Nutrition Fuelling the machine part 1.5

Fuelling the machine part 1.5


Or “How not to fuel the machine”.

It was Friday at noon, and I was already thinking of my first run of the year the following day. My wife and I decided to go for some sushi at a new restaurant nearby. During what was a nice break from children, work, the day to day grind, my wife leans over and says,”I invited so and so for dinner tonight. Burgers in particular on the BBQ and your famous margaritas”. Well how do I resolve this dilemma?

Obviously I make the burgers and margaritas, and totally fail at not consuming too much of both. After four margs and 2 burgers, I felt bad. I mean really bad, physiologically and emotionally. Better start drinking lots of water. And so my visions of a great race are starting to dissolve. Thankfully it’s only the first of many, and hey you never know, maybe I’ll post a good time none the less.


I jog the 5k to the race. Sign in, and get my timing chip. Feeling good but not great. In the line up I see plenty of my peers, and am asked on numerous occasions, “what pace are you looking for?” Good question. I had wanted to post a sub 21min.  I opt for the “well we’ll just have to see”, knowing a 21min time is out of the question, and just hoping that I come in under 24min. We’re lining up now. Last chance to get hurt. NO can do. I am just going to have to suffer through this one. It’s only 5km. How hard can that be? I decide to run along side a woman I train with who is likely to post a sub 21min. time.


We’re off. I am keeping my pace through the first 500m. Feeling pretty good. At the 1km mark I am now sucking air big time. By 2km I have lost my running mate. By 3km I am begging for it all to be over. I keep saying to no one in particular “just let me get to the finish, and I won’t drink before a race again”. With a little over 500m to go, I find what might qualify for a sprint or strong finish. But surely looks sad, even for me. Over the finish line and I’m done. Literally.

23 minutes and change. Not bad, but not what I had wanted. And why? Because I did not fuel the machine for proper performance. This will be a lesson for me to hopefully learn from. And if anything I will not suggest burgers and margaritas as a pre race meal again.

On a slightly more upbeat and interesting note. Tomorrow I have a meeting at the Peak Centre, to asses my vo2 max/threshold, and develop a training and nutritional program for the rest of the summer. I have offered myself up as a guinea pig to an intern for training. Hopefully I’ll have interesting topics for discussion in the coming weeks.


  1. I think the margaritas were the real error here, I don’t think burgers are that bad, especially for a 5k. Maybe next time you can have them without alcohol or save them as a post-race reward?

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