Monday, 20 May 2013


Ahhhh.......eating and drinking......2 of my very favourite things!!
And 2 activities that I think a lot of runners obsess over and have many hang-ups about.

A cup of molten chocolate....bliss!
Everybody is different, both in their basal metabolic rate, and in the food they like to eat, but I am a firm believer in that the body will tell you what it needs and you shouldn't deprive it.
Ok, so I'm not a super-light, super-streamlined, super-speedy track runner.......but I have sufficent stores to sustain my running over the distances that I enjoy. Using Comrades as an example - when you arrive in South Africa people look at you and make judgements based on your physique; I was told that I should be able to run it OK as I "wasn't as skinny as some girls". It is noticeable that in distance races such as Comrades or 100Ks (and I base this on observations both as a runner and as the medical support) that those runners who do not fuel adequately as they go along, soon find themselves fading even if they started out really strongly. If you get your nutrition and hydration right, you often find yourself finishing well ahead of runners that on paper should be well up the road.
You gotta love a free post-race buffet

I was lucky enough to listen to a talk by a dietician at one of the Scottish Hill Squad away days. Interestingly, she told all of the hill runners that they needed to eat more every single day. She guessed that this might concern some of them, but reassured them that as they were training regularly, the vital extra calories would actually help build muscle and strength rather than being laid down as fat. A few of my other running friends have also found that when they increase their intake, they perform better and some actually lost some weight, counterintuitive though that may seem. I know that after a long run (and sometimes for the next couple of days) I feel as if I can never satisfy my appetite, and so eat constantly, yet I don't seem to get any heavier.

2 breakfasts pre-race is better than one!

When in Lanzarote, I certainly took advantage of the "all you can eat" buffets at breakfast and dinner, yet did some of my best training there, so it cannot have done any harm, and probably did me some good!

Seafood and Sangria!!

Interestingly, if I think back to 2 specific races when I felt I didn't perform very well, both involved problems with my nutrition beforehand.... whether it was a long time spent travelling, missing out on regular mealtimes, or whether it was the fact that certain race organisers forgot to provide any carbs in the vegetarian meals the day before the race!
Basically, I've learnt to listen to my body, and not worry about what people think of the amount that I eat as it has always served me well. In fact, when away at my last two international races, the only people that eat more were the super-speedy Kenyans, so if it works for them......

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