Getting the Basics Right – Nutrition and Fuelling for Marathon Day (Part 1)

With thanks to the folks at SiS!

We all know good nutrition is essential to performance. With this in mind, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event hosted by Science in Sport (SiS) on nutrition and fuelling for marathon day. In return, I was asked to write this post. I also wanted to share some of the key takeaway messages.

The afternoon included a number of presentations and a run.

Continue reading “Getting the Basics Right – Nutrition and Fuelling for Marathon Day (Part 1)”

Training Recap – 7 Weeks to London Marathon

One of the many landmarks on the London Marathon route.

It’s been a week of highs and lows.

My long run was slow and steady as planned and I ran part of the London Marathon route. It did give me shivers  – not long to go now!

But then things got tricky. My run on Tuesday was awful – one of those runs that makes you question the point of it all and if I can really do this – the bad run. I know this is normal as the miles start to build and I’m running on tired legs.

My run the following day wasn’t much better but what had changed was my thinking. My legs hurt but after 7 miles the day before and a tough pilates session, I wasn’t surprised and was able to be a little more sensible in how I responded.

Then Thursday, I got the kick I needed. Thanks to the Science in Sport team, Continue reading “Training Recap – 7 Weeks to London Marathon”

The Bad Run

Snoopy Where Am I Going by Charles SchultzEver had a run that sucks? I mean, really sucks? One of those where you doubt your ability to run even one mile.

This was me on Tuesday – 7 miles with heavy legs running slower than I have for a long time.  I wasn’t ill and I’m not injured. This run sent me into the dreaded downward thought spiral. Doubt. Fear. A bit of an existential crisis. Yep, it’s all there.

But over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with runs like this and try to switch my headspace from the emotional to the rational. It becomes a little conversation in my head and goes a little like this – Continue reading “The Bad Run”

Warm Lentil Salad with Wilted Spinach, Roast Vegetables, Goat’s Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

This is a heart and stomach warming salad with a lovely depth and intensity of flavour. The lentils and beetroot give it an earthiness which is then balanced out with the spinach, roast veggies and glaze. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover roast veg if you want a quick and easy version.

And the reason for making this – having friends over for dinner after a run, I needed something that doesn’t require a lot of complicated measuring and this hits the bill. Continue reading “Warm Lentil Salad with Wilted Spinach, Roast Vegetables, Goat’s Cheese and Balsamic Glaze”

Training Recap – 8 Weeks to London Marathon

In 8 weeks, will be running here with 36,000 others!

Last year was a rubbish running year for all sorts of reasons. It was one of those extended periods where running took a dip, I mainlined Netflix and my favourite pair of running shoes gravitated to the back of the wardrobe.  On very rare occasions, I’d look on the scales – the numbers didn’t change much but clothes got a little tighter and I was feeling soggier around the edges.

This brings me to the wonders of London Marathon training. Again, the numbers on the scales really haven’t changed but I’m soon in need of buying a smaller pair of jeans – good times! Continue reading “Training Recap – 8 Weeks to London Marathon”

The Original Hampton Court Half – Report & Lessons Learned


Love the rhinos! Great charity

I love seeing a rhino at a race. That way I know we’re getting close to London Marathon time. So here I was at the start line of the Original Hampton Court Half and a few thousands others, the rhino a little ahead in the pen.

My mate, Peter, had picked me up a few hours earlier and we’d traveled from southeast London to the pre-arranged carpark at Giggs Hill. It was going to be an unseasonably warm day which was a lovely change to the snow and sleet of the week before.

After the bag drop and the all important pre-race bathroom break, we put ourselves in the 2 hr 20m pen. This was going to be more of a training run than a race.

A hundred or so metres away, the speedier folk were off. Continue reading “The Original Hampton Court Half – Report & Lessons Learned”

Training Recap – 9 Weeks to London Marathon

If you’ve made it this far, only a few hundred metres to go!

It’s starting to feel real.

But while the miles are building and my base fitness has improved, I’m getting lazy about everything else. The laziness has to do with core and rolling, life in general, my diet and all the other stuff I need to be doing to get me to start line of the London Marathon.

I blame February, or more specifically, the weather. I noticed last weekend how grumpy so many folk are. I think it’s the time of year and the everlasting and never ending English winter. Every run is in the cold and about 75% under cloudy skies, if not in the rain and/or dark. It’s been pretty grim for months and it’s making me a bit of a grump – sorry folks!

I know running helps but I think it might be time to deploy my ‘how to deal with English weather’ arsenal. Continue reading “Training Recap – 9 Weeks to London Marathon”

Lazy Leek and Potato Soup

I’m a big fan of soup. I’m an even bigger fan if I’ve just come in from a run in chilly weather. This recipe is fast and easy to make, cheap as chips and to top it off, very very tasty.

I make the lazy version of this – there’s less prep and using potatoes with the skin left on is healthier with more iron, potassium and fibre.

This needs to be made fresh Continue reading “Lazy Leek and Potato Soup”

Training Recap – 10 Weeks to London Marathon

Having the lurgy sucks. Having the lurgy while marathon training really sucks. To run or not to run, that is the question? I had to answer this on Sunday morning for which I’d planned a 12 miler.

I’d done Parkrun the day before. I’d woken up with a bit of a tingle at the back of my throat but was otherwise feeling fine. And it was a good run – faster than training pace. After the routine mocha/hot chocolate with my running buddy, Mary, I headed home. I mooched about in the afternoon, did core and rolling and felt OK. By about 7pm, I felt like rubbish. My throat was on fire, the glands on the side of my neck were swollen and I ached all over. Continue reading “Training Recap – 10 Weeks to London Marathon”

Supper Special – Chunky Minestrone Soup

I’m in the midst of marathon training- this means I’m tired a lot of the time. Especially now, I’m conscious of the need for healthy nutritious food to keep me going and to help with recovery – a good balance of carbs and protein and with vegetables thrown in for good measure.

What I love about making a big batch of minestrone is it can last for a few days and/or can be frozen. If freezing, you’ll want to leave out any of the last minutes additions like pasta and cook this fresh when you reheat the soup. Continue reading “Supper Special – Chunky Minestrone Soup”