Fast(er) food

Pounding out the miles doesn’t write you a blank cheque to spend at the local takeaway. Get perfectly balanced runner’s nutrition without sacrificing taste via these reworked fast-food classics.

by Annie Rice

 2 of 4 

Burger and chips

‘Made from scratch with lean meat, burgers make a tasty, fabulous recovery meal, providing a great combination of carbohydrate and protein to replenish glycogen stores and repair any muscle trauma,’ says nutritionist Kate Percy (

Serves 2


2 medium sweet potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

200g lean turkey mince

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

2 tsp harissa paste

1 small chilli (deseeded and chopped finely) 

1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

2 wholemeal rolls

1 large tomato, sliced

Handful of watercress

2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise


1 Heat the oven to 180C. Chop the sweet potato into wedges and arrange on a baking tray, then coat with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper and cumin. Bake for 30 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey mince with garlic, harissa, chilli and parsley, then shape into patties.

3 Over a high heat, fry the patties in a drizzle of olive oil for two minutes each side to seal in the juices. Lower the heat and fry for a further three minutes, flipping regularly until cooked through and light brown on both sides.

4 Halve the rolls, spread one side with mayo, then build your burger, layering up with the tomato slices and watercress. Serve
with a helping of the sweet potato wedges.

Poultry offerings Turkey provides a fraction of the fat of beef mince at just two grams per 100g versus beef’s waistband-worrying 12g, plus higher protein content to repair your tired muscles. 

A kick in the bun ‘Garlic supports your immune system, which is essential for winter runners and chilli will boost your metabolism,’ says  Bailey.

See green ‘Watercress contains iron and folate to rebuild red blood cells,’ says Bailey – essential, as these cells can be damaged through pavement pounding, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Chip away Subbing sweet potato wedges in for regular fries packs an antioxidant boost to power you to a PB. The beta-carotene and vitamin A in a 100g serving both hit your RDA, equalling an immunity boost. ‘Cook them in olive oil for anti-inflammatory fats,’ suggests Bailey.

Nutrition     Before       After

Calories    1,069          600

Fat             43g            18g

Carbs        103g           77.5g

Protein      24g            36g

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Discuss this article

Made the fish and chips last night but substituted hake for the salmon and used cayenne chilli powder instead of chilli flakes. Totally delicious and well worth the effort with the beetroot. Mrs CT loved it. Thanks!

Posted: 08/12/2013 at 12:14

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