Tuesday 25 April 2017

What I Eat In A Day: Long-distance Olympic runner Fionnuala McCormack

Fionnuala McCormack of Ireland after finishing fourth in the Women's 10000m final on day one of the 23rd European Athletics Championships Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Fionnuala McCormack of Ireland after finishing fourth in the Women's 10000m final on day one of the 23rd European Athletics Championships Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Fionnuala McCormack supporting the Great Ireland Run
Wicklow’s Fionnuala McCormack had a super victory in Spain last weekend
Ireland's Fionnuala McCormack crosses the finish line to win the women category of the fourth stage of the CrossCup cross country running competition, in Brussels, on December 18, 2016. / AFP / BELGA / JASPER JACOBS / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read JASPER JACOBS/AFP/Getty Images)
Fionnuala McCormack. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
McCormack clocked 25:26, bringing her home almost a minute clear of closest pursuer. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Fionnuala McCormack supporting the Great Ireland Run

Fionnuala McCormack has represented Ireland three times at the Olympic Games - so what fuels her day?

How do you start your day?

Believe it or not, sometimes my day starts simply with a tea or coffee and a square or two of chocolate. More often than not, first thing on my mind is a run so I tend to eat my first meal after this.

Do you prep your meals fresh or freeze them on a Sunday?

I'm not organised enough to plan past the day I’m in, so I generally prepare meals day by day.

I enjoy cooking so I actually enjoy the task, seeing it as an opportunity to switch off. When I’m in the lead-up to a big race, such as the Great Ireland Run 10k, I might plan in the sense that I know what I’m going to eat each night but I definitely will prepare it each day.

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How many meals do you eat per day?

I'm more of a grazer and prefer to eat small meals regularly rather than the traditional three big meals. As a runner, it’s important I eat small meals frequently, to help maintain my muscle and burn fat.

What would be your staple breakfast, lunch and dinner?

My first meal of the day may not always be at breakfast time but it’s likely to be eggs, cherry tomatoes, black pudding, brown bread and a coffee - I particularly enjoy this after a long run or indeed for a lunch as well. My favourite dinner would be quiche and potatoes...if i hadn’t eaten eggs for brunch of course!

How often do you work out? On days you exercise, how does your diet differ than normal?

I train every day. In-fact, I usually train two or three times a day. I need a lot more energy than the normal person, hence the grazing!

When you’re out for dinner, where do you frequent and what would be your usual order? I don't go out for dinner very often actually, I like my early nights. I much prefer meeting friends for my favourite treat of all - coffee paired with warm scones and sweet trimmings such as jam and cream.

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How does your diet reflect training days vs off days?

When I'm marathon training, I usually have to remember to eat enough to keep me tip top. I try to use my days off, as days to eat more helping me to be prepared for the next day’s training.

Are you completely opposed to sweet treats or do you allow yourself a cheat day?

I'm an "everything in moderation" person rather than a "cheat day" person which means I’m probably "cheating" every day as i love sweet things especially fruit cake and chocolate. Oh and scones with all the sweet trimmings like jam and cream.

How much water do you drink and do you take any supplements?

I definitely don’t drink enough water - I know how important it is so I am working on drinking more but it’s hard to fit the recommended amount into my day. I think it’s something most people struggle with.

I take ROS Nutrition’s multi vitamins everyday. After hard training sessions, I rely on recovery drinks such as RecoverAce Endurance. I’m also a fan of carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks during races but I’m probably not likely to have these every day.

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Fionnuala McCormack is is currently in training for the Great Ireland Run 2017 10k, taking place in the Phoenix Park on 9 April. To share in the day with Fionnuala and enter the event’s 10k or 5k event, visit www.greatirelandrun.org

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