A few Do’s and Don’ts that I hope will clarify a few things and give a bit of back story to my eating plan before I get into what I ate today.
First though I want to clarify the term ‘diet’ in this blog. I’m a shade over 6 foot tall and weigh 10 1/2 stone. Needless to say I don’t need to loose weight, intact I make a good effort of trying to keep it as I’m fortunate enough to have a very good metabolism. When I say ‘my diet’ I’m just referring to what I eat, I don’t follow a specific plan of X calories or none of one thing, I just try to eat what I feel is good.
That said, I don’t eat Carbs in the evening except on race weeks. I eat Carbs with breakfast and lunch but always make an effort to reduce them in the evening, so no starchy potatoes, pasta, rice etc. A lot of vegetables and some form of meat or fish is the standard for me.
I DO eat Carbs in a race week though. I follow Gemma Steel on Facebook; she is an elite distance athlete for Team GB and shares some of her training and preparation (definitely worth a look at!). One of her pages talked about carb loading before a race and it’s something I’ve adopted this winter: load up 5 days before the race and then have a low carb meal the night before the race, Gemma suggests a light breakfast as well as your energy reserve has already been built up so last minute cramming is not going to help. I’ve started following this pattern and it seemed to work very well for my 10mile race in Canterbury two weeks ago. The race was a Sunday morning so I had carbs in every meal between Monday and Friday. Then on Saturday night I cut it right back and had a lighter dinner, my carb loading was done and I didn’t want to be weighed down by additional carbs that may not get into the energy system on race day. After the race, a PB of 3mins I was still able to walk around, talk to runners almost immediately… Could be training was going well but also could be working the energy system well.
Next to note: I don’t eat at fast food chains. Eating a McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King or similar is usually a last resort of me being hungry after work and there being no other choice. Last time I ate one of the above three was September and it was a good friends stag do. There are usually better options available otherwise I try to be prepared and have more food with me for late nights.
I don’t drink tea, coffee or fizzy drinks. Yes, I am actually British and no, I really don’t drink tea. I’ve never liked the taste of tea or coffee. I think it works in my favour that I never need a coffee hit, but I’m not saying you need to give it up or anything! On fizzy drinks I only drink coke/Pepsi and that’s only with a whiskey!
Now on alcohol, I don’t drink on race weeks. I don’t drink after training, I don’t drink the night before a tough training session. So as you can imagine I don’t do a whole lot of alcohol and as such not a whole lot of Pepsi either.
I do treat myself though, often. A post race treat is a must! I’m talking a race in the morning going well and I’ll be looking for pudding and a whiskey with dinner. But it could be anything and even on a training run. I have a really active sweet tooth so even after a good training run I’ll be craving something sweet. This also helps as added motivation ‘the sooner I finish this run the quicker I can have that brunch bar’ (legitimately a thought in my head at the weekend while running 9 miles). Pictured is my post race treat from last weekend, a beef wellington with goats cheese mash, green beans. Then shared a chocolate and fruit fondant. (More lavish than usual but this was actually a one year anniversary dinner with my girlfriend).