But with my second Marathon of the year looming on the horizon, it's time for me to get back to it. Running holiday over, here I am again! Berlin here I come...er..again!
Something which comes up time and time again when training for endurance events is nutrition and how to fuel your runs. And the answer is always the same - there is no right way for everyone, try a number of different things during training (never on the day) and keep going until you find what's right for you. Good, sensible, seemingly easy advice.
For my first marathon in Berlin 2012 I used High5 gels, They were the first I tried, encountered no problems and I continued throughout my training and the race itself, feeling smug I'd found what worked for me at my first try. Happy Crand. This nutrition lark is a doddle....
Well no... not this time. Smugness gone, I found they sporadically gave me a touch of the old gurgling tum during training and even worse - race day came and after 3.5 hours of running I felt so full of sickly sweetness in the hot London Marathon sun, that using these again for another marathon I knew, was a no no. I had taken the lazy road. I should have experimented more during my training. Well my friends that time is now!
After all the sweetness of gels, jelly babies and sports drinks my craving for salty savoury snacks post marathon was alarming and I knew I wanted a more savoury way of fuelling, if such a thing existed, and definitely less synthentic and more 'natural' than the usual gels. Having been gifted some Chia Seeds by some friends I have started to dabble into this weird and wonderful super food to see what it's all about.
As luck would have it I heard via the wonder of twitter that the folk from Chia Charge were in Manchester on Saturday, so I popped down to see them for a little chat (read: massively running geeky conversation) about this super seed and its use during training for both recovery and fuel. After a little sample of the flapjack with salt (HELLO JUST WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR) and the banana flapjack, I decided to give these a try on my future long runs and see how I go. I figure the oats will help with slow energy release, while the other good stuff also get to work on recovery, electrolyte replacement (via the salt) and other goodness.
I will report back. I bet you can't wait...