Eat Pasta, Run Faster

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Do you remember a little while ago I posted about the newly refurbished Corn Exchange in Manchester? Well another gem has opened there, serving pizza and the freshest pasta in town. So naturally, I had to go check it out and report back!

Vapiano, which derives from an Italian saying meaning ‘relax, take it easy’, have invented an entirely fresh take on Italian dining. On arrival, you’re each given a chip card to scan when you order your own food at each of the stations. Your food is prepared right in front of you, so you can ask for extra cheese/chilli/garlic/bread, all of the above and whatever else your heart desires. It’s the perfect place to refuel after a busy day of shopping. It’s incredibly relaxed, no bookings, and suitable for families with littles.

The stations are antipasti, pizza, pasta, desserts and the bar, so you can keep going back for more of whatever takes your fancy.

The chef’s are able to cook your fresh pasta in just a couple of minutes so you can wait and chat to them if you wish, but the fresh pizza takes a little longer to build so you’re given a buzzer to take away for ten minutes.

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We shared classic Bruschetta pilled high with parmesan…

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I chose linguine with king prawns and spinach in a creamy garlic and basil sauce.

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Marc opted for a freshly made pizza topped with spicy pepperoni and loads of fresh veggies and proceeded to cover it in chili oil.

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At the end of your meal, there’s no waiting around to pay or awkward splitting of the bill, you simply head downstairs to the host when you’re ready and pay for what you’ve had on your own card. Perfect for speedy work lunches and for large groups!

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As a certified carb fiend, I like to balance my diet with regular cardio and weight training in the gym. If you’re running the Manchester 10k, the London Marathon or taking part in any other upcoming sporting events, you’ll probably know all about carb-loading in the days immediately before the event. When I ran the London Marathon, pasta was definitely my carb of choice, and I really embraced this period of over-indulging a couple of days before. If you are training for a longer distance race like a half or full marathon, you will need to maximise your glycogen stores by eating plenty of carbohydrate foods 2-3 days before the big day. Running out of glycogen during your race will make you feel fatigued and cause your pace to slow. This effect is called ‘hitting the wall’ and you will feel as though you have completely run out of energy. Despite my carb-loading efforts, this happened to me around mile 17 of the marathon and it took a couple of energy gels and a good 15 minutes before my pace picked up again.

Vapiano has teamed up with nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker to create the Eat Pasta Run Faster diet plan which balances carbohydrates with plenty of protein and healthy foods. Teaming delicious pasta dishes with vegetable packed breakfasts, soups, salads, and lighter evening meals, which tops up glycogen levels to keep those who run regularly performing at their best and feeling fit and energised.

Since I know quite a few people who are taking part in the Manchester 10k and the London Marathon this year, I’ve included below her 3 day diet plan for pre-race carb loading…

 
Pre-race 2
Pre-race 1
Race day
Breakfast
Brown rice and banana porridge
Apple and cinnamon protein pancakes
Blueberry and green tea smoothie
Banana and oat smoothie
Bagel with peanut butter
Lunch 
Tuna, egg and new potato salad
Fruity chicken and chickpea quinoa couscous
 
Dinner
Vapiano
Pasta bolognese
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Pasta pomodoro
Recovery meal
Rucola ravioli

If you are running the Manchester 10k, why not head to Vapiano in the Corn Exchange for a celebratory recovery meal? Race you there!

If you do go before the 30th April, be sure to tag any Instagrams with #MyVapiano which will automatically enter you into a competition to win £1000!

Thanks for having us Vapiano!

Ph. my own

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