I have put on over a stone in training for the marathon. With it being only 5 weeks away I do not know whether to try cut back on calories now and try and be lighter on my feet or to ignore until after the day. I feel very sluggish with this extra weight and I know I have probably eaten too much along with muscle gain. what do you advise at this stage?
It is important to ‘feel’ lighter when undertaking any event, particularly one as long as a marathon. It is also, obviously, easier to run if we are lighter! I think in your case you need to find the balance between decreasing food intake, or rather decreasing calorie and unhealthy fat and sugar intake, and getting enough energy and nutrients to maintain your training regime. For this reason I would recommend you think of replacing those foods you are eating with ‘calorie-negative’ foods (a controversial theory purporting that some foods burn more calories in the effort to consume them than they contain) such as celery, cucumber, onion, radish, apple, courgette, chicory, fennel, broccoli, cabbage, endive and lettuce. This will provide you with the nutrients you require while encouraging your metabolism to speed up. Additionally ensure you eat enough lean protein to balance your blood sugar levels and provide energy for your runs. Have eggs or muesli with nuts for breakfast, lean poultry or quinoa for lunch. Without even decreasing the amount of calories in your diet, you can burn off more energy by increasing the amount of fibre and decreasing the volume of high sugar and saturated fats.
MSc Nutr (2009), PGDip Nutr, PGcACNEM, Dip. Sc Nutr