Self-taught chef Marcus Bean is a regular on ITV’s This Morning and has appeared on Good Food’s Market Kitchen, Channel 4’s What’s Cooking and ITV’s Munch Box. We caught up with him about training nutrition and his reasons for running the Virgin Money London Marathon.
What charity are you running for and why?
The Motor Neurone Disease Association. My great auntie suffered from Motor Neurone Disease for years and it’s an awful disease that even with a complete working brain your body slowly gives up.
After running my first marathon for the MND Association in 2013 I had so many people get in contact and sponsor me who have had family or friends who have had MND. If I can help in anyway by raising awareness and money to support the charity and the important work they do then that’s a great thing.
How will you prepare for the race?
Over the last few months I have been preparing by upping my general fitness and core strength: lots of gym work and classes, including eating a healthy diet and getting in shape.
What foods do you reach for when you need a quick boost?
I eat a lot of chicken, but my ultimate food for a quick boost is a banana or my homemade granola bars.
What does your training diet like?
Pretty healthy in general, but I do have one day when I eat what I want. That could be a takeaway or a meal out with the family, and a big pudding (I have a very sweet tooth). But for the rest of the week, I eat lots of chicken and I don’t eat a lot of carbs, unless it’s before a training run.
I also top myself up with protein shakes twice a day. My usual breakfast is blueberry and banana porridge – it fills me up for the day and gives me a boost of energy. Then lots of fish, chicken and steak for tea, with grains and pulses and vegetables. And if I’m hungry it’s natural yoghurt, fruit and granola. And a little bit of dark chocolate everyday (I love chocolate!).
Do you have any special recipes to help you train?
I cook my chicken, chorizo and butterbean casserole recipe from my book at least once a week, it’s delicious. And my own granola bars for energy!
What post-race treats do you have planned?
A large gin and tonic, as I don’t really drink much but a G&T after the race will be very much appreciated! And lots of food, after a big run I just want to store food; my body craves all foods, so two portions of everything please!
Has your attitude to food changed since you started training?
Generally I try and eat more natural foods so I don’t eat low fat products, and I use butter and oils but small amounts. I know if I want more lasting energy I store up on carbs like rice, pasta etc. I eat wholemeal and seeded breads rather than white. And I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables for natural energy.
What foodie tip would you give to fellow runners?
Eat a fairly healthy diet, have one day a week eating what you want and most of all don’t panic about your diet too much, remember it’s better to have more food than less in your body as it needs the energy to keep you going. Drink lots of water – and enjoy the whole experience!
What’s your guilty treat?
Chocolate, I eat a few pieces of dark chocolate most days. It’s my little reward to myself.
How will you celebrate after the race?
Lots of food, a large G&T and lots of cuddles with my wife Jenny and three daughters.
What are you most looking forward to on race day?
The adrenalin, the atmosphere and the fantastic support from the crowds; the emotions and overall the whole experience.