David’s running column week 5

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All of us here at Mulberry Bush Montessori Balfron 10k HQ know how hard it can be to train for a race, from a 10k right up to a marathon. It’s great to have someone to train with but getting advice from those in the know can be invaluable too.

For all you first-time 10k-ers out there, we have just the man, Step forward Central AC veteran runner and athletics coach David Eckersley. Over the next ten weeks, David will be offering up training ideas and advice for anyone taking those first steps towards our 10th anniversary event in April. He’ll also be giving an insider’s view on the route and how best to tackle it. So start reading, get your trainers on and enter the world of running.


This week David talks about what you need to be feeding your body.

Gerry & David EckersleyWith the Easter weekend just gone and the temptations of Easter eggs still all around us, my thoughts are turning to nutrition and hydration during your training for the Mulberry Bush Montessori Balfron 10k.

If you’re already eating a healthy diet with a good balance of energy-rich carbohydrates, protein for muscle repair, fats for energy and the fibre, vitamins and minerals which are so vital for your immune system, there’s no need to drastically alter it.

But as you spend more time running and begin increasing your distance you’ll find that your energy needs rise and you’ll be hungrier than usual. Rather than turn to empty calories such as sweets, cakes and crisps, it’s better to have plenty of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cereal bars and pots of yoghurt to hand. These snacks will stabilise sugar levels in your blood and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Hydration is important too, even on days you are not running you still need to drink plenty of fluids because your muscles keep working after you have finished exercising and it is vital your body doesn’t dehydrate.

On race day itself, an energy-rich breakfast of porridge and a banana is usually ideal for many runners, some of them opting for a dinner of pasta or rice the night before. Most 10k runners can manage the race without taking on water unless, of course, the weather is very warm. On the Balfron 10k route we have water stations set up where you can grab a bottle and either run with it or have a sip and then discard. In the unlikely event it is very warm you might even get a super soaking from some of the local youngsters armed with giant water pistols. Very refreshing!

Sleep is another important factor to take into account. A good night’s rest supports recovery from training and gives us the energy to get out there and run again. It’s great that the clocks have gone forward as it means we will have light evenings to train in.

Training this week is aiming at increasing your mileage gradually but why not consider trying a local race or a Park Run? These can be a good way of boosting your training and testing out your progress.

5k is a good distance to try especially if you have not raced before. The Park Runs are friendly and low-key and offer some insight to preparing for a 10k.

Good luck and go easy on the Easter eggs!