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Running tips: Achieving your goals, that extra boost

The owner of New Leaf is Mairead O’Keeffe, she’s a keen ultramarathon runner. She’s currently training for the Dublin Marathon taking place at the end of October and so I asked her to share some tips to help others training at the moment.

The Dublin marathon is a little different from the other races that Mairead has run this year:

  • The Montane Spine Challenger – 108 miles. Mairead was the 2nd Woman home – a fabulous achievement
  • Lavaredo Ultra Trail – 120km ultra along the Dolamites in Italy
  • The TDS – 145km race in Mont Blanc, part of the UTMB race series

Mairead thinks it’s really important to understand your body and the processes that it’s going through. It’s important to eat the right foods before a race, the right carbohydrates, and to consume protein to help recovery immediately after exercise but also for the next few days. Athletes need two or three times as much protein as normal.

For that extra boost she believes that you should focus on your body’s ATP.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) serves as a shuttle, delivering energy, from carbohydrates and fats, to places within the cell where energy-consuming activities are taking place, it’s a little engine. ATP is life’s energy currency: it powers your cells, including those composing your muscles. You can boost your body’s production of ATP and thus increase your energy with natural supplements.

Coenzyme Q10

Our bodies need Coenzyme Q10 to produce energy. ATP is the primary coenzyme used for the production of energy. Without CoQ10, ATP is unable to be synthesized and, therefore, energy cannot be produced. Your body produces CoQ10 naturally, but its production tends to decrease with age. Several studies have found that CoQ10 supplementation improves performance and recovery in both trained athletes and untrained individuals There are lots of CoQ10 supplements available, but Mairead uses and recommends the one shown by Viridian, which has the added benefit of MCT, for endurance athletes.


Beetroot is high in nitrates. Nitrates improve the body’s ability to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from food. There have been many studies and the results have shown that Beetroot juice and supplements can boost performance by around 5%. This Terranova Beetroot Cordyceps and Reishi powder contains not just beetroot but energy promoting mushrooms too. It comes highly recommended by Mairead.

Beetroot Juice, Cordyceps & Reishi Super-Blend Powder 70g

Magnesium malate

Malic acid can be taken as a supplement on it’s own or more commonly with magnesium as magnesium malate. Both Magnesium and Malic Acid are needed for the production of ATP. The increased production of ATP has promising implications for athletes, and some evidence suggests magnesium malate may help improve endurance. Athletes can also benefit from magnesium’s ability to help with proper muscle function.


ATP levels are severely depleted during and following prolonged high intensity exercise. Recovery from these lower ATP levels can take days, which can affect performance on subsequent days of exercise. Studies suggest that D-Ribose can help the body to recover it’s ATP levels. In this brilliant formulation by Virdian it is teamed with Magnesium and Malic Acid as well as L-Carnitine to help keep your energy flowing.

L-Carnitine 1500mg Liquid - 473ml

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine is essential for energy production in every cell of your body. It works by transporting fat, in the form of fatty acids, to the mitochondrial membrane where the fat is oxidized to produce energy through the conversion of fat to energy. Without Carnitine, the normal burning of fat cannot take place.


MCTs are a quick, effective, and efficient way to get ATP to your cells. MCT are fatty acids that your body converts to energy extremely efficiently and faster than many other carbohydrates and fatty acids.