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What the Elites Eat on the Trail

Consider upgrading your trail mix with one of these options.

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Trail snacks that provide enough calories and the right mix of macronutrients can keep you from bonking mid-run—eating while racking up the miles, not just before and after, is one of the best ways to make sure you feel great during training. These pros have logged a lot of miles and developed a taste for creative fueling options. Before committing to their top trail snacks, remember to experiment and see what works for you because, just like every runner, every runner’s stomach is unique.

Hillary Allen

Mountain runner for The North Face, coach at CTS, and author living in Annecy, France

Allen ultratunning high in the mountains
Photo: Guillem Casanova

“During training runs, I like to have carrot sticks or real fruit when I get to a mountain summit and am craving something fresh. During races, one of my favorite things is squeeze packets of applesauce, there are so many great flavors. Then what gets me through long races or mountain adventures are homemade rice cakes made with rice, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and soy sauce.”

Cat Bradley

Salomon athlete and winner of the 2017 Western States Endurance Run; holds the FKT for running rim to rim to rim of the Grand Canyon

Bradley smiling against a clear sky

“Right now, I’m enjoying a high fat, high carb, salty and sweet mix of dehydrated garbanzo beans tossed in oil and mixed with sweet potato chips.”

[Related: Getting the Right Nutrition on Trail Runs Can Make All the Difference]

Megan Lizotte

Professional trail runner, coach, founder of Athlete Mamas, and ambassador for Lululemon

Lizotte running on a red mountainside next to a valley
Photo: Amy Rollins

“I love Heavenly Hunks (chocolate, oat, coconut bars), Justin’s coconut almond butter (don’t just suck down gels and chews—you need a bit of fat to keep your stomach happy and blood sugar from spiking), and Effie’s oatcakes, a high calorie cookie/cracker hybrid that is delish and easy on your stomach.”

Gina Lucrezi

Professional ultrarunner and founder of Trail Sisters

Lucrezi running through a forest

“I like a mix of plain almonds and dried (unsweetened) mangos because both bring great nutrients and sugars and taste lovely mixed together. For a similar effect, any of the Patagonia Provisions Fruit and Almond Bars are great. Besides that, I choose Zours or Sour Patch Kids to fill the candy staple, as well as a savory/salty go-to mix of chips, sesame sticks, and salty peanuts or other ‘bar snack mixes,’ sans any chocolate pieces (they always melt…).”

Grayson Murphy

Saucony-sponsored road, track, and trail runner, and 2019 World Mountain Running Champion and XTERRA Trail Run World Champion

Murphy running in the mountains at summertime

“Coming from road and track running I learned that for long trail runs, I need to bring twice the food I think I’ll need—it’s saved me a lot! I’ve been really liking Honey Stinger waffles. They are just sweet enough, and don’t require too much chewing, unless it’s really cold outside.”