Can You Out Exercise a Bad Diet?

‘I can eat as much as I want if I exercise’……..You may have heard or said this before in order to justify that extra 900 calories from a McDonalds double cheese burger meal. Well Usain Bolt apparently consumed over 47000 calories worth of chicken nuggets during the 2012 Olympic games so it should be ok for everyone shouldn’t it?

First of all we need to consider how many calories you burn during exercise.

If you have been inspired to put on your running shoes or hop on your bike a few times a week, but don’t think you get be just as generous with your food portions as Usain Bolt or Bradley Wiggins.

The reality is that on average running for an hour only burns around 540 calories or 12 chicken nuggets. If you’re only jogging then this number drops to around 430 calories, about the equivalent of a McDonalds double cheese burger (minus the cheese).

If it was Bradley Wiggins who inspired you at London 2012 then you can be expected to burn around 500 calories an hour cycling at a steady 10 mph. This will only help you burn of the equivalent calories contained in two measly mars bars.

A 50 minute spinning class (510 calories) wont burn the same calories as a climb up Mont Ventoux (3200 calories) (considered to be one of the hardest cycling mountain stages in the world). We all need to be realistic in terms of the calories we believe we burn during exercise.

We also need to think about the types of food were eating.

The quality of the calories you eat also plays a massive part. The 9000 calories per day Bradley Wiggins consumed in the alps on the Tour de France probably isn’t 8 big mac meals. They will all be high quality & low fat with a strict mix of carbohydrates, protein and quality sugars.

Everything is relative to the type and quality of both the food & exercise. A healthy diet should play an equal role to exercise in everyone’s life. The next time you indulge in your favourite chocolate bar, try to remember just how much exercise you would really need to do to burn it off.imagesCAV4MXE5


Sausage and Chorizo One Pot


There’s nothing better on a cold winters evening than a hearty warming stew. This one pot recipe fits the bill perfectly. Getting a fair helping of protein and at least 4 portions of vegetables.

Ingredients (serves 2):

4 good quality sausages (or veggie sausages)
300g Chorizo (optional however really tasty)
Splash Sunflower Oil
A Garlic clove
1 large onion
1tsp of paprika
1 can of plum or chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato purée
250ml beef or veg stock
1 tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 tbsp Thyme
A handful of flat leaf parsley
2 splashes of red wine (optional could use wine vinegar or simply omit)
1 can of kidney beans
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large sweet potato
2 carrots
200g peas


Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the sausages gently for (after five minutes add the chorizo) 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned all over. Transfer to a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish and set aside.

Place the onions in the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften, stirring often. You should have enough fat in the pan, but if not, add a little more oil.

Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more until the onions turn pale golden-brown, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle over the chilli powder or smoked paprika and cook together for a few seconds longer.

Stir in the tomatoes, stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and herbs.

Pour over the wine, or some water if you’re not using wine, and bring to a simmer.

Chop the carrots and sweet potato into chunks and add to the pan with the sausages. (I keep them whole for all the nutrients in the skin)

Tip carefully into the pan with the sausages and chorizo and return to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave to simmer very gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Drain the beans and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water. Stir the beans into the casserole, and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with rice or slices of rustic bread or great on its own.


(loosely based upon a hairy bikers recipe)

How to Keep Training Through a Harsh Winter

Great tips on running this winter.

If you live in a climate where the conditions get chilly during the winter, you know the wrenches the weather can throw into your running routine. Not only is it physically harder to run in cold, icy, wet, conditions, it is also tremendously harder to motivate yourself to run in these conditions. However, if you are looking to take your running to the next level, if you are looking to chase down that Boston qualifier next year, or if you are just trying to keep off the holiday weight, winter training can be crucial to your success. Here are a few ways to keep your training alive during a harsh winter.

1. Schedule a Race Early in the Year

If you have nothing firm on the race schedule, you have no reason to put in the miles. If your mindset is, “I’ll see what comes up,” you’re going to…

View original post 1,269 more words

The Tempo Run

A tempo run is a must for any runner. Whether a beginner or and experienced runner, working towards your first 5k or tenth marathon, a tempo run should be a staple of your routine.

What is a Tempo Run? – A tempo run is a faster-paced session sometimes known as a threshold run. Tempo pace is often described as “comfortably hard” (i.e. short conversation is possible however long sentence’s should be a struggle). Tempo runs are a great way of improving our speed and strength as well also providing us with valuable knowledge about ourselves in terms of pace and limits. Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic or lactate threshold, which is critical for running faster. A typical tempo run consists of a slow warm up phase, a timed or specific distance ‘tempo phase’ and a slow warm down phase.

The Basics of a Tempo Run

The Basics of a Tempo Run

I am currently utilising a tempo session at least once a week (varying on either speed or time each week). Any session I post should be used as a guide only as they can vary depending on what you are working towards, you’re fitness, you’re goals and what stage of a programme you’re at.

My Session – So today I completed a 60 minute tempo run, consisting of a ten minute slow warm up (9 minute mile), then a 40 minute “comfortably hard” (7:30 minute mile) ‘tempo phase’, followed by a slow 10 minute warm down (9 minute mile). I covered just over 7.5 miles in that time. The 7:30 per mile was chosen by my coach as it closely reflects my target half marathon pace, and a longer tempo run like this is a great way of getting both my body and mind used to the pace.

Like I said everyone’s tempo run can be different depending on a variety of factors. My own tempo runs vary from a 15 to a 45 minute tempo phase, therefore take it easy and find a pace and length of time that suits you.

If you would like any advice or just to talk about anything I have written here please contact me by leaving a comment below, on twitter @EatingTheWall or via email at

Thanks for reading.