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Fuel For Peak Performance - The Protein Balance

Back during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, we touched base with marathon runner Sonia Samuels. Sonia is an international athlete who is on a mission to compete 2016 Rio Olympics marathon! Anyone with this as their goal is pretty amazing in our eyes and will undoubtedly be sticking to a pretty strict diet. As the gym is becoming an ever popular destination and more and more of us are getting into doing an Iron Man, triathlon, body building contest, Tough Mudder, marathon, ultra marathon and all sorts, it is more important than ever to ensure that the food you are eating is giving you what you need. There is no point in feeding yourselves with the wrong things. We are beginning to see athletes and exercise enthusiasts pumping themselves with unnecessarily high levels of protein and unhealthy protein powders and it is a little scary to be honest. A lot of people seem to be forgetting that a body will function at its best when it is truly HEALTHY and this means ensuring that your diet is not only lean but CLEAN. And guess what that means - lots of plant based foods! Sonia has got it just right and has given us a little overview below on how she trains for her marathons and just how she goes about fuelling herself the Honestly Healthy alkaline way.

Key elements for Marathon Training There is more than one way to train for a marathon but for me a typical week needs to consist of three key elements:

  • a long run which is time on the feet
  • a speed session of 10k paced volume
  • a tempo run (a run pretty much at your marathon pace)

Obviously there is easy running and strength and conditioning in addition to those key workouts. Therefore it is really important that your body is fuelled to carry out those workouts but also to recover from them.

Fuelling Up  Nutrition is so important when it comes to performing at your best. I always compare it to a car. See yourself as an Aston Martin, you wouldn’t go filling it up on diesel would you? You need to put the best food in to get the best out of yourself. It is great to see so many people catching the running bug but it has also become a huge market for companies selling  unhealthy sports drinks and energy gels alike to make money.  I like to get what I need from good, healthy, clean food.

This is where the HH alkaline way comes in. At breakfast before training I love to have the HH Nutty Cacoa & Banana Porridge or the Raw Buckwheat Porridge as both have the right amount of protein and carbohydrates for a good start to the day.

Recover and Replenish Lunch after a big morning of training usually consists of eggs; scrambled eggs and avocado on an oatmeal pancake or the perfect HH omelette.

The Turmeric Omelette is a great option as turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, great for reducing inflammation in the body which is at its highest after the damage caused by high intensity exercise.  Long runs are all about getting used to that time on your feet, a great time to explore off road trails. These runs can be anything from 2-2.30hrs +. So it’s important that we refuel afterwards and one of my favourites is the Sweet Potato. I always put it in the oven as soon as I get back so it’s cooking while you have soak in the bath or nice long shower. To make sure I get something in straight away while I’m waiting for lunch I would have almond butter on toast or a smoothie with almond milk.

Rehydration After a tough workout at the track such as 10 x 1k reps or a 10-15 mile marathon pace run I will often have a green smoothie. I use a greens powder and spirulina for protein to repair my muscles. I will often add ginger and cherries (if in season) as they have similar anti-inflammatory properties as turmeric.  I will usually hit the gym after my green drink as my hard days are hard so I can have true rest days in between. By true rest days I mean easy running and core!!! My gym routine will consist of squats, pull ups and calf loading. Its thirsty work so I have plenty of alkaline water sometimes with a squeeze of lime or lemon to add a little flavour. If I’m treating myself I love coconut water to rehydrate. Coconut water is high in natural electrolytes and a fantastic way to rehydrate without the unhealthy sugars in a lot of sports drinks.


For a less hardcore approach to fitness and nutrition - why not try our 30 Day Slimdown. It is all about 20 minutes of HIIT training exercise a day and lots of cleansing alkaline recipes to help you on your way. Perfect if you want to lose some weight or reboot you health and fitness. 

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