Here we present to you discourse with Geordie marathon champion and medical student Matthew Armstrong. Matt, although in his early 40s, still runs regularly for the Coventry Godiva running club and sometimes comes second in races. Rarely seen without a Newcastle Brown Ale in his hand we wondered if this was the secret to his success; we were intrigued to know how big a part his diet plays in his lofty achievements in peregrination.
Hi Matt, good to see you. How's everything going?
It's going mint yeah. Just been keeping up the running over Christmas and slipping back into my training schedule nicely.
Good, good. Okay let's start off with an easy question. What''s your signature dish? Something you'd cook to impress a lady perhaps?
Easy! Well I call it Alan Shearer's Bald Patch, but that's my name for it. It's quite similar to Spaghetti Bolognese, but involves a bottle of The 'Dog' [Newcastle Brown Ale for our southern readers], Dolmio pasta sauce, mushrooms, peppers and lots of pasta and beef mince all cooked up together. Bloody champion as well.
I tried it with lamb mince last night and called the dish Kevin Keegan's Kurls but it smelt a bit like a donner kebab. Not as good.
Cool! Where do you stand on the whole body is a temple idea? Do you consciously think a lot about your diet?
Not so much no. Within reason i guess. Mostly when I'm deciding what to eat, I try to think what would Keegan do here and that usually doesn't mean ordering the salad, you know what i mean?
Course. And what do you do diet-wise on race day?
Well beforehand I might possibly have a chocolate bar to keep my energy levels up. Then during the race maybe a bit of lucozade; plenty of that for the sugar rush. And lots of water.
Okay. Whilst we know you like a bottle or two of The 'Dog', how much of a lid do you try and keep on your boozing when racing season's on?
Y'Aye man. Well mostly I try and avoid it. It's bad stuff, makes you hungover and training when hungover's horrible. Stay away really.
Right. We also hear you're quite a prodigious eater. Talk us through a typical Armstrong day..
Well for breakfast I'll usually have a mixed grill. Maybe a bowl or two of Golden Graham's and four slices of toast maybe. If there's any of Alan Shearer's Bald Patch left over from last night I might microwave and eat that too. That and two bowls of porridge.
For lunch i like a Crocodile steak sandwich. Lean but full of protein. The perfect runner's food. I'll have that most days. Following that maybe a round of cheese sandwiches too. Fruit and a chocolate bar too if I'm still a bit peckish.
For dinner, obviously Alan Shearer's Bald Patch, have that most every day. Sometimes I swap rice for pasta if I'm a bit bored. I get through a kilo pack of pasta every two days which used to be really frustrating, always having to go to the supermarket, but recently I've given up my Adidas sponsorship deal and signed with Panzani Pasta. They deliver it to my door in massive packs. Champion deal and far more useful than all those running shoes!
Nice going! Thanks for your time Matthew...