Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Running Show 2012

This weekend just past, 24-25th November, Sandown Park racecourse played host to The Running Show 2012. This was a free event (if you registered in advance) featuring a race, stands for top brands and retailers, workshops and seminars. I went along with my mum on the Sunday and had an excellent day.

The first 1500 people through the door each day got a goody bag and the chance to win some cool prizes if your bag contained a "golden envelope". As well as the usual leaflets each bag contained some gels, drinks tabs and a clif bar. The venue never felt overly busy, possibly owing to the race and running workshop during the day which occupied quite a number of people. I didn't take part in these but might consider it on another occasion.

There were two seminar areas with a full programme of talks throughout the day ranging from advice on training and injury prevention to barefoot running and kit choices. I attended one on marathon training and another on nutrition. The latter was given by Joel Enoch, who was on the Clif Bar stand most of the day, and was by far the most interesting talk on nutrition I've ever heard. I'm suffering from information overload on that subject at the moment as I'm researching aspects of my training but this was really clear, practical and compelling. He invited people to chat to him afterwards, something I took advantage of as I wanted a little more guidance on nutrition for vegetarians in training. He covered an A5 page with notes, gave me some clif builders bars and I came away with a much clearer understanding of how to structure and time my meals in relation to my training. The most important things I learnt:
- to use fruit and veg as the base of all meals, adding carbs and protein as appropriate
- to have basic building blocks you can swap out depending on your needs at that time e.g. your breakfast might be fruit, granola and yogurt. If you need more protein, swap out 20g granola for 20g nuts
- rice and beans together provide a complete protein for vegetarians
- you can download the "clifcast" podcasts from iTunes for more nutrition info

I sampled a great number of bars and gels throughout the day although hardly any were giving away complete sample bars, but it was an excellent way to see which textures you liked best. There were also lots of stands selling kit and providing gait analysis in conjunction with selling trainers. I bought a water resistant running jacket from Crew Room, which means I now have no excuses for not going out when it's raining, and my mum bought a very stylish long sleeved running top from Newline. Neither of these brands I'd heard of before but both were very appealing. Newline in particular offered a great line of stylish gear to rival (in my opinion) Sweaty Betty but at more affordable prices. Plenty of offers were available, from 10-50% off or 3 for 2 on a lot of clothing, and all stall holders seemed very relaxed about you taking things to the loos to try them on, or going off for a run around the venue for testing purposes.

I expected to spend 2-3 hours there but ended up spending almost 6 hours browsing, tasting, listening, wandering and generally enjoying. I thought it was a great event for all runners, whether ultra runners or new starters.

I'm now looking forward to putting some of my nutrition learnings into practice and putting my jacket to the test. I might do a post on that.

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