running « Go Faster Food

Runners, cyclists, swimmers, walkers, tennis players, any athlete really, can often be seen munching on a banana as a favourite source of energy. Bananas are packed with potassium and other nutrients, and what’s more, they are tasty, not too sweet, and an excellent convenience food as they come all ready wrapped in an easy-peel wrapper.

According to recent research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab into the benefits of eating bananas over a carbohydrate sports drink during intense cycling, bananas proved not only to be as effective as the sports drink, but also to have additional advantages. The study, which was carried out over a 75 km intense cycle ride, with cyclists either consuming a half a banana or a carbohydrate sports drink every 15 minutes, showed that those who consumed the bananas were provided with antioxidants not found in the sports drink, as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fibre, potassium and Vitamin B6. The bananas were also found to contain a healthier blend of sugars.
For more info on this, see There are no details, however, about the number of cyclists or the make-up of the sports drink, and it is interesting to see that the research was funded by Dole Foods, the world’s largest fruit and veg company!

Who knows whether this is biased or not, but, in fact, who cares, we love bananas at Go Faster Food! We combine bananas with skimmed milk, chocolate and egg white to make the ultimate sports recovery shake, see Chocolate Banana Shakes and we make the most deliciously moist Banana bread.

This cake tastes too good to be be healthy.

I’m struggling to keep my eyes open after completing our 48 hour non-stop 200 mile relay Rampant Run from Paignton Zoo to Twickenham… and still reeling from the fact that I’ve met and run with so many totally amazing people over those two days.. I don’t want to name drop too much, but I’ve just got to, sorry…

Prince Harry (wow :) ), rugby legends Martin Johnson, Phil Vickery, Phil de Glanville, the inspirational Amazon explorer, Ed Stafford, globally renowned magician Chris Korn from the BBC magicians programme, ex Commando Royal Marines double amputee Vince Manley and triple amputee Mark Omrod to name but a few….

And of course, 16 normal (???) runners, all with a common goal – to raise money, to see the rugby and to have a good time! The Rampant Run was an amazing feat of teamwork of all ages (my teenage son James included) and running experience. The brainchild of inspirational distance runner, Charlotte Thompson, Kay Johnson, wife of England Manager, Martin Johnson, and Monique Coulton, the Rampant Run is set to raise

Just a quick post about the most delicious, healthy and, most importantly, FAST, 10-minute supper we had tonight. An excellent training meal, cod is an really good, tasty and low fat source of protein. I served it with potatoes in their skins, crushed with a little olive oil and fresh spinach with a little nutmeg and

Since the weather has become so autumnal, or dare I say, WINTERY, the Go Faster Food household has become a bit of a soup kitchen.


P1010440I’ve just been severely reprimanded for not blogging about the fact that my very own wonderful daughter (aged just 17), my brother-in-law and my best friend Amber, all ran their first 1/2 marathon on 5th September. I’m SO sorry, I AM REALLY PROUD of you, you did BRILLIANTLY – it’s just that I’ve been snowed under with life and just haven’t got round to writing about it! Helena (daughter) and Paul (brother-in-law wiith shin splints who was kind enough to run with Helena almost the whole way – making sure that he sprinted off at the last minute so he wasn’t beaten by his neice!) managed their 13 miles in 1:57. They sprinted from mile 9 however, and had plenty of energy left over….they basically got their pacing wrong because I had been so adamant that they shouldn’t set off too quickly.

They have both declared that they’re going to train properly and get the pacing right for the Bath 1/2 in March 2011. They certainly followed my nutrition advice this time. They hydrated really well over the 3 days prior to the race and I cooked them all a deliciously balanced, low-fat, healthy pre-race meal of spaghetti with my slow-roasted tomato sauce the night before….

Now, my lovely friend Amber is completely new to running. Since recovering from breast cancer a couple of years ago she has worked incredibly hard to get fit. She’s gone from doing no sport at all to a committed runner, working out at least three or four times a week. She has started eating sensibly, she has lost at least two stone, and two years later she is a completely new woman….She ran the Bristol 1/2 in 2 1/2 hours and I have to say that, although this is not incredibly speedy, it is a most incredible achievement, especially as she’s done this on top of her very full time job – she’s one of the top Paediatric Anaesthetists in the country, specialising in saving children with severe burns and head injuries. Check out this thought-provoking video:


I really didn’t like rice pudding until I started running. It was too sweet, too creamy and just too much like nursery food for my liking. How things have changed…I can’t get enough of the stuff now! Rice Pudding is FANTASTIC recovery food!!!!! After a big bike ride, swim or long run out in the cold, it not only warms you up but it has a great combination of fast-acting high G.I. carbohydrate (short-grain pudding rice) to replenish your depleted glycogen stores, plus protein and calcium from the milk to help towards muscle repair.

Rice pudding is particularly good as it takes minutes to prepare before you leave the house – pop it into the oven at a low temperature and its ready two to three hours later on your return! All you have to do it take it out of the oven and eat it up. Yum Yum.

Take a look at Go Faster Food for some more rice pudding ideas, but here’s a basic version you can just leave in the oven while you are out for your long training session:

  • 100g short-grain pudding rice
  • 1.2 litre semi-skimmed milk (you can use skimmed, full fat, soya milk, rice milk, whatever you prefer)
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar (less if using sweetened soya or rice milk)
  • good grating of nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven – fan oven 130
Mark Cooper of, planning 50 marathons in 56 days

Mark Cooper planning 50 marathons in 56 days

Be inspired!

I’m getting loads of really encouraging comments about my chickpea, sweet potato and spinach soup – one of my favourites too, and brilliant for a Monday night’s supper if you’re into making stock out of the leftover bones from you Sunday roast!

Being involved involved in the world of endurance sports can make you feel really rather humble. I thought my running a couple of marathons a year, plus the odd fell run, cross country escapade and canoeing down rivers was pretty active….but then I come across people who make my pursuits sound really quite pedestrian (excuse the pun…). What fuels their desire to push themselves to the very extreme, not just physically but mentally too? I would love to know! Take a look at their websites:

  • Jonathan Bradshaw – training to swim the Atlantic! How wrinkly is his skin going to be? He likes to load up with my butternut squash risotto
  • Mark Cooper – training to run 50 marathons in 56 days – that’s 1300 miles apparently (!), running from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and he wants to do each marathon in under 4 hours! Unbelievable – he’s looking for sponsorship and raising money for charity so take a look and support him if you can…find him on twitter
  • Steve Blethyn – walking from Glasgow to Reading in 10 days (that’s 2 marathons a day for 10 days), he’s on twitter too, he’s quite a life force
  • Charlotte Thompson – amazing mother of 4 who took up running only

Pomegranates – health boosting benefits


I did my longest run so far in my training for London – only 13 miles, but things have unfortunately been delayed with the snow. It was OK,

A lovely lady called Annabel Lee at a new start-up sports nutrition venture called Orbana very kindly sent me some samples of their new energy drink to try out. Many of my followers will know that I am not one to get enthused by commercial sports nutrition products, all of which seem to claim that their product will be your answer to improved performance/recovery because of its unique blend of carbohydrate, minerals, protein etc etc. I find that most of these drinks and gels wither play havoc with my stomach or make me gag. They also tend to leave a sweet and sickly artificial taste in your mouth. I am much happier with the home made variety

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