I know there are two camps when it comes to running with music- those who happily plug into their ipods and those who like to listen to their bodies and ‘enjoy the silence’. Well, I’m in two minds about this. For me it depends on my mood and the type of run I am planning. Music can sometimes keep me company,
Mark and I decided to go to Snowdonia over the kids half-term break and as the weather seemed OK, we thought we’d brave it and camp – the site is beautiful, set on a lake at the foot of Snowdon…. and completely empty as there are few people nuts enough to camp in late October in North Wales.
I’ve just spent the past 9 hours doing a post-marathon clean of the house. What a workout! I have absolutely no need to run or go to the gym today! I have to say that when in training I do become a master of the art of “skim cleaning” – it is just one of those chores which gets put on the back burner as I hate it so much, so the place really needed some serious attention!
I can hardly believe that a whole week has gone by without me writing a post about the brilliant talk/Q & A workshop given for the Bristol Half Marathon. It has been a busy week; my book Go Faster Food has become available for pre-order, I’ve been getting ready for the Stockholm marathon on Saturday, my eldest daughter has started her GCSEs and the kid’s half-term has crept up on me rather too quickly.
- Build up a good aerobic foundation before you start training hard
- Train at least three times a week, with one long run, one speed session and one steady run.
- Alternate your interval/speed sessions to make it more fun (fartlek, tempo runs, 1 min fast, 2 mins slow etc)
- Warm up and warm down properly, think about stretching during and after runs (but not before the run) and stretching late at night before you go to bed
- Listen to your body, don’t overtrain or start doing too much too soon, as this will normally lead to injury
- Refresh targets, be realistic with your ambitions
I was not hungry when I opened the cupboard at breakfast time this morning, so I ended up having a piece of toast and marmite – not really a good runner’s breakfast, especially as the toast was white. I had planned to do my 10 miles, with 5 miles fast, over an extended lunchtime, so I had the most enormous piece of carrot cake at 11.30 when the hunger started to kick in.
I know everyone has their own special carrot cake recipe, but here is my one. It is really moist, not too sweet, keeps for ages, it is very filling and packed with goodness. In fact, it kept me going until about 4 in the afternoon. This sort of cake is pretty wholesome and full of slow-burning carbs – yes it has sugar and butter in it, but it also has carrots, dried fruits, nuts, wholemeal flour and oranges. Try to use some good locally grown organic carrots – the better the carrots are, the better the cake will be. Sorry, but the photos of this one didn’t work out very well and now the cake has been scoffed! I’ll have to make another so I can take a decent photo.
Go Faster Carrot Cake
Grease an 8 inch square tin, or 9 inch round tin (springform, or lined with greaseproof paper)
Pre-heat the oven to 170 C (fan), 180 C (conventional)
250g unsalted butter
375g sugar – half caster/half demerara
250g self-raising wholemeal flour, sifted
zest of 2 oranges
450g carrots, grated
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
150g mix of raisins and dried cranberries
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp bicoarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp salt
225g full-fat soft cheese
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
80-100g icing sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
squeeze of lemon or lime juice
- Cream the butter and sugar and zest togetheruntil light and fluffy
- Add the eggs, beating well as you add each one
- Fold in the grated carrots and nuts
- Add the orange juice
- Fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spice and salt
- Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 1 1/4 hours. Baking time depends on the juicyness of the carrots, but you will know the cake is done as the cake comes away from the side of the cake tin and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean
- Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool
- Cream the cheese and butter together. Add the icing sugar and juice and beat until smooth. Spread the icing generously over the cake.
- Decorate with whole or chopped walnuts.