Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Running on Rubbish

I think there must be something about marathon training that gives you a bigger than normal appetite. Anything over a two hour run - in my mind - is pretty massive in running terms and on every long run day I've felt the need to "ensure adequate nutrition" (read: eat a lot) both before, during and after the session. For recovery, of course.


It was going very well, as all this eating involved massive healthy smoothies, protein-filled salads and a small obsession with seasonal vegetables. However, a 10 day stint of working away messed up my routine a bit and smoothies became large baguettes, protein-filled salads were replaced by visits to the hot meat counter and seasonal vegetables were replaced by visits to restaurants that mostly involved some sort of all-you-can-eat cuisine. A personal favourite was El Vaquero, a Brazilian restaurant that provided you with a red light and a green light. So long as your green light was on, many cowboy-hatted waiters came frequently to your table with enormous skewers of meat. I was in heaven.

On my return back to real life, I should have been nicely rested and ready to bust out some good quality training. Instead, I just felt bloated and lethargic. All the time spent sitting on my backside in the car and eating out had caught up with me. Not only that but back in real life (and in my lovely office where there isn't a "no eating" rule), the festive season was in full swing and who am I to ruin everybody else's festive spirit by saying no to a mince pie or a slice of home made yule log. For a while I seemed to forget all about going healthy and had slipped back into some bad old habits.

A hop onto the scales was a scary reminder that I'm not invincible to calories and was a shock enough to have me trainering up and setting off for a run. The problem is, when you've filled your body with rubbish, it doesn't feel like running, or doing much else for that matter. The trick is (and I have written this on a post-it note which is stuck to my computer to ensure I remember) to eat good, nourishing stuff and just supplement it lightly with the odd festive treat. I had to write the note because I think I did end up ruining some of the Christmas cheer in the office by eating substantially more than my share from the tin of Quality Streets the boss brought in for us.

With less than two weeks until the marathon, it's time to get back into healthy habits, start fuelling properly and have the body feeling energised and light rather than feeling like a Christmas pudding!

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