Q: Superfood equals Supertime?

For the last week and a half my PB for running 5 Km have been beaten on each run I do. Almost a year ago my PB on the 20 Dec 2013 was 31:19 for 5 Km and I could never improve on this in fact it stayed between the 31:30 to 32 minute area. Then on Monday 8 Dec 2014 I did 30:40, Thursday 11 Dec it was 30:25, Monday 15th Dec it was 30:12 and today Wednesday 17th Dec I broke the 30 m mark with a 29:46. Apart from today I never set out to run faster I just set off and enjoyed running as I always do so I started to think about what could have made the improvement in my times. First I put it down to it being colder, maybe we run faster in the cold. Was it the fact because of the cold and I had put my leggings on so my legs now had less drag against the air hence the increase in speed, unlikely. Then I thought about pre-run prep. Since taking early retirement last year I now run later in the morning 9:30 ish so I now eat something about an hour before my run. Previously I use to eat a slice of toast with some marmalade spread on top but with the colder weather I have been having porridge instead, those sachet types where you put it in a bowl with milk and stick in the microwave for a couple of minutes. So I thought oats are a superfood so it must be that, then I thought hang-on I have eaten porridge with the golden syrup flavour before and my times have not improved. But the variety I am eating this week is blueberry flavoured porridge so two superfoods combined so my conclusion is it must be the superfoods. If I eat three superfoods would I go faster still?

To anyone thinking of starting C25K or part way through the programme, I have said it many times before don't get hung up on times or targets. The aim of the programme is to get you running for 30 minutes non-stop or for 5 Km not 5 Km in 30 m. Just enjoy the fact you have got off the couch and are running and then the PB's will come to you like they have for me.

15 Replies

  • I run on porridge always and it sustains like nothing else does. I have it when I'm hiking or going long walks with the dog. I like the bigger porridge oats though and make mine in a pan. Mmmmm

    It is a fact, apparently, that our times improve when running in colder weather. Read it in a book t'other day.

    As you get more and more runs under your belt you are getting progressively fitter, so it follows that your times will improve

    Good this running lark int it!

  • Thanks misswobble, I thought I had read somewhere about your times improving in the cold but was not sure. I thought I had better confess to being a sachet porridge eater rather than the traditional oats in a pan which I used to eat as a kid. I know porridge is good for slow energy release so sustaining you for longer but it seems to work for shorter distances of 5 Km as well.

    My favourite holidays have been in the Lake district hiking around the lakes and up the hills, much prefer that to laying on a hot beach somewhere.

  • me too, I hate hot beaches. I also like the 2min sachet porridge, I particularly like the blackberry and apple flavour. If it's good for running, the that is a very good excuse to eat it :)

  • Or maybe the simple answer is that you're getting faster because you have been training a year longer than you had a year ago? ;)

    Regardless of the explanation, you're doing really well and should be proud of those PBs. Congratulations!

  • Thanks Tomas. You could have a good point there. I have been running regularly 3 times a week since retiring whereas business got in the way before particularly being away on business where I never liked running on treadmills in hotel gyms.

  • Congratulations on the improvement! Sub-29 next?

    Food/drink consumption won't make any significant difference over 5K. In distance running terms it's just a short sprint. The longer distances are where you need to fuel up properly. That said, I know some folks can't even get out of the front door without a good breakfast whilst others like me prefer to run on an empty stomach.

    The most likely explanation for your recent glut of PBs is that you're simply fitter and stronger.

  • I agree with your thoughts Michael_w I use to run before eating anything when I had to start work but now I have the luxury of running later in the morning hence eating before my runs

  • I'm a great believer in porridge too as I definitely have more oomph when I have it for breakfast! I'm thinking of eating loads of spinach for lunch if I have a later run and see if it works for me as well as it does for Popeye!

    Really well done on all the PB's.

  • Ha ha Irishprincess you must let us know if you try the spinach before running.

  • I tend not to eat before my runs , seems to work for me :D i am a fairly recent grad and doing 3 runs a week :D Your times are very good :D It is hard not to get hung up on times or distances .. My initial aim is to run the 5k in 30mins ish .. it was 37 when i graduated .. when Runkeeper decides to work properly. The last timed one was around 32 mins .. I think it is a combination of doing the miles/km ( running regularily 3 x a week ) having a good diet in general and the personal desire to be better than we were before C25K :D :D

  • Well done Slow_Rob on your improving 5 km times I hope like me you just enjoy running and let the PB happen rather than chase targets

  • thanks exwightman :) enjoying running ,even on cold dark damp nights :D

  • I've yet to find what gives me that big improvement with running, but I used to be a swimmer and I found the same thing... you keep plugging away for ages with practically no improvement but suddenly you get a big jump, never quite worked out why...

  • It must be our bodies on defense mechanism waiting until we have built up the stamina to push that extra bit to run/swim faster. It certainly gives you a great feeling when it happens.

  • My breakfast is usually a large smoothie made with (always) oats and spinach and a scoop of vegan protein powder, then a combination of whatever is to hand of blueberries, pomegranate, mango, apple or banana, with coconut water or milk and topped off with chia and flaxseed and some dates.

    All those superfoods in raw form make me fly like the wind.

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