Sorry, I’ve not been around for a while. Literally – in that for three weeks I was away from North London in New Zealand running, hiking, kayaking, meeting my new nephew, trampolining with my niece and generally having fun.
And then three weeks after I came back I ran the London Marathon.
I’ll tell you a secret: I took that photo at least an hour after I finished the race. I did not finish looking that fresh! Running is hard. That smile is probably because I was on my way to Franco Manca for a free pizza. Thanks Franco Manca!
My previous meal (if we don’t count gels or concentrated beetroot juice) had been at about 6 that morning: what I like to call my Performance Enhancing Porridge. It’s my favourite thing to eat before a race, and certainly when I started making it last year I started getting personal best after personal best. Maybe that’s because I’d also just trained for and run my first marathon so I was in very good shape, but maybe it was the porridge.
And did it help me in London? Well I got a 37 minute personal best so I’m very happy with that!
This is how I make it:
- 100ml organic porridge oats
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (it don't matter if they're black or white)
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- honey or maple syrup to taste
- Put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, turn the heat to medium high and start stirring. I use a risotto spoon (it has a hole in the middle which helps make the risotto creamier). It cooks pretty quickly so make sure your coffee is ready to go too. Stir until just before your preferred consistency, you're going to eat it straight away but it does thicken up slightly on standing.
- If you have a microwave, you could put everything into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about two minutes on high. I quite like the ritual of stirring it over a stove though - especially before a race.
- You'll notice this porridge is dairy free. I'm trying to cut down on dairy for ethical reasons (baby cows, climate) but I still love cheese so much. I figure cutting out milk is a step in the right direction. Also, milk can cause digestive issues for some runners. The coconut milk tastes divine so it's a win/win.
- I use a volume measurement for the oats and milk - pick the same cup to use every time once you figure out the right amount for you. I use a cup for measuring rice but a teacup would probably work well.
I think Recipe Card based the calorie count on coconut milk in a tin rather than the milk alternative kind, so dn’t be alarmed by the calorie count! But I do tend to save this for before a long run or race.
I took this around 6am yesterday morning. I had been woken up by my smoke detector running out of batteries at 4:45am, which just happened to be the time Nike’s Breaking2 attempt started. So I decided to watch it. And I’m glad I did. When they introduced the athletes I was so impressed by Eliud Kipchoge. The guy is a Zen master of running. He didn’t break 2 hours, he did it in 2:00:25 but that’s still incredible.
So I’m going to ring off with this video about him. What an inspiration (I wonder what he eats for breakfast?).