Trevor Fuchs Ultra Season is Off and Running!
Utah native and UnTapped athlete Trevor Fuchs recently competed in Hawaii for the HURT100, a grueling 100 mile ultra running race outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. And by "competed", we mean Trevor won! With a winning time of just a hair over 22 hours, he navigated the treacherous course faster than the 125 others to toe the line in this early season classic. Let's jump into a quick conversation with Trevor.
Given that it’s a January race and you’re coming from a chilly winter in Utah, how did you expect to go in Hawaii? What were the race day conditions like?
The different climates certainly play a factor in performance. Utah is not only cold, but also very dry, so the heat and humidity are a shock to the system. It's also a challenge to mimic course conditions where I live as the trails are covered in snow. The HURT 100 course is extremely technical, loaded with large roots, slick rocks, and steep climbs and descents. Most of the year, I am able to train on pretty technical terrain so I think the skills carry over...even though I spent a lot of time on the treadmill in the weeks leading up to the race. To adjust to the heat and humidity, I tried to do most of my important workouts indoors and spent a lot of time in the sauna. This year the course was rained on intensely for over two weeks leading up to the race, so the trails were super muddy and wet. In a lot of ways, running in snow here translates well to running in mud.
Experience and race savvy is something you have on your side. Nice job Trevor!
Photo: Brent Young
How did your fueling compare in training as to race day, especially given the conditions?
During training, I tend to eat a lot more solid foods like waffles and leftover pancakes chased down with a shot of maple syrup. Because this race is 80 degrees and 80% humidity, it is a challenge for me to consume solid foods. I like to get most of my calories from liquid in these conditions, so MapleAid has been my go-to fuel source. Since this was my third time over there for this race, I've really been able to dial in what I consume during the race that works well. I was consuming about 36 oz of drink mix per 6-7 miles in between aid stations and about 250 calories per hour total, including salty snacks and fruits at the aid stations.
You’re a successful vegan athlete with no other nutritional restrictions. How long have you been competing with this diet and how does UnTapped fit in your your nutritional regime?
I have actually been on a plant based diet since before I became a competitive athlete. I think it's a diet that works well for my body and eliminated a lot of the foods that were causing digestive and inflammatory issues that I had most of my life.
As part of this, I've tried to stay away from things like refined sugars. I've found that maple syrup works well for me as a replacement in foods, but especially as a carbohydrate source for endurance activities.
Most gels and other similar fuel products have always caused GI issues for me, where as maple syrup cause none. This has been huge for my performance because during 100 mile runs, you're taking in two or three standard gels per hour, so replacing that with pure maple syrup has eliminated a lot of issues for me.
What are the general tenets of how you fuel? Then take a step back and without making it too much of a poetic question, what's your general philosophy on life.
My basic philosophy on life, which I think is conveyed in the way I eat and fuel, is to be a healthy, kind and compassionate person. This is always a work in progress, but it's something I want to strive for every day. I became plant based when I realized there was very little difference between a pig and a dog, and subsequently made the connection to what was on my plate. A big part of the decision was also to start eating healthier whole foods. This is a challenging question for me to answer, but I think what I'm trying to say is that I want to be the healthiest and best version of myself and always try to have the most helpful impact on the people and environment around me.
Photo: Brent Young
The season is young, but is off to an amazing start. What else do you have on your calendar in 2020?
I tend to look at this race as more of a season ender for me. Late winter/early spring is a good time for me to collect myself, get some rest, and do a little cross training. My biggest races of the year will be in the summer at Hardrock 100 in Silverton, CO and UTMB in Chamonix, France. I will fit in a few shorter races around those two, and probably end my year with a big, multi day adventure run with friends.
You’ve recently got your hands on some of the newest stuff from here in Vermont. Quick final question: what's your take on Salted Raspberry UnTapped and the Lemon Waffle?
They are amazing! The Lemon Waffle has the perfect mix of tart and sweet, and the box is not likely to last until I get back in to heavy training in the spring. The Salted Raspberry UnTapped is such a great idea as well. Not only is the additional sodium beneficial during grueling workouts, but the contrast of salty and sweet helps combat taste bud fatigue during longer events. I'm really stoked for these new varieties!