Imagine a world where you could eat and drink whatever you liked without consequence.
That world will remain imaginary, sorry, but sometimes when my mileage is up a little higher (and remember high for me is not even close to being high for an elite athlete), eating and drinking can feel like I’m attempting to fill the unfillable; my blackhole appetite.
Having taken, briefly, to tracking my calorie intake and outtake – so that I can assess how much I should be eating – I’ve found that eating my fill isn’t really eating enough. Weight gain, or even maintenance, plus high volume mileage is a…challenge.
Eat like a Dwayne Johnson, weigh like a Mo Farah.
Still, it’s a good excuse isn’t it? I’m lucky that my taste buds don’t really call out for fast food and sweet treats, I’m more of a white fish and grilled veg kinda guy, but isn’t obsessive running a perfect excuse to eat…heartily? As in, to eat a lot?
I hope so, because I am.
Once a week I go from work to the supermarket to fill a trolley with veg, fish, all manner of complex carbohydrates, and the one thing which my taste buds do call out for which might come back to bite me in the backside, yes, the one thing which seems to be bringing our great old country together in this tumultuous time:
Courtney Dauwalter makes room in her world for capital D Drink, and frankly she typifies the kind of runner I want to be: good, absolutely, but more and most importantly, happy.
Speaking of idols, another reason I have for stuffing my face is the re-emergence of Anthony Bourdain’s content on streaming services. It disappeared from Netflix, but has appeared on Amazon Prime. The circle of life. I’m sure he would be thrilled at that. Watching him travel the world when we can barely leave our houses is bittersweet (watching him at all is bittersweet) and since I can’t exactly get out there, I’m focused on the other thing he does, which is eat and drink really well, and with tremendous vigour.
I do still believe it is helping my training. This week I’ve clocked in over 40 miles, plus I’ve managed four cross training sessions, working on upper body strength and core stability.
The week started with an easy run preceding a gym session, but the key workout was on Wednesday. After an 8 minute warm up I went into efforts of 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute. Between each repetition there was 1 minute of easy running, and the set was repeated 3 times. Between each set there was 3 minutes of easy running. It was a hard session, and even with the easy running recoveries on the clock I averaged 6:46 a mile over 7.67 miles.
Between then and Sunday was plenty of steady/easy miles, a few strides, and a few dates with the weights.
Sunday is long run day, whenever possible, but this week was a little different. I had a 1000m time trial to do, to contribute to a virtual marathon where each runner adds 1km. I clocked a 3:09. In hindsight I feel like I could have been a little closer to 3:00 flat, but it was a surprisingly difficult effort to judge and by the end I was huffing and puffing like a goodun’ so it must have been close to my best.
Close enough, anyway.
I still did 10 miles on top of that, and that’s the most important thing.
Wait no, eating, that’s the most important thing.
Run 10 miles, and there’s some serious eating to do. And trust me, I did that, and you can trust that I’ll carry on doing it today.