Royal Parks Half Marathon Training: Week 10 the importance of nutrition!

If you have all been following me throughout my training you will know the last few weeks have not been good for me mentally and physically on the training front.

I am partly putting this down to my bad nutrition over the summer. The majority of the time I continue to eat well but its the extra treats and snacking that are starting to create havoc with my training and mindset.

As a trained nutrition coach this just disappoints me as I should know better. I know what I should be eating and how much to help with my training yet I let my lack of will power take over and before I know it I’m on a downward spiral. Don’t get me wrong I have had fun and its been nice not to be worrying about it all the time!

I guess we are all human!!!

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Taking it back to basics

Its actually possible to enjoy yourself but not completely go off track and the best way I know how is to use MyFitness Pal to track what I am eating. Should I be Calorie counting?

Now that I am running more miles my diet is important to me to help me feel energised and able to run the distance. Today during my long run I realised this more than ever as I carried the extra lbs I’ve gained and my muscles ached and I was so low on energy.

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When do we need to eat more?

Carbohydrates play a vital part in anyones diet as they are the main source of energy your body will use.

Its very easy to over eat though and plenty of us probably do it… Heard the term carb loading! Well it plays its part but do you actually know how much you need and how much your eating? Your body can in reality only store a certain amount of the glycogen needed to energise your workout.

I am one of these people that finishes a long run and I am starving. All I want to do is eat and eat and usually this results in me consuming more calories than I probably burnt in the first place. I am sat here now desperately fighting the urge to eat the now stocked fridge!

Most of us will usually consume enough carbohydrates in our diet to fuel a run of about 6-7 miles with out really needing to make much of a change… assuming you have a healthy balanced diet of course. Remember fruit and vegetables are a source of carbohydrates too so I am not talking just about bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and the things we usually think of when we are talking about carbs!

Once your runs start to increase in time and miles the need to refuel your energy levels increases and the need for carbohydrates to replace your energy stores ready for your next run is needed. But how much? How much do we really need to be eating to help benefit our training?

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Post run treat…

Getting the balance right!

Everyone is different and sometimes its about trial and error. I know I do not cope well with a full tummy when I run and I know what foods I digest better so that I have the right balance to help me run.

But is it working for me? Sometimes no. I get it wrong and I revert back to what I know does work. Do not leave it until race day to start experimenting with food. Practice during your training.

The only thing I will now eat before a race is a bowl of porridge or some wholemeal toast and maybe a banana! I avoid tea and I do not find running gels work for me throughout a run as they give me tummy ache!

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My requirements!

For me I need to consume 5g per kg of bodyweight based on the number of hours I run… But then I also need to consume this allowance at desired times and amounts to benefit and fuel my running.

Its a whole blog in itself which I will get right to once I have completed this recap of my training for the week. You can also view my vlog in all its glory here…

Tuesday 3.6 miles 36:28 minutes 9:57/mile

First run of the week started with my new pair of trainers! They were a little tight and I did get some pins and needles on day 1 of wearing them.

I decided to run a shorter distance to wear them in a bit and not over do it on my first wear of them. My legs were still hurting after 1.5 miles but after a short walk I carried on. It was very hot but a far better run than I have had recently.

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Thursday 4.3 miles 42:25 minutes 9:48/mile

Tempo runs have been brushed under the carpet and my main goal for the remainder of my training is to just complete a run with out any difficulty.

The same thing happened today with my calves hurting 1.5 miles into the run but it eased off after 3 miles and I have decided this will be a tactic I will try to warm up at a slower pace of 3 miles before attempting any kind of speed. Trainers already feeling like socks and very comfortable!

I have a softer roller that I have been using and it really does seem to be helping. Less painful to roll and my legs seem to feel better for doing it.

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Friday 3.1 miles 31:06 minutes 9:57/mile

Dropped my car off at the garage so decided to run back which I knew would be about 3 miles.

My legs were not appreciative of it at all and were hurting. Looking back at my splits and inclines it looks like I was on a gradual incline all the way back and boy could my calves feel it.

I’m not letting any of this get to me as the route I took was a new one and its all good experience and interesting finding more routes to try. They are never very long though so combined who knows I may be able to run a marathon yet!

I had planned to start trying proper warm ups as I usually just start gently on my runs to warm up. I did forget to though as I had got into my car rather than just leaving the house to start my run.

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Saturday BGJTL 5k virtual run 30:57 minutes 9:46/mile

A group I am part of on strava had set a virtual run to do on the first Saturday of each month. Today was the first one.

I had planned to do it at the Park run but Ellie wasn’t in the mood so I decided to just find a route near home… Its always going to be a boring one here so I made it fun by getting some action shots along the way. I surprised myself at how good my legs look in action!!! I have never seen them doing there stuff from this angle. They are my proudest body part and I would not change a thing about them.

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Sunday 12.6 miles (according to strava) 2hours 10:18 minutes 10:19/mile

I had mentally prepared myself for this run. I was apprehensive about running so far as I hadn’t done a long run for 2 weeks!

Taped up and compression socks on I got myself ready to try anything to achieve the 12 miles my plan had set me.

I told myself if I got to 10 miles that was ok! In reality that was never going to be ok. I would have been so annoyed that I hadn’t ran the 12 miles… but still I decided I would run 6 miles and then run the same route back and if I needed to walk the rest I would. This was a good tactic as it meant I would be 2 miles from home if I decided to walk and no one is going to take that option over getting home fast.

I was struggling as I always do for the first 3 miles. A lot of this was to do with my choice of underwear. I had to resort to the clever technique of removing them in a public place. It did feel a little odd but it was far better than the lace rubbing into my thighs.

I then ran to my half way point with as little stopping as I could manage. My legs felt better but they were not comfortable yet.

I turned back and felt confident until I reached about 8 miles. At this point I regretted not having any jelly babies to nibble. I can not stomach gels so I need to try out some foods that will work for me and I can carry. My legs felt heavy and I was so low on energy.

I had eaten toast for breakfast so not enough to be having much effect over an hour in.

I kept myself going though and knew there was no way I would be giving in. I am very stubborn and I may not be quick and feel like my stamina is slipping but my determination has not taken any kind of blow!

I noticed my stride has changed and I am making much shorter ones. I assume because of my calf pain I am tense and taking little steps. Once I noticed this I tried to concentrate on a longer stride like I used to and I could tell it was improving my speed and comfort.

I will work on this as I start to taper my runs in this last month before race day!

Strava and my Garmin watch had the biggest disagreement today. I ran until my Garmin said 12 miles and there is 0.6miles difference! Mad difference. Makes training very difficult!

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Total mileage

26.9 miles… thrilled to bits but dam it why did I not run that extra bit to reach 27!

Week 11 Training

I start my new job this week although its only 2hrs a day I know it might take some getting used to working my runs around a new life.

My plan is to give my legs some rest too but not completely stop so I will revert back to 4 runs a week.

Tuesday: Joining the local running group so I will run what they run

Thursday: 4.5 miles steady

Saturday: Park run

Sunday: 8 miles

Focus for the Week ahead

Life and nutrition. I need to get settled into a new routine and I also plan to seriously get back to my healthy diet.

With just 5 weeks until the big day I want to have nailed my nutrition, be running more comfortably!

Have a good week everyone

Jaimee x

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