23km fuel, tyres, and heat

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

23km over 2:36

I had mixed feelings about my training run on 29th April.  I managed to run 23km (14 miles) in unexpectedly warm weather (about 18°C, that felt like 30!).  I tried hard not to neglect the fact I had run over half a marathon in the warmest temperature I had ever ran in, whilst part of me went on about how I had “only” made 23km of my 35km (22 miles) target!

23km in the heat

Training is of course about learning and experience.  I learned that running in the heat is a lot harder than in the cool, and that I may need to make adjustments or additional preparations given my marathon run is in early May – a particularly unpredictable time of year.  The route was mostly open with little protection from the direct sun.

An unexpected summer’s day

To get through this 23km, I stopped for a few seconds here and there in available shade, drank more water than usual and took a few “walking breaks”.  As I approached what would have been the turning point on my planned route (Watermead Lake) I felt familiar early symptoms of sun stroke – headache, unquenchable thirst, etc.  I decided it was wise to call it quits before I did any real damage.

Still, onwards and upwards – it looks like it will cool off somewhat next week so I will make my next 35km attempt soon.  In the meantime, I will see what headgear might help me in future.

It’s not long now until my marathon weekend on 5th/6th May.  Please help raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring my first marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”.

New tyres!

I’ve been trying to carve out some time to get some new running shoes, and I finally did it last week.  I was aware I had left it quite late, with only a few weeks to go.  I got to test them out on this 23km (and a couple of short runs) and all is well so far.  I know though that any small issues with running shoes often don’t show up until a few hours in so we will see.  But I am quietly confident!

I visited “Up & Running” in Milton Keynes, who were very helpful and patient in providing a “gait analysis” and persistent in trying out numerous shoes until we found the ones that fit my peculiarly shaped, oversized feet!

https://upandrunning.co.uk/miltonkeynes

It’s not long now until my marathon weekend on 5th/6th May.  Please help raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring my first marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”.

Running fuel

I’m often asked what I am eating before and during my longer runs.  With just a few weeks to go I am having to be a bit stricter about my diet, not just what I eat but also when.

Did I mention that I like spinach?

The day before

As I have previously experienced eating the wrong foods the day before a run really makes a difference – for me bad food means heartburn – which is awful on a run.  It is important that I don’t eat too close to bedtime either.  I try to stick with the basics that conform to the macronutrients, micronutrients and electrolytes I am after (“what do I eat?”).

For example, on the day before my 23k last week, I had a quality beef steak (grass-fed, from Kings Farm Shop, Wendover), organic spinach, homemade mayonnaise (made with quality olive oil) – and some black pudding!

Steak, spinach, mayo, black pudding

What’s for breakfast / lunch?

I usually only have one or two meals a day.  It’s an interesting side effect of a low carb diet – because fat is more satiating and difficult to overeat (unlike sugar) one tends to only eat when truly hungry, rather than out of habit.  Some days I have breakfast, but most days I will have some lunch.  On other days, I only have dinner.  It depends on how I feel.

Low-carb crustless quiche, spinach, cheese

What I actually eat for breakfast or lunch are often quite similar.  I usually have some nuts (such as walnuts, brasils), cheese, eggs, spinach.  I might have some homemade low-carb bread (a specialty of my wife!), or homemade low-carb crustless quiche (a specialty of my mum!).

Spinach, boiled egg, nuts, mayo

On the day

As I am running on fat without sugar on the day of a run – provided it is not too late in the day – I am fully fasted (I do not eat anything).  This optimises fat-energy delivery by keeping insulin low and maximising glucagon and ketones.  The only exception is I may consume a mug of skimmed “bone broth” purely for minerals, electrolytes and hydration (it is almost calorie free with nothing added).

During the run I drink water with a predefined mix of salts – again to maintain electrolytes and hydration which is particularly crucial during a fasted, ketogenic state.

After my run I find the need to allow my stomach to “wake up” for an hour or so before I break my fast, and I do so by having a light low-carb snack (and probably a coffee with cream!).

What’s next?

I plan to attempt my 35km training run again within the next ten days.  I have also taken up regular cycling as an alternative exercise and continue to go out on shorter (<12km) runs when I can. I should probably also go and find a suitable sun hat!

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

It’s not long now until my marathon weekend on 5th/6th May.  Please help raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring my first marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”.

Find out more about my Marie Curie marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”

30km running distance record achieved!

23km run in a fasted, low-carb state

Half marathon in a fasted, low-carb state

Running on fat without sugar

What the keto?

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