With distance running, a lot of it comes down to the time spent on your feet and miles accrued. So I spent September - November rehabbing an old injury and slowly building my legs back up again without the pressure of having to stick to a training plan. A casual 10k at the weekends or after work, slowly getting back into the half marathon distance. Nearly every run I did was a zone 2, I wanted it to feel easy and enjoyable. When I wasn’t running for more than an hour I could easily pop out the door first thing in the morning without breakfast and then come home to whip myself up a treat and refuel. Carbs are obviously key when you’re running. They’re your main source of fuel and easily available. So I’d often grab a pack of our original waffles which would keep me satisfied while my muscles were still recovering post run, but then top it with banana and maple syrup for that immediate energy hit to get the glucose in quick as well.
From January onwards it was time to get my head down. My training plan consisted of 1 strength session a week, 4 runs and two days rest with yoga. My mileage was all set as weekly targets which gave me a bit more flexibility around work. Some days I’d do back to back sessions splitting it up between in the morning and evening. I also listened to my body a lot, I hate running on tarmac so if I didn’t have the opportunity to get out of the city I’d get up early and go for long walks with the dog instead to reduce the impact load. Time on your feet counts, in whatever form.
As the training rammed up I also got a lot hungrier! Whereas previously I would have waited for breakfast until 10am I was now having to eat as soon as I got up. Your body is constantly working to recover to fuel and you have to respect that.
Pre run I’d always go for something relatively simple and easy to digest. Overnight oats or waffles were a staple and toppings could be easily changed to keep things interesting. I’d normally also have something similar as a mid afternoon snack. This didn’t change for the 6 months of training, including race day!
I get a lot of questions about what I eat for breakfast ahead of races and again I didn’t change it from what I ate during training. Races normally have an early start so for me it was key to have something I could eat as close to start time as possible.
The run was not a warm sunny summer’s day of July like when we’d booked it, but it was still incredible. 100km of rolling hills, beautiful views in what can be described as an almost spiritual journey. I finished as 7th female and 13th overall which I was very happy with!
As with most things in life, there is no quick fix or magic bullet answer. It’s consistency and perseverance. Stick to a plan and keep at it, eat well, train hard and sleep. And over time you will see progression.
I’ve taken some time off to recharge now but I’ll be back to pick up my trainers and waffles very soon, the next race is imminent! ;0 If you have any waffle related questions or would like to get into trail running feel free to drop us a message or maybe we’ll see you at one of the next events we Sponsor :)