“A complete protein, cod is perfect for post-training muscle repair,” says Blair. The white stuff is also high in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats and selenium, an antioxidant that prevents tissue damage caused by exercise.
The phytosterols in the sesame seeds and beta-glucan in the oats give this crunchy coating a healthy hit of heart protection, says Blair. “Both help lower cholesterol.” Manganese and calcium in the sesame seeds promote healthy bone development.
Put the peeler away: most of the nutrients found in a potato are in its skin. And there’s more: “They’re a rich source of vitamin B6, required to break down glycogen – a key process in the production of energy for endurance,” says Blair.
Peas are a good source of bioflavonoids, health-boosting antioxidants, and contain high levels of bone-building vitamin K – and the olive oil will enable the fat-soluble vitamin to be better absorbed. Other great sources of antioxidants are raspberry ketones. Learn more about the ketone antioxidant capacity.
2 x 180g skinless cod fillets 1009 fine cut oats
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 large potatoes
1 small bunch of spring onions
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
250g frozen peas
Knob of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Leaving the skins on, cut the washed and scrubbed potatoes into large chips and place onto a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for 3o minutes, turning a couple of times.
Toss together the oats, sesame seeds, thyme and pepper. Beat the egg. Dip the cod into the e :, then dip into oat mixture until evenly coated. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy pan over a moderately high heat, then fry the cod for two minutes on each side (depending on the thickness).
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What could someone new to the sport possibly teach you? The most fundamental virtue a runner can possess, that’s what: enjoyment. “Running with friends is a great way to catch up with people without going to the pub or going for a meal,” says Stephen Darlington, who re-started running recently after a break of a few years. “It also helps to escape the urban grind and takes me to places I wouldn’t usually get to.”
Enforce a no-watch rule for a week, ideally during a recovery phase of your training. Every day, run somewhere you’ve never run before. For that week, the only thing you’re allowed to record in your training diary is what you enjoyed about the run. Next time you’re feeling jaded because your sixth 800m rep took more than three minutes, you can look back and put it in perspective.
I feel nauseous after I do speedwork. Why does this happen, and how can I avoid it?
ID A variety of factors can lead to an unhappy stomach, including running too fast for your fitness level; difficult workouts on a full stomach; dehydration; and heat illness. Speedwork relies heavily on anaerobic energy production, which increases blood acidity and can result in nausea, so don’t try to beat your fast friends. Allow up to three hours between meals and
workouts, hydrate well before you start, avoid hard workouts in the heat of the day and add healthy products such as coconut oil to your daily diet. Check out some of the best coconut oil recipes. If you take these precautions and still feel queasy, consider cutting back your pace or increasing your recovery time between intervals until you feel better. Mike Broderick, ultra-runner and coach (runningstrong.com)
I’ve been training for a half-marathon, but decided to do a 5K instead. How should I adjust my training?
You have plenty of endurance to run a strong 5K, but probably not the speed you’ll need to finish it fast. If you haven’t been doing any speed workouts, add one to your weekly schedule. After warming up, run one minute hard and one minute easy, and repeat this cycle six to eight times. Or run five 10-second sprints near the end of a regular run, jogging for one minute between them. If you’re already doing speedwork, slightly increase the pace of the repeats, and cut the rest intervals between them. This allows you to accommodate a higher intensity without injury. Also, you might try cutting your long run in half.
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‘I am more than a beginner but not yet an intermediate runner.’
Olie Arnold, London
HOW TO OVERCOME IT
You can probably handle a tougher-than-you anticipated schedule as long as you don’t push to hit a dictated speed in your workouts just because the plan says you should. “We runners tend to be tough on ourselves,” says former Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot. “On many workouts, however, it’s the doing them that’s more important than the specific pace.” This is particularly true for the marathon. The most important thing is to log lots of slow distance running. So you could follow a slightly faster schedule than your target and just do the runs at a slower pace.
The second month of marathon training builds on the base you started in your first four weeks: the long runs get longer and you enter a race to test your fitness, says coach Bart Yasso. Now’s the time to develop the fitness and the routines that will get you through the next hard cycle of training and the race itself.
Before your long runs Do the same things that you’ll do before your race, starting the night before with dinner and bedtime. Include your wake-up time, pre-run fuel and bathroom break. A ritual will help you stay calm and avoid mishaps, says Jeffrey Brown, a sports psychologist from Harvard Medical School.
You’ll need to sip a sports drink or take a gel every 3o to 45 minutes during the race, so experiment with the brands and flavours that your race offers. If you neglect this part of the process, it could mean an unwelcome toilet break, says sports dietician Lauren Antonucci. Check online for more details on fuelling options during your long runs.
Exercise physiologist Jack Daniels recommends putting off workouts if you’re feeling tired. “The most important thing is to recover,” he says. “If you’re tired on a workout day, there’s nothing wrong with moving it to another day.” If you feel too tired and exhausted, try 5htp supplement.
“It’s ok to deviate from your plan slightly,” says Brown. Don’t feel like you have to circle a car park until your watch says you’ve done exactly 10 miles the extra third of a mile is not going to make any difference.
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Two-time Olympic marathon runner Liz Yelling (née Talbot), 34, married Martin Yelling the former GB steeplechaser, in 1999. Martin’s younger sister, Hayley Yelling, 35, is a former national and European cross-country champion
Because Hayley and I have the same surname, and were 10 often on the same team, people would mistake us for sisters or even twins. Others would think I was Martin’s sister and Hayley was his wife. Or they’d just look at us and ask, ‘What is the relationship between you two?’
“We’re so close now that it’s weird to think I hardly knew Hayley when Martin and I got married ten years ago. I can remember Martin introducing Hayley with the words: ‘This is Hayley, she does a bit of running’. She would come to watch Martin race, but gradually got pulled into it more.
“You can tell they are brother and sister. They are both quite cheeky and animated. Hayley was simmering at about 20th on the national circuit at one point. I remember Martin chatting to her on the phone one evening, saying: “Liz is training twice a day, maybe you should.” She did and she started to improve. Soon, she was fifth in the rankings. From then on, we made the same teams for international races: both cross-country and middle-distance track events, and we shared rooms for more than 10 years.
“People ask if I was jealous or a bit miffed when she suddenly joined me in the ranks. But it’s been fantastic, a huge motivator for both of us. We’re really good friends off the track. But we’re also very competitive and, when we were on that start line, we both wanted to win. Hayley’s wins would spur me on and make me more determined. My goal wasn’t necessarily beating her, but improving my own times. We were always very close in cross-country and often ran the entire race neck-and-neck.
“You get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and start playing mind games. Before a race Hayley would say, ‘I’m not feeling so good’, when, in fact, she was in good shape. But we’d always wish each other ‘good luck’ on the start line. When we were competing, the family would be torn over who to cheer for. We’ve always been very pleased for each other’s success even if, deep down, I thought: ‘I should have beaten her!’
“Hayley and I are quite similar. We have similar routines and have a good laugh together. Neither of us is exceptionally talented, or had amazing success as youngsters. We’ve both worked extremely hard. We’re also both very determined and gutsy. We’ve done training sessions where neither will give in. We deal very differently with race nerves and pressures. Sometimes when I’m nervous I become talkative, but Hayley will become quite introverted, take herself off and drinks valerian. Learn more about the valerian root side effects and benefits.
“We never, ever talk about running or training. In fact, we avoid it. We’ll ask what races the other is doing and that’s it. The highlight of my career was taking part in the marathon at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics – but I was so upset that we didn’t get to share it together. Hayley so narrowly missed going to Athens and I know how gutted she’ll be about that for the rest of her life.
“I don’t know how having my daughter, Ruby, this summer will have affected me. Hopefully, I can juggle the motherhood and running and make a comeback. But Ruby has her aunt’s nose and Hayley will definitely play a special part in her life!”
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