running blog


Mixing it up

This Janathon has not gone as well for me as the last two. I’ve not run as many miles and for the first time I’ve not run at all on some days. This is partly due to a silly rib injury, the snow and ice, recently having a cold and now a bit of a glute muscle pull. Excuses aside, the main reason is I’m in a rut. My running is feeling stale, plodding out the same old routes at ever decreasing speeds and coasting along in my comfort zone at BMF.

I’ve enjoyed running with friends and have entered plenty of races to have goals and outings to look forward to and keep up my motivation. However I need to change my exercise routine and think a bit smarter about training for my next marathon. I’m also struggling to shift a half stone of excess weight and know that unless I challenge my body with something different and push myself a bit it’s not going to be easy to lose.

I thought about re-joining the gym or getting a personalised running program but in the end I decided to get some 1 on 1 PT sessions where I get pushed and have no opportunities to slack off and go get a coffee. We are going to work on my strength and flexibility, which hopefully along with loosing a few pounds will help me get faster. We’re also going to have a look at my diet and see if I need to make any changes. I know I could do with some help for nutrition when training because I either under eat trying to diet, so can’t run well, or overdo the carb loading and gain weight. (Oops time to write my food diary and own up to all those glasses of wine!)

Janathon day 29. PT session. 1 hour including plyometric exercises and TRX, with no hiding, resting, or excuses, definitely being moved out of my comfort zone.


chia charge

A while ago I was sent some samples of a new, natural, free from artificial ingredients, sports drink from running food. It’s a chia seed based drink just launched in the uk by a startup business and marathon runner.

I was interested, I’ve never particularly liked or got on with energy drinks and I already put other milled seeds on my cereal, yoghurt and salads. I did a bit of research to find out that chia seeds are a new super food.

“With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants and minerals, a complete source of protein and more fibre than flax seed, the seeds have been dubbed a “dieter’s dream”, “the running food”, “a miracle”, and “the ultimate super food”, by advocates and athletes.” BBC News

The drink comes in the form of a sachet which you mix with 500 ml of water. It does have a unfortunate appearance of frogs spawn because it contains whole seeds but once you’ve had a few sips you get used to them. It has a nice natural raspberry taste which is a lot nicer than an initial smell suggests.

I drank the first sample before a BMF class (not wanting to spoil a long run… just in case!) it’s refreshing and hydrating and pleasant to drink. The only problem that day was that I was a little over hydrated (BMF instructors are always insisting we turn up for class properly hydrated so can’t complain when I had to run off for a pee!) but it was otherwise good and no adverse effects on my stomach.

I decided to save the next sample to try before a race so took one with me to sip before my half marathon last weekend. Lorraine, who I ran with, was interested, she puts chia seeds on her cereal and explained that the seeds absorb water and swell so stay in your stomach longer slowly releasing nutrients. I drank most of it before the race and although it doesn’t give you a full on energy rush of a sugar rich drink or gel, it provides longer term energy and hydration. I sipped water during the race to top up my hydration and took gels for energy. I think I found the gels much more pleasant to take because they weren’t hitting an empty stomach and I certainly didn’t get that awful empty stomach hungry feeling that I sometimes get around 11 to 12 miles.

All in all, a good sports drink as a supplement to pre-race breakfast, before a long run or race and as a recovery drink. I’m certainly going to get myself some more for my marathon.

You can read more about chia charge and running food here.