I need some advice

Hello fellow runners! I need some advice off you guys, I started running in April of this year and decided to sign straight up to a race to give myself something to work towards so I went ahead and got a place in the Bupa Great South Run. I ran it on Sunday in a finish time of 1:22:05 (10miles). I no this isnt great but I was pleased with it. I have now ran 225miles since I started but am starting to become serious about it so I am here to ask for some advice in the way of eating and training, are there any 7 day eating plans for runners anywhere on the net? I dont want to 'diet' as such, just eat the right stuff in the way of gaining or keeping fitness, I also would like to no how often and what distances I should be running when I do, I currently eat alot of pasta but I have a bowl usually with 'Dolmio' type sauce with it. I eat Weatabix for breakfast. I am highly greatful for any advice you runners can give me.


  • No need for a special diet, just keep the treats to a minimum. Oh, and try to minimise processed foods - cook from raw if you can find the time.

  • With regards to diet, as with any peice of advice it will be opinion, you will get lots of different ones too!

    Personally I prefer a low carb, high fat/protein approach. This is becoming more popular at the moment and there is a lot of stuff about low carbohydrate fuelling and utilising fat as opposed to carbohydrate for endurance sports. Most of it based around the paleo diet. The articles on www.optimumnutrition4sport.co.uk are helpful.

    There are also vegan runners who do well... at the moment a pretty popular book is Eat and Run by Scott Jurek.

    Then you can just do what suits you based on your own findings, experiments and needs. Try things out, self educate and learn what works.

  • Also, learn to read and understand food labels. Helped me a fair bit when buying food.

  • Yes I dont snack, I only have 3meals per day and that is all. My other problem is drinking, I enjoy my beer so I will have 4 cans around 3 nights a week. I also work nights (10pm-6am) so I run at around 6.30am when I finish cause I find I perform much better, I can run 5-6miles comfortably at a 8mile pace, but then when I run on my days off I cant seem to run half as far, I feel unfit, its strange. I just want to get fitter but its fustrating.

  • Hi WiB, do you think the paleo approach would have much of an impact with runs to 10 miles? I'm no expert - but interested. I had understood paleo would be good for sub-threshold - marathon and above - but that carbs 'would do' for anything under that..

  • Do you mind me asking you guys what meals you typically eat throughout a week? I mean mainly for lunch and dinner.

  • Alcohol in general will have an effect your metabolism - there's lots of information on it's effects on fat burning, and insulin reflex etc.

    Also look at fueling on your days off - and also the times that you run. Working nights will affect when your body is expecting to deliver energy.

  • pmo - Through eating and training you can increase the effort level that you can still utilise fat at, you could still run a fast 5k/10k on low carb fueling. I ran a 5k PB only 6 weeks back with no problem at all. However, the effort level used in short races 5k/10k/10 miles I think that the pure performance advantages gained by improved fat utilisation at running a marathon, 50 miles or 100 miles are far less likely to apply.

    The performance side is only one part of it though. 

  • Simon lunch for me is typically soup - preferably home made so I know what's in it -  and a couple of pieces of fruit. Dinner could be as little as a couple of poached eggs on toast, or as greedy as a pizza (again home made if poss). I try not to worry about it too much, but I try not to overeat.

    You've only been running for 6 months, and it takes time to adapt your body to the demands. Are you varying your training, and making sure you're resting enough to allow those adaptations to take place?

    As WiB noted above you can only find out what works for you by trial and error. Best of luck image

  • I am running like 3-4times per week, and typically every other day, but nothing serious, it can be from 3-6 miles, Iv lost 2 stone since I started running but iv become serious about it, im 11stone8oz now and im 5ft11. I love running so iv got to a point where I want to do more races but run them fast, my main goal is to be able to run 10miles in under 1:10:00. I only started to lose weight but got into the whole running thing immediately and now want to be fast. I am not looking towards marathons etc tho but I enjoy the smaller distances like half marathons, 10miles and 10k etc. If im signed up to a run, it motivates me even more. And what did you mean when you said 'varying'?

  • What distances do you guys run? You sound like serious runners.

  • Some fast, some slow and easy. Intervals, threshold, hills and all that malarky... Might be worth your while looking to a local running club to get some coaching if you want to really improve - you don't want to believe everything you hear on a forumimage

    You could just add some more miles - you say you've run 225 miles in 6 months? For some that would be less than one months running, but you need to increase it in a sustainable way - if you head out now and run 40 miles per week, like as not your legs will fall off (or something similar).

    I'm not that serious about running - it's just something I do. But I do like reading about stuff - and in running there's always something new to discover.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    This is a really interesting topic for me. I've gone Low GI for my last 2 marathons and have never felt better re: energy on long runs/overall.

    A friend of mine has gone paleo for a year as part of a sponsorship deal with a paleo company and just finished her first paleo marathon. She said the first week is the worst but has found her running has really improved on the diet.... although she did mention that after 3 hours hard running (shes a sub 4 marathoner) she's super hungry.

    If you want to hear more about Paleo/low GI - Talk Ultra has some great podcasts and interviews based around this topic which I recommend.


  • pmo wrote (see)

    You could just add some more miles - you say you've run 225 miles in 6 months? For some that would be less than one months running, but you need to increase it in a sustainable way - if you head out now and run 40 miles per week, like as not your legs will fall off (or something similar).

    I think this is good advice. Most likely if you just increase your overall mileage, your fitness will improve massively. Don't worry about whether you can run 8 minute miles all the time - a common mistake just about everyone makes when they're new to running is to do all their training runs too fast, and I'd guess you're probably doing that too. Slow down on most of your runs and add a mile or two here and there.

    And if you're serious about training, try to cut the beer intake down to one night a week. You have realise that alcohol dehydrates you and the after effects of just a few cans could be enough to impair your performance the next day.

    On the nutrition front, almost any general cookbook that says 'healthy' on the front should give you enough ideas for a few core meals. Pasta with homemade sauce and cold pasta salads are easy to throw together and you can make big batches and freeze/refrigerate enough to last you for days. Go for wholewheat pasta - better for you than the normal stuff. Same with bread and rice - go for the wholewheat or wholegrain or brown stuff. Try to put some fresh veggies in everything you cook. Eat fruit and drink milk. Don't bother with any 'sports' drinks - they're almost all just sugary rubbish.

    Also make sure you're actually eating enough overall calories to fuel your body properly. Consider taking up some healthy snacking - think of trickle charging your body with small amounts rather than overloading it with large amounts 3 times a day.

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