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The Sydney Marathon – A Paleo Perspective

by Suz on September 17, 2011 · 4 comments

in Australian, Food, Paleo

As I’ve mentioned before, my Marathon running housemate is currently doing the Whole30 Paleo challenge with me.  We’re on day 26, and it’s going fantastically, but I’ll tell you more about that in a future post.

My housemate is a marathon runner, so I’ve been particularly interested to see how Paleo affects his running performance and recovery.  So far, it seems to have made an incredible difference.  10 days ago he did his long practice run and was aiming for 30km (18.6 miles).  The run was going so well, he had so much energy, the sun was shining – so he just kept on running!  He got home to find out he’d run 42km (26.09 miles); just a few paces shy of a marathon!  Tomorrow however, is a different ball game.  Tomorrow is the race, the Sydney marathon.  He’s going for a really good time.  And he’s doing it Paleo.  I can’t wait to see how he does and how he feels and performs as a Paleo Marathon runner.  I’ll keep you posted!

I was interested to see the contents of the Marathon pack.  Which foods would the marathon organisers give away to their competitors, to give them good race nutrition?  Chia Seeds, a “Smooze” fruit ice (unfrozen) and a “Trio” bar.    I guess it could have been a lot worse, but, is this really the best things for a marathoner to be eating?

It’s not Paleo!

Chia Seeds are everywhere at the moment and being promoted as a superfood.  Whilst they do provide Omega 3, it’s in plant form, which isn’t so ready for human absorption – and they also contain a not so good amount of Omega 6.  The amount of protein contained is minimal – it would take considerably more than an 8g packed to give a decent protein supply.  So, whilst they certainly aren’t the worst thing a marathoner could eat, I think this is probably the best use for them.

The “Smooze” (unfrozen) frozen fruit ice contains: pink guava juice 47% (from puree), coconut milk 40%, natural cane sugar, fruit pectin, citric acid, natural fruit flavours, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).  I’m pleased to see the coconut milk, though after my own investigation into coconut milk, can only hope they use a pure brand.  The juice element is just sugar, which isn’t so good.  Also, after reading the Food Renegade’s awesome post on Orange Juice, I’ve been really wary of juices and “natural” flavours.

I was surprised the “Trio” bar ingredients weren’t as bad as I was expecting: Cashew, Almonds, Pistachios, Blueberries, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Dates, Raisins, Rice Malt, Natural Flavours, Evaporated Cane Juice and Sea Salt.  It’s a shame they had to add the rice malt, “natural flavours” and sugar (though doesn’t evaporated cane juice sound so much better!).  I can’t think why you’d need to add flavours to so many wonderful tasting foods?

With some fantastic Paleo sports inspiration, dinner tonight came with sweet potato, a great Paleo Carb source.

Fingers crossed for a great Sydney Marathon day tomorrow!

Do you combine endurance with Paleo?  I’d love to hear how it works for you.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin B September 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

Thanks for the timely and wise words Suz, I have skipped the free marathon snack pack and opted for the chicken, sweet potato and pumpkin left overs from last night – yum.
(Washed down with water and fresh lime you’ll be glad to know)

I look forward to welcoming a Chia pet to our household :0)

See you in 42 km!

Reply

Suz September 18, 2011 at 9:52 am

Good luck Kev! Can’t wait to hear how well you do!

Reply

tuz September 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

When are we going to see list of results and some photos on these marthon 2011 web sites?

Reply

Suz September 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hi Tuz, Kevin is going to post his Marathon write-up very soon…

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