Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hill Training and Smoothies

I have started to train for the Brecon Beacons challenge. I have been lucky enough that my blog has been spotted by the marketing guys from Salomon and I have been given the opportunity to test out their XT Wings trail shoes, run the Brecon Beacons challenge and write about them in the blog - more about this later, as they are in the post... We went walking in the Brecon Beacons this weekend, and I was fairly horrified at how steep it is - I really need to do some serious hill training for this (yuk), as the run is 14 miles of steep up and down. I did my first very hilly run this morning - 6.5 miles. It was hot and hard, but a good feeling at the end when I poured ice cold water over me and made a delicious fresh Sunny Strawberry Shaker juice!
Juices and Smoothies:
I have to admit that I usually end up eating the fruit before it gets anywhere near the blender, but when I have the patience and fancy a little indulgence, it can be worth the wait and the hassle to make up a fresh juice or smoothie. I have been experimenting with various different combinations and these are my favourites. You will notice that these smoothies do not have banana in them - I really do not like the 'thick' texture of banana in a smoothie and I prefer to eat them whole!

Remember that smoothies are really packed with goodness, so treat yourself to one at breakfast time, or to hydrate yourself pre- or post-run. Simply chill and prepare the fruit, and whiz in a blender until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses with a sprig of mint or basil. These recipes make about two glasses:

Ginger- melon rescue remedy
Melon has a higher G.I. than most fruit, it has high water content and it is particularly refreshing. Athletes will often eat melon straight after a long work-out for this reason. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, so make up this juice in advance and enjoy it as soon as you get back from your hot and sweaty 17-mile training run…
1 melon, skinned and seeded (gala, charentais, honeydew – works well with any type except watermelon)
small piece of fresh ginger (1/2-1 cm cube), peeled and chopped
4 crushed ice cubes

Sunny Strawberry Shaker
punnet of strawberries (about 200-250g)
200ml apple juice
3 crushed ice cubes
3 mint leaves, plus a sprig to decorate

Tomato-chilli zinger
The vegetables in this juice contain a lot of water. This juice is packed with vitamins and is great to drink if you fancy a savoury juice with a higher salt content.
250ml tomato juice
½ red pepper, seeded
¼ small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
¼ (2 inch piece) cucumber, peeled
½ stick of celery, stringy bits removed
salt and pepper
squeeze of lemon
Tabasco and Worcester sauce to taste
4 crushed ice cubes
basil leaves and celery stick to decorate

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