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My pre-marathon diet

I just wanted to write some stuff here about the food I’ve eaten in the last week running up to the 2010 London Marathon. This week has been the best bit about the whole process as I’ve basically been eating myself silly.

This diet was heavily based on one which was given to me by a friend from an article in Men’s Health magazine, written by nutritionist Matt Lovell. I changed some bits mostly to cut out stuff I didn’t like or didn’t have to hand. I also took into account what I felt my body wanted at the time as I think there’s little point forcing yourself to eat if you don’t feel like it.

The general principle seems to be to focus more on a higher protein intake towards the beginning of the week (with smaller portions due to training tapering down) which leaves the body clear to pump in loads of carbs towards the latter end of the week. My principle before I read this article was always to “carb up” to the maximum and I think this diet was better as it left my stomach in much better shape as I haven’t been eating such a selection of weighty foods. If you’re planning to run a marathon I think you might find some of this useful!

Monday 19th April

Breakfast: Porridge oats and soya, banana
Snack: Small baked potato with beans
Lunch: Fish with vegetables
Snack: granola bar, apple
Dinner: Ginger chicken udon

Tuesday 20th April

Breakfast: scrambled eggs on toast, orange juice
Snack: Fruit salad mixed with yogurt and a bit of granola
Lunch: Chicken and chickpea in a pita with salad with some mustard and honey thrown in for good measure!
Snack: Apple and banana
Dinner: Char grilled salmon steak with broccoli and carrots

Wednesday 21st April

Breakfast: 3 egg omelette with peppers and tomato and extra cheese
Snack: Dried fruit and nuts
Lunch: Tuna salad, apple
Snack: Yogurt and fruit salad mix
Dinner: Chicken breast and vegetable stir fry

Thursday 22nd April


Breakfast: 4-5 American style pancakes with maple syrup, cream and summer fruits
Snack: Two bowls of crunchy nut cornflakes, apple
Lunch: Larges jacket potato with cheese and beans
Snack: Granola, yogurt, milk and fruit salad mix and a banana
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise

Friday 23rd April

Breakfast: Cheese on toast with three poached eggs on top, orange juice
Snack: Muller rice (x2)
Lunch: Large ciabatta with mozzarella and roasted vegetables
Snack: Jacket potato with cheese
Dinner: Another hefty pasta dish

Saturday 24th April

Breakfast: Egg McMuffins (x2), bowl of cornflakes
Snack: Weetabix (x2) with natural yogurt, coconut milk and sultanas and 2 bananas
Lunch: Lasagna
Snack: 6 slices of watermelon and 4 slices of toast with jam
Dinner: 2 chicken breasts with butternut squash courgettes and carotts

Sunday 25th April

Breakfast: Bowl of cornflakes with milk and a banana
90 minutes before I had a Mule Bar

During the race: SIS Go Gel (x5), jelly babies and plenty of liquids especially sports drinks.

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I’m afraid I don’t like Brad Pitt much

Actually to be technical about this it’s actually the character Achilles Pitt plays in Troy that has been getting on my wick of late. I’ve never met Brad and I’m sure he’s a lovely fella and that beard he is currently sporting has made me laugh so.

In the same way that Duncan Bannatyne encapsulated my frustration over my Achilles tendon injury which stopped me running the London Marathon last year the smug, pouting, cardboard cutout poser Achilles has been taking the brunt of my anger as the same injury seemingly reared its head again. He’s supposed to be this tough guy but he looks far more interested in his highlights and jumping on a sun bed than getting in a ruck. In the same way this injury is almost a non event as there seems no obvious reason why I have been unable to run distances I normally take for granted.

The last few weeks have been pretty bleak on the training front. I’ve been unable to run more than 5km without that familiar pain around the left ankle which has left my physiotherapist somewhat mystified. I’ve been pretty worried that history is repeating itself.

As well as this I’ve had a pretty bad throat infection for nearly three weeks which had meant that I haven’t been able to exercise much. I was due to run the Sparks Half Marathon at Dorney Lake on the 13th March but I had to pull out as I wasn’t up to it. This winter has seemed to have been going on for about five years and it’s hardly surprising that my already stretched immune system is struggling to fight things off.

Luckily after some advice from my local running shop I decided to give an osteopath a try. After a pretty painful consultation he declared me ‘fixed’ in the short term and I have been able to run without any problems since – touch wood (Brad’s acting maybe?). Achilles lurks in the background pouting away like a crazy for the time being but as I write, there is still a fair chance I can finish this marathon.