Monday, March 08, 2010


I must confess to feeling somewhat invincible since breaking through the 2 hour barrier on my training runs. I feel proud of what I've achieved and like Kerry has said "it will only get better". So on that note I have quietly decided (yeah and I'm announcing it to the entire blogworld) that I want to give this half marathon a REALLY good go.

My initial goal was to complete it running (well probably just jogging) all the way without a walk break. That in itself was going to be my huge achievement. But now I'm thinking and planning to do better than that. I havent set a time goal just yet but I know that Pat and I will do that closer to the race. Watch this space as I will declare what my time goal will be.

I now have just under six weeks to the race and I've been thinking about what I need to do to improve my performance. I had a bad eating week last week and that always makes me feel sluggish and firing on less than optimum cylinders. Alcohol consumption is a bit higher than I'd like. On the other hand, my training is pretty much spot on.

So my plan is to pay closer attention to my nutrition. Gillian asked if I used gels on my long runs. Believe it or not, I run on "empty". What do I mean? Well I do most of my training at 5am so its on an empty stomach and its what I'm used to. On Sunday I run before breakfast and all I have before I go is a large (400ml) glass of warm water with fibre powder and freshly squeezed lemon juice in it. Its my morning staple that I have every day of my life. If its a long run I'll usually have a higher carb meal the night before and maybe even a piece of cake as a treat. Thats worked well for me up to now. For recovery I have Burgen muesli and fruit bread with sugar free jam and a mug of white leaved tea. Thats breakfast.

So nutrition wise I'll be paying closer attention to when I have my carbs and how much I have. I dont need to be "carbed up" for an hour run but I do need it for sprint training and the long runs. Sprint training in a depleted state is just NOT FUN!! I plan to moderate my treats with a view to having mainly clean, good quality food. The better the fuel, the better the performance I believe.

I plan to pay better attention to my recovery meals both straight after training and the next meal after. I've been pretty slack on the second meal so I'm taking some professional advice on board. And like I said earlier there will be evening meals that will purposely be higher carb to fuel the next morning's training. I'm confident that I can make some good improvements this way and then its just a matter of working through the training sessions.

I finally realise and accept that as an endurance athlete (albeit a very green novice one!!) my diet will be quite different to that of a body builder. Its no longer all about getting in large ratios of protein foods, although they will still feature in most of my meals. To run well and to run far its about the fuel and that my friends is my new best friend .... CARBS!!


POST SCRIPT: There was a typo in last night's post. Calories burned after the 2 hour run were in excess of 2000 (not 1200 as I mistakenly wrote). Woohoo. Burn baby. Burn!


Kerry W said...

Woohoo! Good one Magda for upping the ante...that's the spirit! ;)

Just my two cents worth (cause I'm no expert)...from what I've read and the little I've experienced, nutrition is one of the most important areas to concentrate on for better performance.
In Crossfit, it's said it can be THE difference in improved performance and stamina. And if you're going to be an endurance athlete, your priority is about energy, not bodyfat. Mind you, done correctly, there isn't any reason why you couldn't be lean. :P

Magda said...

Absolutely Kerry and while I didnt post it last night, my other goal is to get a bit leaner as that also improves performance. The lighter I am the easier I can run and thats a good thing in my book.