Geeking Out Over…Food as Fuel

Posted at December 19, 2011 by 0 Comment

I’ve just started training for a 100k walk, which takes place in May 2012. Over the past few moths, I’ve been pretty regular with my three mile round-trip walk to work, each day, but the prospect of dealing with this mammoth distance, which will involve somewhere in the region of 16-28 hours of continuous walking, with only comfort stops, has prompted me to take the training seriously.

Where does food geekery fit in to this, dear chap, I hear you cry?! Well, my incentive for hoofing it around Edinburgh on this training crusade (aside from charitable endeavour that motivated me to do this, in the first place) is the prospect of the “re-fuelling stops” I get to make on my way.

The route for the walk hasn’t been published, yet, but I rather suspect I’m not going to be able to easily navigate my way via a number of high quality eateries, but doing some basic research into what my body actually responds to best, in terms of fuel, strikes me as a very sensible step. There are too many horror tales of too much cake or energy drinks reducing participants to quivering jellies to treat this subject lightly. A nice balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats seems to be the order of the day, in what proportion to best suit my needs?

So with this in mind, my first training walk, of around 12 miles, involved a stop at Locanda de Gusti.  I can confirm that soup and skate wings were added to my approved fuel list, that day.

Next time, I stopped at Cafe Domenico’s and had a lovely chorizo hotpot. After that, I walked all the way to Arthur’s Seat, right up to the top of the hill, then all the way home to round out an 18-miler. Chorizo, tomato, beans, potatoes were all added to the approved list.


I tried E:S:I, with fellow geeks Georgia and Emily, after 11 miles, with the already approved soup getting a second tick, and gnocchi reinforcing that potatoes fuel me nicely. I managed the trifling four miles home after that in double quick time.

I stopped for lunch at newly opened Annie & Belle on my next venture. This was a snow-bound Narnian adventure of a walk, and I was glad to be welcomed in to the charming confines of this lovely new café/gift shop.

Hearty leek and potato soup chased my hunger pangs away, and filled me full of warming goodness. It was six miles home, and though I struggled a bit towards the end (I should have had a sandwich to go with my soup), it hardened my resolve to include soup in my pack of walking goodies.

Cake Quest favourite, Mimi’s Bakehouse provided my most recent refuelling stop. It once and for all confirmed that huge amounts of sugar, followed by large amounts of walking give me a worse hangover than liberal amounts of lager and wasabi peas. Mimi’s is a lovely little place, but as fuel for exercise it’s an absolute no-no, for me.

In January, I’ll be trying, amongst other places, the Port of Siam, where I will examine the effect of more exotic spicing on my carefully regulated system. I’ll report back on this and other refuelling stops, in the new year, when I’ll also talk a little about the charity I’m supporting.

For now, I have the considerable challenge of distilling all of this valuable information in to a pack of food to sustain me during the actual walk. I have a slightly nagging suspicion that the solution has been staring me in the face, the entire time, and I should just go with my instincts and pack half a dozen macaroni pies, a flask of really good soup (perhaps something sweet like pumpkin), and a nice Chablis for the final couple of miles.

Of course, all of this pales by comparison to the fact that the inspirational MJ will be attempting the feat at running pace! But that’s a story for another day…

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Category : Geekery
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About BKR

Together with MJ, we are on a quest to find the best lunch places in Edinburgh and beyond. We love lunching with new friends, particularly fellow food bloggers, so drop us a line and come and join us on a quest, soon :-) I geek out over: soup, restaurant reviews, cardamom Twitter: @lunchquest Blog: Lunch Quest Edinburgh

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