Sunday 19 August 2018

Doing your best – Top 3 runner's recipes

Are you training to be at your best for this year’s Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon?

You’ll need all the good nutrition you can get in the lead-up to the 2017 event whether you’re running, walking or participating as a group so why not combine your training plan with some great recipes? That way you will make the most of your training and feel much better too.  

Preparation is key when it comes to the right training and coupled with great nutrition, you’ll give yourself the edge that you need. Running can be time consuming, so fast and healthy meals that are quick to prepare are great to keep you fighting fit!

MasterChef Winner, Olympian and former European Champion and Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon Ambassador, David Gillick has combined his love of cookery with his athletics experience to provide healthy eating inspiration to participants this year. He has designed a wide range of ‘Recipes of the Week’.

Here are 3 top Runners Recipes to take you through the day:

1.  Energy Balls – A Punchy Snack

It can be tempting to reach for the sweet treats when training and these Energy Balls are a sure-fire way to ensure that you’re making a healthy choice.  Flavoursome and moreish, they are simple to make and even easier to snack on!

Ingredients (Makes 10-12 Balls)

250g pitted dates

250g cashew nuts

2 tsp cocoa powder

Desiccated coconut to coat


1. Place dates, cashew nuts and cocoa powder in a food processor or high powered blender.

2. Blend until a stiff paste is formed.

3. Spread out the coconut on a plate and using the palms of your hands roll a small amount of the date paste into bite sized balls. Roll on the plate to coat with desiccated coconut.

4. Put all the balls in a container and place in the fridge for a few hours to harden.

2.  Spinach and Feta Scrambled Eggs

These Spinach and Feta Scrambled Eggs are a fantastic breakfast choice but also work really well as a meal for any time of day. Packed with goodness, they are the best sort of fuel for runners.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 handfuls of spinach

2 large eggs

50g feta cheese, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 slice wholegrain bread (optional)


1. Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat and add spinach, allow to wilt for 2/3 minutes.

2. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk, season with salt and pepper.

3. Add to the pan along with the chopped feta cheese.

4. Continuously stir all ingredients together and continue to do so until the eggs are cooked and scrambled.

5. Serve along with some mixed leaves or over a toasted slice of wholegrain bread.

3. Beef Stew – Best Bet for Runners

A hearty beef stew is the perfect recipe for runners.  It can be prepared in advance and provides delicious sustenance when exhausted after training or a good go-to meal before training.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

400g stewing beef, cubed & trimmed

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 courgette, sliced

500ml beef stock

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried rosemary

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 2 minutes.

2. Add the beef and allow to brown, and then add the courgette, peppers, sweet potato, herbs and tinned tomatoes.

3. Pour in the stock along with the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and stir everything well.

 4. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 40 minutes, or transfer the dish to the oven and roast for 1 hour at 170ºC.

If you’re planning on participating in this year’s 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon there is additional healthy eating inspiration and a range of recipes available from ambassador David Gillick on the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon website, from full meals to super-fast smoothies.  Nutrition is a key part of the preparation and it’s important to include the major food groups in a balanced way and ensure variation in your diet in the lead-up to the big day.

Sign up today as the closing date is fast approaching. Women can enter for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon by registering online here. For those that would like to enter by post, official application forms are available in The Herald every Wednesday and Saturday.

For further information on the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Sponsored by: Vhi Mini Marathon

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