Race Report: Brighton Marathon - James McCafferey - 2016

Since I started to take running seriously, back in January 2015, I have made huge changes to the way I train and what I eat - 'little and often' is the key.

One of the big changes has come from joining Westbourne RC. This has helped to me structure my training and really boost the miles I now run each week and in preparation for weekend races. This year, I have also attended the Poole AC track night, held every Tuesday night at the Ashdown track, which have been instrumental in helping me improve my speed. I owe my recently parkrun PB's to these sessions.

Running has introduced to me so many incredible and inspirational people, sharing knowledge and experience to build my confidence to keep pushing myself.

For 2016, my target 'A Race' is the 2016 Brighton Marathon. Below is my runners profile showing how I am preparing with training and nutrition and how I'm adding build-up races into my schedule.

My usual training week:

My standard training week includes club sessions, sweatshop sessions and I always try and squeeze in a parkrun if not racing on the Sunday:

Monday: 7 miles - Nicknamed 'MOANday'
Tuesday: 3 miles to track, Poole AC Track session 4 miles (Sessions inc. 400m, 800m, 1 mile with repeats - Each week is different, adjusted to suit that weekends races)
Wednesday: 4 miles to Bournemouth (Inc. Hill repeats) - Sweatshop 7k (Welcome to everyone for FREE) - 4 Miles home
Thursday: 6 miles - Poole AC (Road & Heath sessions)
Friday: REST
Saturday: Poole Park Park Run - 1 mile from home - 5k parkrun - 1 mile home
Sunday:  Long Run Sunday 13-24 miles (depending on marathon programme) or Race Day

Nutrition:

Although I have always eaten a healthy diet, I have made some changes to assist my recovery and improve my training. The main element is completely cutting out bread and sugar! I’m not a huge tea or coffee drinker and have never been a fizzy drink fan so these are also kept to a minimum – I also only drink alcohol occasionally (special occasions, celebrations, weddings, birthdays) and NEVER to excess. Below is my normal weekly diet;

Breakfast:

Weekdays:

Branflakes

Weekends:

Sat: After parkrun: – Poached egg & muffin or Full English breakfast

Sun: Racing: Porridge 3 hrs before start – refuel after race

Sun: Training: High5 Gels (1 x 5 miles) + Nuun Electrolye drink

Lunch:

Staples include; sweet potato mash, spinach, tuna, crayfish, salad, rice, chicken, pasta, jacket potato

Dinner:

Staples include; fish, steak, home-made sweet potato wedges, pasta, salad, cottage pie, vegetables

Drink:

2.4Ltr (2400ml) water each day, Nuun electrolyte - especially important when I run to & from work (3 miles each way)

Race Day Nutrition Plan:

For race days I have a simple nutrition plan that is tried and tested and works for me:

Pre-Race nutrition:

Porridge, Banana, Water

During race nutrition:

10k water, 10M 1 x gel & water, 13mile+ gel every 5 miles, water & electrolytes

After race nutrition:

Water, sports drink, energy bar, cake (no guilt)

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