Thousands and thousands of committed (and a little crazy) people will run a marathon in the UK this year. They’ll all run for different reasons, they’ll all train a little differently, and they’ll all have different goals. But nobody will ever forget it.
Running a marathon is a huge commitment and for most runners the training will be kicking up a gear at this time of year. We thought we’d do our bit by inviting Ruth Walters from Let Her Eat Clean to write some helpful blogs to encourage and inspire those of you taking the challenge in 2015.
Meet RuthRuth ran her first marathon in 2011 (Paris) and just a year after that ran three 26.2-milers (London, Edinburgh, Cotswolds Ultra) in just three months! She was so inspired by the challenge of fuelling her body to perfection that she retrained as a nutritional therapist. In her first blog Ruth goes through some of her best mealtime tips to support your training.
Fuelling your body
There’s not a single marathon training meal I don’t remember. I became my own guinea pig, tweaking carbs here and fats there to ultimately arrive at an optimum plateful of training fuel. Protein was at the heart of every meal, as was a satisfying serving of starchy carbohydrate, plenty of greens, and good fats – think avocado and lashings of olive oil.
I found myself performing a constant juggling act with convenience, nutrient density and an insatiable appetite. I had my firm favourites – like scrambled duck eggs, creamy sweet potato wedges and I don’t know what I would have done without a daily dose of dark chocolate. Time was such a premium, with bedtime never being more appreciated, so preparation and having a decent cupboard store was essential.
Batch cooking always worked as did doubling up at dinnertime to ensure a hefty portion of leftovers for lunch. Our wedding gift slow cooker came into its own and fish was certainly the dish when it came to the need for a quick flash in the pan.
In this series I’ll be sharing some of my breakfast, lunch and dinner favourites , along with the snacks that filled my desk drawers for the 22 weeks of training.
A few things to remember
- Always know where your next two meals are coming from – marathon training is exhausting and hunger inducing. There’s nothing worse than arriving home tired and hungry without a clue what’s for dinner. Meal planning – especially around your grocery shop – has never been more helpful.
- Hungry? Eat. You’re burning through serious amounts of energy day in,day out. I personally found little and often kept me regularly topped up and never too full or uncomfortably near to bursting ahead of the next training session.
- Practice makes perfect – and there’s no one meal that’s going to bring on a personal best time for everyone. Try out different foods to see what fuels you best. My go-to the night before race day was always a hefty portion of roast chicken, sweet potato wedges, a mountain of spinach, some sliced avocado and a big dollop of houmous.
- Brekkie was always four eggs scrambled with butter and a super strong coffee – about 2.5 hours before the gun went
That’s it for me this time. I’ll be back with more tips on breakfasts in the next few days. Good luck with your training. If you have any tips or even better photos of your food favourites please post them below or share on social media.