Thursday, 8 October 2009

Marathons and Mothers

Last weekend I had the opportunity to film a man who plans to complete 20 record breaking achievements in twelve months. His first to be recorded for Record Holders Republic is running for 48 hours on a treadmill with a 40lb pack on his back, all of the money he raises will go to Help for Heroes. So, on Saturday morning I arrived in Swindon at the Brunel Shopping Centre to watch Mike Buss as he started on this crazy marathon. On Sunday evening I returned to see how he was doing- and to look at his war torn feet, and then on Monday at midday he finished his record breaking achievement- not only had he achieved a world record for 24 hours non stop, but the 48 hour record too, and he had covered 76.2 miles. As I watched him on the treadmill I pondered the fact that women achieve great marathons every day- when they have long drawn out labours and their strength flags, yet somehow most of these women continue and eventually give birth on their own. In the final hours of a labour they find an inner strength and this was what I saw in Mike on Sunday night and Monday morning.

One of the areas that he talked about whilst continually tramping the treadmill was that he feels he needs to research his diet more carefully before he takes on another record attempt. I think, in this respect women should do the same- many midwives give advice on foods that might prove palatable whilst in labour and energy rich snacks which help them through. Mike, like a woman in labour, couldn’t stomach large meals and so small snacks and high energy drinks were the order of the day- he also learnt late into his marathon that pastries from the local cafĂ© in the shopping centre proved to be a great energy booster. So, for those of you who are about to undertake possibly the biggest marathon of your life here are some ideas for foods that will help you through:

Carbohydrates that will provide sustained energy such as bread, cereals, cereal bars, pasta, bananas and yoghurt. Iced freeze pops for rehydrating and cooling, fruit juices and plenty of liquids especially water. Drinks are best served in sports bottles or cups with a straw. Dextrose tablets are useful – especially if you can’t keep food down as they will provide that necessary energy, you can buy them in your local chemist. The other piece of advice is not to eat anything too heavy or bulky- little and often is key.