I was going to call this article something like ‘Endurance Nutrition’ but changed my mind when I realised that would probably make a fool of myself if I got too scientific. What I do have is a lot of experience of trying to maintain energy levels during endurance activities in the hills whether it’s climbing, running or cycling. When I started to think about some of the my big days in the hills such as the Bob Graham, Nose in a Day, Skye Ridge etc., I realised that I could recall a suprising amount of detail about what I ate and how I felt afterwards; almost as if the experience of eating in situations of extreme fatigue had left an indelible imprint on my memory. One thing I am convinced about is that food and eating in certain circumstances can have a big motivational effect on the day as well as nutritional, almost to the point where the calorific benefits become less relevant than the timing and taste. Pancakes, lard and syrup. John Topping tucks into some proper grub So here are a series of anecdotes from the past, taken from my own experiences and from others, which should help in your own quest to find the right food to eat at the right time. It wasn't until I started fell running that I had a problem with maintaining energy levels in the mountains. Cheese and pickle butties seemed to work fine and for longer routes in the alps a mixture of cheese, condensed milk, sausages and sweeties was enough for multi day routes. The intensity of the activity was the issue. So, for multiple days in the hills the amount of energy I was expending over a fairly long period meant that I could eat and keep down a wide range of tasty grub. Whilst I was physically fit, as soon as I upped the intensity to running for 2 hours or more I had a problem getting enough food down fast enough.