Monday, 18 June 2007

Fancy a jam bap?

Another day, another lesson learned (should that be 'learnt'?). A few weeks ago I spoke to a girl who was walking the Parish for the first time. One of the main things that she and her friend were looking forward to was being able to eat all the 'goodies' they had planned for the day. Planning what you are going to eat is a great idea.

Last year I didn't eat enough. Oh, I had a pretty good breakfast and on the way to Peel, I had a couple of bananas and a Mars Bar (generously provided by spectators and sponsors). However, I didn't have any sort of eating plan to follow. I just ate when I fancied something. Unfortunately, as my fatigue increased, my appetite reduced. I had supplied my crew with a pile of grub to see me through the day, but in the end, I think I managed to finish six caramel shortcake slices - and three of them were wolfed down in the final hour!

If you are spending a normal eight-hour day at work, then you would expect at least one meal of some sort. (I've usually eaten all my packed-lunch two hours into my working day...) If you were to spend 16 hours at work, then you'd be needing at least two meals, probably three. So, it goes without saying that, for a Parish Walker, doing a very hard 16 - 24 hour day of constant exercise, nutrition must be taken very seriously.

Sometimes you will feel a bit rough and the last thing you want is to force down a raspberry jam bap. That's Ok, just try and have a bit of something - even a few jelly babies or a boiled sweet will help (albeit a teeny, tiny bit) - and as soon as you feel better, remember to restart your feeding. Aim to try and have something every hour or so. You should really have experimented with feeding patterns by this stage, but if not, just see what you can handle.

So, what should you eat? Whatever you can stomach basically. Top of my list for high-energy snacks on the hoof are malt loaf, jam sandwiches, fruit cake, flapjack and fruit, but it is really a case of whatever you fancy. A raspberry-ripple 99 in Peel won't do you too much harm and there are loads of stories of people picking up fish and chips in the Sunset City too. There's a place for energy gels too - they are easy to digest and swallow, but one an hour could prove a bit expensive. Needless to say, regular fluid intake is essential, even if it's a cold or wet day. Drink everytime you take on food, but you should also drink regularly in between feeds. Water, isotonic energy drinks (Lucozade Sport, Isostar, etc), coffee, flat coke, sweet tea and fruit juice will all be evident on Saturday - again, the choice is yours. However, alcohol is best avoided (unless things get really bad..?). Before you all head to the shops for jam and flat coke, remember, these are the (very unscientific) opinions of someone who did it wrong last time. Bon appetit Yessir!

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