Some food observations….

It’s been totally counter-intuitive for me this ‘marathon diet’. I’m calling it a diet because it gives it a temporary status. This kind of eating in the long run cannot be!

Here’s the low down…..

Sugar is great and I can get away with more of it than normal but the cravings are the same and frankly, there are better more effective carbs to have before runs. If I do have sugar, it’s going to be raw cane in energy bars, dates or bananas. I just can’t neck a load of sugar for the hell of it! It hurts my belly and I can feel it in my joints. This is one thing I won’t change for anything!

– My advice is this…avoid overdoing the carb loading thing before long run days. There is a limit to how much carbohydrate the muscles can hold and eating more than normal will just make me feel bloated and heavy in the morning. I want to feel light and energetic which is possible if I don’t eat to bloating point. So slow eating is important to give the body a chance to recognise in advance when I’m getting full. In the few days before a long run, just replace some of the protein (but not all), some fat and fibre you would normally have with carbohydrate.

Also it’s important not to eat too late. For me, the cut of is 7pm. Afterwards usually means a disturbed sleep. The night before, I try to avoid lots of garlic (like garlic bread), raw onion, animal protein (slow to digest), dairy (produces mucus and for me, restricts deeper breathing), simple sugars (disturbed sleep caused by acidity), lots of raw fruit and vegetables (more difficult to digest) and focus on simple light sauces and plain carbs.

Avoid too much fibre the day before. Smoothies are great for cleansing, but for me my metabolism is running in overdrive as it is. Too much more acidic fruits in concentrated form as in a smoothie, would push me into a very different ‘runs’ situation!

Pasta, especially white with light tomato sauce, i.e without heavy meats, soya or cream is ideal. Maybe with some light crusty white bread. Avoid heavy pumpernickel and high fibre varieties the day before.

I would not normally ever eat pizza but it has seemed to be a good carb loader as occasional thing.

Water and other fluids

I try to drink a lot of water, first thing in the morning, before and between meals but not straight after. I water-load the day before and try to drink a couple of pints within 2 hours but not after 30 minutes before running. I start sipping electrolyte water fairly quickly into the long run. Coconut water is superb for after a long run. Put bluntly, I drink fluids until I’m peeing regularly again!

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