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Running the Manchester Half


4 days to go until the Manchester half marathon and I am just slightly worried.  I managed to get a calf injury on a long run a couple of weeks ago and have been trying to rest and recover since.  My first run out today but after 5k my calf stiffened up again.  Thanks to The Cheshire Acupunturist I’m now feeling some relief so fingers crossed.  I’ll be there on Sunday anyway and will give it a go.

I’m running for the charity KidsScan which is a very important charity that researches treatments specifically for children who have cancer.  Currently most treatments used on children were designed for adults which can leave the children with long lasting side effects, when they should be able to get on with the rest of their lives. 


Anyway back to the run, these evening I’m gathering my things together so thought I would share my current favourite products to help me prepare, run and recover.

Prepare and Recover.  Normally these favourites would just be for after a run but given I’m trying to repair before running again, they are in full use ahead of the day.

1.       Weleda Bumps and Bruises Spray (Arnica).  I love arnica for bumps, bruises and sprains.  This product has a herbal licence for minor sports injuries, muscular sprain and stiffness so perfect for me at the moment.  I’ll be using  it up to the run and straight after however far I may get.   Weleda also do a brilliant arnica massage balm which feels so good on overworked muscles, this is a favourite of our sports massage therapist Emma.

2.       Weleda arnica tablets.  I’m tackling the bruising and sprain from both sides so keeping topped up on this homeopathic remedy until Sunday as well.

3.       Better You Magnesium oil.  I love magnesium, it has so many roles in the body, it is used in over 300 processes.  This time I am using a spray that is targeted for muscle stiffness, the magnesium is absorbed in the skin and supports natural muscle recovery.   Another brilliant option for magnesium uptake through the skin is magnesium flakes, also from Better You.  These make a lovely bath soak, I’m not good at making time for a bath so for me the sprays work well.

4.       Viridian Curcumin Latte.  It’s difficult not to have heard all of the reports on turmeric these days with all of the health claims that come with it.  Many of these we probably need to understand more about but various studies have proven that turmeric and in particular the active from turmeric, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties.  Where there is damage and pain there is inflammation (think my calf muscle) so I’m loving this curcumin latte drink, it has a really therapeutic dosage and tastes really good.

5.       Viridian Beta Glucans.  Long distance running and training can be a stress on the body and I have found in the past that I have been run down after doing too much.  Viridian beta glucans is my very favourite immune support.  I’ve been taking it since Sept and will carry on for a couple of weeks after the run.

Race day

The day of the race for me is all about making sure I give myself enough sustainable energy to get round.  I’ll have a good breakfast a couple of hours before setting off and then top up 30 mins before.  Whilst running I’ll make sure that I take on some fast release glucose after about 10k or 1 hour of activity.  This is about the only time I’m a fan of having Lucozade or sports drinks.  If I’m  at home I would make my own with orange juice, water, an EnerC sachet and some salt but that’s not possible in an organised race so I take what I can and also pack a few sweets in my back pocket for emergency.  When I did a full marathon a few years ago I had broken up Pulsin bar in my pocket for some protein as well but I don’t need that for the half (and it did get a bit gooey).

Breakfast needs to contain carbohydrates (complex and faster release), protein (muscle repair and to sustain energy) and good fats (extra calories) so my breakfast will include something like -  a smoothie using Purition natural protein (the coffee and walnut is brilliant for that little extra caffeine as well and Purition include seeds and healthy extras),  I’ll add some fruits usually berries and bananas and blend with a nut milk.   Alongside this I would have some toast with a nut butter.  Of course plenty of water too.

My other little running trick is BeetIt Shots.  I love these, I honestly think they made such a different when I did my big marathon.  I don’t love the taste but it is just a shot and worth doing.  Beetroot is a source of nitric oxide which has been shown to improve performance in endurance activities, particularly in non athletes (that will be me then)*.  I should say that it takes 2.5 hours for the maximum concentration of nitric oxide from the shots to get into the blood stream so it’s one of the first things I’ll be doing on race day.

I’m a proper snacker so any excuse to sneak a bit more food in.  As we need to arrive early for the start I’ll top up with a nibble on the way.  Probably half a banana and some Meridian peanut and cacoa bar.  I’ll leave the rest at my hotel with the Linwoods almonds so that I can top my protein and carbs when I finish.  Really hoping I make it past 5k as that is a lot of food for a shortish run.  I’ll let you know on Sunday.

Good luck to everyone running Manchester or any other run this weekend

If you would like to support me and KidsScan you can do so on my fundraising page here

 If you would like any more ideas or have questions on the information in this blog contact the nutrition team at Amaranth on 0161 439 9856


The information contained in this blog is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health
practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are
currently taking prescribed medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

For further advice please contact the BANT Registered Nutritional Therapy team at Amaranth. We suggest that you talk to a member of the team for further advice before taking any supplements. 
Contact us at hello@amaranth-wellbeing.com or 0161 439 9856

Campos, H., Drummond, L., Rodrigues, Q., Machado, F., Pires, W., Wanner, S., & Coimbra, C. (2018). Nitrate supplementation improves physical performance specifically in non-athletes during prolonged open-ended tests: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition, 119(6), 636-657. doi:10.1017/S0007114518000132