I am currently a member of Portsmouth Joggers

and have also been a member of

which is a site worth a visit purely in its own right.

Residents of Portsmouth might also be interested in the Southsea Parkrun (link at top). Parkruns are run every Saturday morning over a distance of 5 km. In this area there also runs at Havant and QE Country Park, and nationally and internationally there are many more. Registration is free and this registration allows you take part in any parkrun anywhere - see same Southsea link at top.

My Own Race Reports

As time goes on, these reports will of course tend to become out-dated.

General Race Links

Selected Races

  • Clarendon Way Marathon (Winchester) : recommended Cross-Country marathon - now includes a half-marathon as well.
  • Cardiff Half Marathon
  • Snowdon Race : every July, from Llanberis, a climb of just under 1,000 meters. As yet no-one has managed to complete the course in under 1 hour - but, roughly speaking, the top runners take about 40 minutes to reach the top and 20 minutes to come down again.
  • Cader Race, fell race

General Links



The most efficient time to absorb carbohydrate is within two hours of the end of a run. For a carbohydrate drink, within half an hour of the end.


  • Bananas best to eat when they are lightly-flecked. When they have become black/brown, they are apparently recommended as a good post-run snack.
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Dried Fruit
  • Energy Bars
  • Glucose Tablets No substitute for starch.


Fat should constitute no more than 30% of diet. Of this fat intake, only about one tenth should be saturated fats. There are obviously some benefits to fat, so don’t go totally crazy in avoiding them in your diet. For example, fatty acids are essential, and Vitamins A, D and E are fat soluble. Low fat levels will hit energy and recovery levels.

With less fat, VO2 max ( a measure of how the body absorbs oxygen ) improves due to a reduction in demand for oxygen by fat cells

Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in fish, and it is noticeable that heart disease is practically unknown in fish-eating Eskimo (Inuit) communities and fish-eating communities of Japan. Omega-3 is also contained in flaxseed oil. It is, nevertheless, easily destroyed by heat. Also claimed to promote joint suppleness. Especially recommended :- mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon. Free-range eggs can contain omega3 (but see below).

The following are not only high in fat, but are also high in the worst kind of fat - oxidized fat, which is produced when cholesterol comes into contact with free radicals : Hamburgers, chips ( American - french fries), eggs, dairy produce.

Approximate fat content of cream : Single - 20%, Whipped - 40%, Double - 50%

Avoid mixed nuts. Tropical mix will contain less fat. Chestnuts are particularly low in fat. Walnuts are high in unsaturated fats and Vitamin E, both of which are recommended against heart disease.

Shortcrust pastry contains less fat than flaky pastry. olives Tuna is de-fatted when it is tinned - to get the benefit of fats needs to be fresh tuna


Best sources : meat, soya, fish, low-fat dairy products.


  • B helps to release energy from food. Maintains healthy nerve and muscle tissue.
  • C best-known anti-cold aid, and best-known anti-stress vitamin. Beware taking too much, which will produce negative effects. Vital for healthy bones, teeth, cartilage and connective tissue. Needed for absorption of iron.

    Sources : Oranges, Kiwi Fruits, Red Peppers, Blackcurrants.

  • E Protects arteries from clots. Boosts immune system.

    Sources : Almonds, Wheatgerm, Fortified Cereals


  • Calcium nedded for bones and teeth. Avoid soft drinks, like Coca-Cola, because they can produce an excess of Phosphorous which inhibits the absorption of calcium.

    Sources : Milk, Cheese, Broccoli, Legumes, Green, leafy vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Peas, Beans, Lentils.

  • Iron Contained in meat, iron-free cereals, lentils, brocolli. Absorption can be improved with a Vitamin C rich food or drink.

  • Magnesium relieves depression and tiredness

  • Potasium Lack of potassium can be a major cause of staleness at the end of a competitive or sustained period. Lack of potassium caused a British runner to collapse during the 1984 Olympics.

    The simplest way to get Potassium is to drink orange juice with all meals - quarter of a liter in winter, half a liter in summer.

    Sources : Orange Juice, all fresh fruit, all fresh vegetables, whole grains.

  • Zinc Best-known anti-infection mineral. Can also apparently shorten the duration of cold etc. if you actually catch an infection.

    Sources : lean beef, egg yolk, fish (herring especially noted) , milk, soya, turkey, fortified cereals, beans, black-eyed peas, wholemeal bread, wheatgerm,

Other Substances

  • Folic Acid carries Oxygen in blood. Contained inbread, leafy green vegetables, lentils, citrus fruits.
  • Polyphenols blunt the effect of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.


An electrolyte drink not only provides fluid but encourages the absorption of this fluid quicker than would br the case with pure water.

Energy Drinks Quick energy replacer. High carbohydrate will restrict the absorption of fluid.

Isotonic drinks. Usually small amounts of carbohydrate which allows the fluid to be absorbed efficiently.

There is strong evidence that red grape juice ( or red wine, if you must) reduces the risk of heart problems.

Caffeine is a restricted substance. Above three cups of coffee could take the level over the allowed levels. Other sources : Red Bull, Virgin Energy, Red Kick.Caffeine is also a diuretic.

It goes without saying that people realise the importance of drinking during a distance race, although it was not always so. In 1954, Jim Peters ran the Vancouver Commonwealth Games Marathon, on one of Vancouver’s hottest days of the year, without drinking anything. He collapsed in the stadium, never reached the Finish, and after a stay in hospital, never ran again.


Butter or margarine will slow down the availablity of the carbohydrate. Suggestions
  • Chicken / Turkey
  • Tuna (in brine)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Small portion of Edam / Gouda with salad
  • Boiled Egg


  • Bread Rolls
  • Malt Loaf
  • Scotch Pancakes
  • Currant Teacakes / Hot Cross Buns
  • Toast
  • Scone
  • Jacket Potato

Specific Foods

Brussel Sprouts Iron, Vitamins A,B6,C; Folic Acid About ten sprouts would provide half daily requirements of folic acid and all Vitamin C. However since both these are water soluble, if the sprouts are overcooked, they will lose a considerable amount of nutritional value.
Christmas PuddingAbout 65% carbohydrate, potassium, fiber, iron
Fig Rolls about 65% carbohydrate, 10% fat
Leafy Greens Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber, Phytochemicals Basil, Beetroot Greens, Bok Choy, Chard, Chicory, Chinese Leaf, Cos Lettuce, Dandelion Leaves, Endive, Kale, Mustard Greens, Purslane, Radicchio, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Turnip Greens, Watercress
MilkAs much carbohydrate as a sports drink, but absorbed slower
Roast Potatoes ”Healthier” than chips, if you keep them whole, which stops absoption of fat. Use vegetable fat.
TurkeyLow fat, high protein White meat is about 1.4% fat. Three or four times higher for other parts. Compare with duck (10% fat) and goose (22% fat).
FishOmega 3
Meatsource of iron particularly, can get protein elsewhere, e.g. eggs


  • People who take a sauna at least twicw a week appear to suffer 50% less viral infections
  • Elderberry proved to have anti-viral properties


  • Ginseng more energy
  • Fruit and vegetables can counteract free radicals

Recommended Books

  • The Olympic Marathon, Martin and Gynn, Human Kinetics. Analysis and details of all races, tournament by tournament.


A morning run raises the metabolicrate for several hours and is an effective way to control bodyweight.

1 hour of slow jogging uses about 1500 joules of energy. A fast 10 minute run would use about 650 joules.

In the Beginning..

Also failing to last long in Olympic competitions were club swinging, croquet, rope climbing, tug of war, live pigeon shooting, motor-boat racing, two-handed javelin throw and the 100m swim for sailors, which featured at the first modern Games in Athens in 1896 and then was heard of no more. I mention all this because I have just been reading about the first days of the modern Olympics and it's hard not to be struck by the openness, the village-fête-like simplicity, of the Games then compared with now.

In those days, Olympics were small-scale affairs - Athens had barely 200 competitors, as against more than 10,000 at Sydney - and so easygoing that spectators could actually hope to take part. The entrants in the 1904 marathon, for instance, included two Zulu dancers who happened to be in St Louis on a cultural exchange and entered on a whim. Supervision was likewise a trifle casual. Michel Théato, the winner of the 1900 marathon in Paris, is reputed to have used his knowledge of the city's geography to introduce a number of useful shortcuts down back alleys and side lanes.

Even more enterprising was the American Fred Lorz, who completed the 1904 marathon looking uncannily fresh. It turned out that he had accepted a lift from a passing motorist, who had dropped him just outside the stadium after conveying him 11 miles. I think it is safe to say that we will not see those days again.