I had the crows help me simulate a race situation today. I’d rather they hadn’t but it was good practice all the same.
Something I have become an advocate for in recent months is the art of running and eating at the same time. Of course this isn’t the “tucking into a bowl of cornflakes as you sprint for the bus art of running and eating at the same time” but the “feeding on a banana several miles into a road race art of running and eating at the same time”.
I ran 20 miles yesterday and used up (according to my borrowed watch’s guestimate) 2,400 calories. To put that in perspective, the average man needs to eat 2,500 calories a day to maintain weight, a woman half that. Or to put it another way, that’s a lot of feckin’ calories! With this in mind it is important to try and at least stem that a little as you run by taking in energy in some shape or form. Now while gels and the like are now part and parcel of the marathon run, I am fond of the idea of good old fashion bananas to help me get by.
Whatever choice you make it is certainly an idea to get into the habit to eat during your training runs for two logical reasons:
1. You can get used to running and eating at the same time as opposed to running and eating and throwing up because you aren’t used to doing it at the same time.
2. You condition your body to be able to effectively digest food as you run. Keeping it down is half the battle, digesting it and allowing your body to turn it into energy is another. And from what I’ve read, there seems to be some merit in this.
(The same and more applies to water and the need to be able to take on water as you run and not just draw a mouthful before throwing the bottle away 20 metres after a drinks-stop).
So back to that 20 mile run and the two bananas I had left out. The first I gobbled up over a half a kilometre with water in the other hand accompanying me through. The second I was not so lucky with as a feckin’ crow had pierced his (or her) way through and taken a good half.
But while having your food robbed by crows might not be that common, these things happen and you have to be ready for race-day plans to go slightly astray and just get on with it. So cursing the crow that was probably now full of energy I made do with my half, kept the pace steady and finished out the run knowing that I’d probably be just that little bit hungrier when I got home.
Had planned to do 18 mile or 30 k but with great company on a very ‘soft’ day on nice green grass I found myself able to keep going and make hay while the sun shine, even though it was far from sunny. Not only did I get to 32 k in and around the Porchfields, taking in the Village and Nettle's Corner, the last 10 k were sub 5 minutes, the last 4 k were sub 4.35 and the last k was 4.16. Took me all of 2 hrs 38 minutes.