The Elvis Presley Marathon Training Diet

Burger and fries

Elvis’ salad has just left the building (Photo: wEnDaLicious via photopin cc)

Oh dear. I’m usually such a healthy eater, but this weekend I fell off the wagon. Out with the pasta and the salad; I went on a day-long junk-food spree before my run last night.

Looking more like Elvis Presley’s Las Vegas backstage rider, this was my food intake over 24 hours:

22:00 – pizza and beer

10:00 – 2 fried eggs and toast
13:00 – cheeseburger
16:00 – plate of fries and soft drink

And at 20:00 I went for my 6-mile run.

Amazingly, my run was great. After shuffling through the first half-mile, I clicked into something close to my marathon-day race pace. With long stretches of empty tarmac paths along my route, I kept up a strong rhythm and fairly hurtled along. My half-mile warm-down at the end was the satisfied shuffle of a job well done.

So, have I struck upon a magic formula – the Elvis Presley Marathon Training Diet?

Probably not. For one thing, my diet is usually good – plenty of pasta, salad and water – so a rare blow-out like this weekend’s isn’t going to harm me too much. Also, my portions of burger, fries and fizzy drink were quite small.

Still, it’s not something I want to make a habit. After my run I had some salad, just to veer back towards equilibrium. Don’t follow the Elvis diet!

The odd small treat is fine, and sometimes a treat is more enjoyable when it’s seldom and you’ve earned it. Earlier this summer, while we were strolling on the seafront one sunny afternoon, I had a 99 (a whipped ice cream cone with a chocolate flake on top) for the first time in ages. It was delicious. What’s rare is wonderful.

Work hard, run hard, play hard, baby!

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