Galvin's Chance tower race training: day five

Running on Empty

I was hoping that yesterday's rest day would leave me brimming with energy and ready for another week's training. In fact, I can still feel last week's sessions in my legs and my back is aching a little after the stretching exercises. Not surprising given a decade of inactivity, but disappointing nevertheless.

I eased back on the training schedule, running for two minutes then walking for two minutes rather than the prescribed two running, one walking. I recovered from the run so quickly that I'm now regretting the decision, especially as Wednesday's run should be three running and one walking. Nevertheless, I have increased my time spent running from last week's 10 minutes spread over the 30 minute session to 16 minutes,which I'm pleased about.

I've been giving my diet more thought over the weekend, looking into what someone with high blood pressure should and shouldn't be eating. Because I cook from scratch for the family most nights, we eat quite well already. There are plenty of fresh vegetables in our diet, and we eat a wide variety of foods generally. I rarely deep fry food, although we do enjoy a traditional roast on a Sunday (although that was replaced by homemade lamb biryani with vegetable curry this week).

That means I'm avoiding the sort of high levels of salt that you find in pre-prepared foods, although I do like my food correctly seasoned. The advice to use herbs and spices to season food instead of salt is just wrong. They won't do the same job at all. No amount of parsley cam make up for an absence of salt, which enhances and amplifies the flavour of food. Herbs and spices add interest and complexity to a dish, but don't season in the same way as a pinch of Maldon will. That said, I'm up for monitoring my salt intake more closely.

We don't eat enough fruit, mainly because getting hold of ripe fruit that actually tastes of something is bloody impossible in this country. There are always crisps, biscuits and sweets in the house, so that's two areas that definately need looking at.

I also drink a lot of coffee and tea. The jury's still out on caffiene's effect on blood pressure. but to be safe, I'm planning on cutting back gradually by switching over to tisanes, although I'll still have the odd cup of java. It will be interesting to see how different the weekly shop looks from here on in.


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