeking retribution for that. Even the final sparse bowl of white rice I could take or leave, not my favourite food.
We are training for the perhaps likely eventuality that there will be sections on the route where we are not going to be able to satisfy our daily calorific requirement of 3266cals (check out http://www.marathonguide.com/fitnesscalcs/), or even just the bulk of any foodstuffs to make one feel full.
We are going to go hungry, and we need to know how each of us will react physically and mentally.
The stretch we are most likely to encounter this shortage will be in the amazonian rainforest. That’s important because actually its dehydration that we need to be most aware of, and at least water will be plentiful through careful filtration each day. But the roads are long, uninterrupted and unforgiving, and there is a chance that we will not meet a village or stall to replenish food supplies for 100miles or more. The settlements in this part of the world are centred on rivers rather than the newly carved roads which now divide the basin. We will obviously carry food supplies in our packs, including emergency rations, but with each gram of weight we add to our packs comes with a proportional increase to our daily required calorie intake, so we need to run as leanly as possible.
Up to 24hrs: Food: Limited diet of rice only* Miles: 5 (to much work to do druming up sponsors!)
24– 48hrs: Food: Nil, Miles: 10 – with light running pack
48– 72hrs: Food: Nil, Miles: 10 – with light running pack
* following principles of de-tox, the rice provides the carrier to help absorb and remove impurities
Its certainly not the worst case scenario but will give us a chance to discover how our bodies react, lets see if and how we fare. . . !