Now that the 3 week count down marker has passed, and anyone running the London Marathon is now into the tapering stages of training, it is time to really focus on adding more carbohydrates to the diet.
I put my hands up now…..throughout the bulk of my training my focus on nutrition was rubbish. Thinking about running, planning with the runs and dealing with the aftermath of those runs took up so much time that nutrition fell to the back burner. I know for a fact that I did not take on enough fuel during runs, I almost passed out in Sainsbury’s on one occasion post run. I did not eat well post runs either, due to the fact that I felt physically sick after training – so I usually just made sure I had chocolate milk to hand, the only thing I seemed to be able to stomach post run. I also did not give up alcohol either. I am not saying I drank every day or was I out partying. I simply used the promise of Prosecco to get me through the long runs at the weekend. And I have been partial to the crisps that are sitting by my desk for the “tuck shop” I am running in order to help hit my fundraising target.
So, it is safe to say I have not been the model runner when it comes to nutrition. The next few weeks fill me with dread. Not only to I have to get in my last runs and keep a level head, but I also have to think about adding more carbohydrates to my diet. As a woman who has always steered away from eating too many carbs for the sake of my PCOS condition this is going to be rather hard.
However, over the last few months during training, science says my body would have been depleted of the glycogen stores needed to maintain the level of energy my body needs to complete such a race as a Marathon. Now is the time to restore these levels in preparation for the big day, the greater the amount of stored muscle glycogen, the greater endurance potential of the body.
There are so many difference sources that tell you how you should Carb load for each week of tapering that it makes my head spin. Working out how many grams of carbs per meal is something that stresses me out.
The last few days I have started my day with a bowl of porridge (which makes me hungry by 10am). Lunch has usually been a jacket potato, which sends me into a food coma around 3pm, or a salad with avocado and boiled eggs. Then dinner has been green vegetables with Quorn sausages, something light as I tend to be in bed by 9pm and don’t like heavy food sitting in my stomach at night. In addition I have clean brownies at my desk for snacking and sadly the “tuck shop” bucket is still next to my desk, so every now and then I have been enjoying a packet of Wotsits!
Maybe I need to get researching a bit more, find out what is recommended. But If I’m honest – I am so damn tired of everything to do with the Marathon. The thoughts, the training, the research, the fundraising – it is exhausting! So I just cannot bare anymore research. I just want someone to throw a meal plan at me and say “eat this.”
But if I plan to complete this Marathon then I am going to have to buck up and get my head round this. I don’t want to find myself crawling to the finish from lack of fuel!
So time to reduce the mileage and add more food, in the hope that I don’t end up the size of a baby elephant by race day.