Those of you who don’t read the Discworld novels may not be familiar with Dwarf Bread. It is, in essence, the perfect fuel for the long-distance traveller: a food so dense and so nutritious that a single slice can sustain you for weeks. The key to its effectiveness is to be so unappetising that every time you look at it, you realise that you are not really hungry.
Unfortunately, sports gels, or at least the ones that I’ve tried, seem to work on the same principle. They may well have the perfect combination of carbohydrates and electolytes to fuel me, but bringing myself to eat them is a battle that I frequently lose.
So I am experimenting. And this weekend’s experiment of choice was a date and banana smoothie*. It may not have scientifically measured nutrients, but it’s simple to make, a pleasure to drink, and got me through an evenly paced 11 miler** at the end of my highest mileage week ever.
Definitely one to try again on my next long run.
* The recipe (based on the sports gel recipe from ultra running insights)
330ml coconut water
2 small bananas
2 small sticks of celery
Lemon juice to taste
Chop the dates, bananas and celery and put in a blender with the coconut water and some lemon juice. If your blender is a little wimpy, leave to soak for a while to let the dates soften. Blend until smooth.
** The route
Another section of the London Ultra route, which follows the Capital Ring from Grove Park to Perivale.
I joined the ring at Robin Hood Gate, ran through the slippery mudfest that is Richmond Park, managed to rick the outside of my right ankle and the inside of my left ankle on the mogully grass descent down to the Petersham Gate, and then gloried in the flatness of towpaths all the way to Boston Manor.