MCR 26.2 Blog W10/20: You are what you eat

Training and resting are the two things that I feel that I excel at with marathon training. Nutrition is probably the one of the three key areas that I am weakest at.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I eat. I’ve been taking part in a GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance Lab study recently (more of that in a full post later), and one of the things that it is focussing on is the diet of reasonably fast endurance athletes.

During the three week study there have been a few key rules. No alcohol, no caffeine, no vitamins or supplements – these are partly to ensure all participants are eating a healthy diet, but also to remove any other factors that could be affecting the results. During week one and week three I have had to keep a food diary, and during the middle week I have been eating a specific diet provided to me as part of the study.

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MCR 26.2 Blog W9/20: Mid-marathon training, still miles to go

Now being eleven weeks out from marathon day, I’m getting into the situation that many runners will be in – my training is beginning to come together, certain training runs are giving me confidence that I’m where I need to be. Whisper it quietly, but I’m almost looking forward to skipping forward and seeing what I can do come race day.

That feeling lasted until this weekend. It wasn’t punctured in a big way, by an injury or anything, but just by a run or two that sapped my confidence a bit. This week I ran on my normal rest day (more of why on this blog in a few weeks time) and so I went into the weekend a little fatigued. I was still able to run a decent almost 18 minutes flat at Parkrun, and then back it up with 8 miles afterwards, but on that second run I was feeling very leggy.

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MCR 26.2 Blog W8/20: Are you sleeping comfortably?

Two things have inspired me to write today’s blog. The first of those is a two, and it comes from reading ‘Two Hours’ by Ed Caesar. When considering those engaged in the pursuit of ever faster marathon times, Ed looks not just at never-before accomplished feats like the two hour marathon, but also the attempt to be the first to successfully summit Everest – the ‘great white fang, excrescent from the jaw of the world’ as Mallory described it.

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Hillary, Hunt and Norgay contemplating said excrescent fang

In chapter two Ed describes the attitude that those athletes and explorers looking to break new ground require:

“To reach the summit, the pioneer knows that he must endure more, live braver, plan better than his forebears – and that all these qualities will likely be insufficient.”

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