As you may know, I’m currently training for my 2nd marathon and I’ve therefore been experimenting with nutrition and fuelling whilst on my long runs for extra energy and that much needed boost when the going starts getting tough. Here are some of my favourite ways to fuel up.
From the genius that brought us the amazing and vegan friendly Clif Bars, these energy chews are easy to consume on the go as they basically melt in your mouth and they taste just like sweets. I love the Strawberry flavour.
I tend to go for the Salted Caramel flavour towards the end of a really long run as a final sugary boost. Not for everyone as the consistency is rather thick but definitely for those of you with a sweet tooth (like me),
Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Had some great runs with the club, getting out into the fields and off road for some beautiful views. My shorter runs on my own were tougher this week due to general tiredness.
Long run: 19 miles. A long run with my club and it was an absolutely glorious day. We took it easy and had a thoroughly lovely time. Even though I had 21 miles planned, I was happy with the 19 as the majority of it was on trails which meant that some of the terrain was quite tough. Muddy puddles included.
Nutrition: A good week for nutrition by reducing my sugar intake.
What am I listening to? Book podcasts. Back in reading mode, I’ve been listening to The Readers and the Penguin podcast. Also, excitedly working on my London Marathon playlist.
Cross Training: I added in an extra gym session this week focusing on strength exercises and really enjoyed it. Would like to add in more classes especially as tapering is imminent.
Lessons Learnt: It’s ok to be a bit more relaxed with my training schedule and not worry too much about ticking off the exact mileage as long as I’m progressing. I skipped a run the day after my long run as I listened to my body which was telling me to rest.
You can find my previous week’s training diary here.
Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. I’ve felt a little lacklustre this week but have still had some good runs. I’m definitely enjoying the more social aspect when I run with others.
Long run: 18 miles. A truly lovely run. I ran 14 miles with 2 of my run club friends which was just a delight. We had a beautiful route too taking in some great countryside views which I did not capture on camera so please enjoy this photo of a muddy path instead.
Nutrition: I’ve kept is simple this week with wraps for lunch and chilli’s , salads and rice and beans for dinner. Also, rediscovering my love for quinoa. It’s meant I’ve had lots of energy for my morning runs.
What am I listening to? I may be a few years behind, considering this show started in the 1940s, but I am absolutely loving Desert Island Discs which are available as a podcast. Kirsty Young interviews various celebrity guests including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards and Tom Hanks, who choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island. They’re all about 35 minutes long so they’re perfect entertainment for my week day runs.
Cross Training: I’ve been adding in some at home workouts using weights and focusing on arms and core and also went back to Spin class which I find is great for strengthening my hamstrings.
Lessons Learnt: Running with friends really does help pass the time and taking in beautiful routes makes me appreciate living where I do.
You can find my previous week’s training diary here.
Distance clocked this week: 29 miles. 4 runs. I’m only including Sunday to Friday this week as next week’s long run is on a Saturday so I did some pretty good mileage. This is due to my added 7 miler on Wednesday as I joined a running club! Some frosty mornings. this week.
Long run: 14 miles. In stark contrast to last week’s rain sodden jaunt, my long run setting was blue skies and sunshine. I followed a beautiful route which was rather hilly and took in some wonderful countryside sights including these lovely chaps above. The last 2 miles were tougher even though I was running along the canal but I felt incredible afterwards.
Nutrition: Similar to last week as I’m upping my veggie intake and attempting to replace snack bars with fruit. Going pretty well so far but all the festive chocolate lingering around isn’t helping. Also, this was the first time I included gels on my long run and I tried the Clif Bloks which I really enjoyed using.
What am I listening to? So many running podcasts and 80s and 90s playlist in the gym. This week I’ve discovered the Run to the Top Podcast.
Cross Training: My first yoga class in such a long time and it felt great to take the time to stretch out. Also, have officially started my strength training which included the dreaded plank, dead lifts, weighted squats and lunges.
Lessons Learnt : Took my Fitletic hydration belt for its first spin in a while and for some reason it was irritating me as it kept moving around.
You can find my week 1 post here and week 2 here .
Now, I am no expert but I have been into fitness for approximately 12/13 years and have been into al fresco running for a couple of years now. I have just signed up for my first ever race (details below) so expect more running related blogs in the future. Here’s some of the tips I have picked up so far:
What to take – You don’t need to leave the house with all of your worldly possessions. If you are going out for less than 45 mins – 1hr, you don’t even really need to take water. (unless it’s a particularly hot day). I take a pound (for emergency water), my key, my bank card (which doubles up as London bus fare just in case) and my phone. I’ve also just purchased a Garmin Sports watch so stay tuned for a review on this. TBC what I will be taking when I start building up my distances again.
Playlists – so important to have music that motivates you and will keep you going when you are starting to really feel it. I have tons of playlists on Spotify (you can take them offline). Everything from the Best of the 90s, Rock and Country. It’s a great idea to change up your playlists regularly so you don’t get bored and have something to look forward to listening to.
Podcasts – I’m also a huge fan of listening to Podcasts whilst running as they really do distract you from those pesky hill climbs (ok, nothing can really distract you from those!). I love listening to The Joyful Vegan, an amazing and engaging Vegan writer as well as The Ginger Runner. I also hear Audiobooks are a great way to get through those long runs.
Reading – I find books on the subject of running and individual’s running journey’s really inspiring. Some I have enjoyed so far include: Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley, Fat Man to Green Man by Ira Rainey and The Lazy Runner by Laura Fountain. I also really like to read Running and Fitness mags for up to date tips and exercise guides.
Apps – I use Map my Run to record my workout and Walk Jog Run for running routes- I find that having a route will push you further and make it easier to go longer distances.
Nutrition – for me, this depends on when I go for a run. If I am going first thing in the morning, then I will have either half a banana, half a protein bar or one of my peanut butter protein balls (find recipe here https://londonveganbird.com/2014/08/06/london-vegan-bird-food-protein-peanut-butter-bites/). I find this is enough to keep me going until I get back but everyone is different. You may need to fuel up with breakfast beforehand but make sure you leave at least an hour before you exercise (could be more depending on how you feel).
Clothing – one of my favourite and most motivating factors for running. It is vital that you find comfortable clothes that you don’t think about when you are doing your thing. I’m a big fan of the Nike Filament Leggings which work really well for me. Stay tuned for a more detailed blog post coming soon.
Trainers – it is important to get your gait measured. Yes, when you start running you may learn these technical words. A gait analysis is basically looking at how you move and, in this case, run in particular. It will detect whether you under or over pronate (whether your foot naturally moves inwards with movement) then the consultant measuring you will recommend trainers that are suited to the outcome. I have been to both Runner’s Need and Sweatshop and found both services excellent.
I hope you enjoyed my little detour from the usual subject matter. Let me know if you would like to see more running related posts as I am thinking about doing a series in my run up (ha!) to my Half Marathon.
Thanks for reading.
London Vegan Bird
P.S. I am running the British 10k for the wonderful Mayhew Animal Home. If you wish to sponsor me, you can find my Just Giving Page here. https://www.justgiving.com/Karen-Denton or to find out more information about the incredible work the Mayhew does, visit their website http://www.mayhewanimalhome.org
I probably spend way too much time on Youtube. Hey, its the voice of a generation, right? I’m always looking for new inspiration and motivation for Fitness, Health and Working Out. These are a few of my favourite Youtube channels that do just that.
Carly Rowena – Carly has an infectious way about her and her love for health and fitness really shines through in her videos. She has recently qualified as a Personal Trainer and I only have admiration for those who turn their passion into their career. Great fitness videos and general advice as well as some more quirky topics handled firmly with her tongue in her cheek.
Tone It Up – I’ve already expressed my love for these Tone It Up Girls who have also made Fitness their lives. Excellent motivating and engaging fitness videos all carried out with a smile on their lip glossed, gorgeous faces. They also have their own TV show on Bravo that just aired, doncha know?
BreeLovesBeauty – With wisdom beyond her years, Cambria’s channel is a joy to watch. She is dedicated to working on a healthy body and mind and has loads of ideas to achieve this. From recipe videos, to healthy food hauls to general inspiration, all achieved with a bright and breezy positive manner in the California sunshine.
Sarah Fit – actually friends with the Tone It Up girls, Sarah’s channel covers everything from ‘What I Eat in A Day’ , grocery hauls, workout tips, fitness gadgets and tons more. Again, I love that she allows herself treats and is realistic about her goals and other peoples. Another lovely and inspiring youtuber.
Healthy Happy Life. Gemma has such a charming, sweet manner about her and I love that she admits when she is having her off days too. Great vegetarian recipe ideas and quick and easy tips. Be sure to check out Gemma’s website as well where she has recently been posting her food diary. I’m so nosy, I love it. http://www.gemsmaquillage.com/
Let me know if you have any more suggestions of Youtubers I should check out. I would love to know.