Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Advanced Marathoning tips (i): refection

Since I am on the road to recovery, now being able to run 10 miles, albeit in a painfully and shamefully tedious 85 minutes, I thought it time to dig into the slagheaps of my memory in search of inspirational training tips. And, bombarded with complaints about how long it is since I wrote a post (if a week's silence in the blogosphere is death, I am père lachaise), I thought I would share these nuggets of wisdom with you. Old runners are worse than old fishermen. The older I get, the better I could have been.

So this is the first post in a series of tips for marathoners looking to improve their PBs. Post ii, on advanced spitting technique, will follow shortly.

Eating. We need to do it a lot. When I first started running I couldn't figure out what was happening to me: I would begin to slow down towards the end of a run, as if I was out of energy. And I lost kilogrammes. These days, now I am more of an I-could-have-been-really-good runner, I am piling the kilogrammes on, of course, because at some point in between these events I learned how to eat. I have not, however, yet learned how not to eat. I am even contemplating running the London Marathon next year as Mr Blobby. Without fancy dress. Sean and I could compete to be the fastest Mr Blobby (long gone are the days when I contemplated competing to win the fastest Elvis race). I should add that I have never seen Mr Blobby, and don't know what he looks like, but I have read about him - or it - in newspapers.

So what to eat to get faster? Fruit of course, and protein and carbs in well-timed and measured doses. Of course, I'm too lazy and too busy for all that, so, malingering in the kitchen this morning with an hambre, I thought I would take a short cut. I would satisfy my complex nutritional needs with something that would really accelerate me. And then I remembered the biscuits my gorgeous girlfriend brought me back from her summer holiday in Bulgaria. Feast your eyes ...

Yes, no small claims made by these biscuits. They should be available on the NHS. And anything that cheers you up should make you go faster, right? You have to love Bulgaria: political rights, civil liberties, a temperate climate, centuries of empire concluded by centuries of Ottoman domination, (I'll skip World War II), and now biscuits that cheer you up. 'Antidepressant' is a better name even than 'Nice', better than biscuits named after mathematicians, like 'Leibniz' and 'Fig Newton'.

But they don't taste as good. They are chocolate wafers that taste like coffee you bought at a gas station in New Mexico and left sitting in the armrest before you drove through Texas and decide belatedly to drink in, I don't know, Georgia or somewhere. And they do not -- let me make this clear -- make you any faster or any less depressed. In fact, if you find yourself at a crossroads one day, out running along the Cam or the Mississippi, and the one path is labeled 'Antidepressant', that'll be the one that leads you to being the second fastest Mr Blobby in the spring.

So, advanced marathoning tip (i): eat wisely.



  1. I think the Lloyd Cole album of the same name is rather better than the biscuits. Less fattening too, if you can't be bothered to go running.

  2. Do you know Joad, I wrote such a lengthy witty piece welcoming you back and then, because I do not have a blog account or login or whatever was required I followed all those instruction, came back to you and my piece had disappeared. So now, as I am in a hurry, but still much slower than your self-deprecating 10 mile pace, I am just saying: good to see you back.
    Malcolm M (son of S )