Great British Bake Off star Candice Brown said she is getting energy from sugar as she trains for her first London Marathon, which she is running to raise money for a dementia campaign.
She has also told of her struggles in training following a head injury while on her recent honeymoon in Thailand, and that at times she hates it.
Brown, who won the baking show in 2016, is raising money for the Dementia Revolution, a joint year-long campaign from Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, which is the Virgin Money London Marathon’s charity of the year.
The TV star told the Press Association she had “absolutely not” changed her diet during training, adding: “In my head I’m like, ‘I’ve been for a run so now I can eat more’, but I’m really bad.
“If I know I’m running in the morning I’ll probably increase my carbs later on, because it does make quite a big difference. I’ve got absolutely no trouble getting my energy from sugar.”
She said she hopes spectators at the event on April 28 “have cake halfway around the course” to keep her going.
Brown – whose late grandfather Fred had Alzheimer’s – said she is currently able to run around 10k, but that she recently had to halt her training due to an injury sustained on her honeymoon with new husband, tree surgeon Liam Macaulay.
She said: “I tried to run while I was away, but trying to run in the heat … And then I nearly knocked myself out while snorkelling.
“I had some really weird headaches and a big cut on my head, so that put paid to me running for about a week.
“I was really struggling with headaches. But it’s going OK so far, it’s just so cold.”
Brown said that when she was asked by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society to take part for their charity drive, “I couldn’t say no, although it’s absolutely nuts and I am wondering what I’m doing”.
Brown, a former PE teacher, added: “Running is not my preferred sport, at times I am genuinely thinking that I hate this, but I’ve got such a good drive behind me and reasons for doing it.”
She is spurred on to take part because of her grandfather’s own battle with the disease.
She said: “He was the head of our family, that’s the worst thing. Alzheimer’s takes the person you know and you love, and whether you get them back for a few minutes, or have a good or bad day, it really does take them.
“He was so funny, he was very cheeky, he had these gorgeous ice blue eyes and really dark hair. When he was really bad with Alzheimer’s, his eyes were just grey.
“He had no life in his eyes, but food was a massive thing for him – he used to love his food, his puddings, his cakes, and when he’d have them, his eyes would go blue again.
“You’d have him back for a minute. Whether that was us holding onto something … it was noticeable.”
Brown has also joined actor Ray Winstone, YouTube star Saffron Barker and former Olympic marathon runner Ron Hill – who has dementia – in a new film for the campaign which aims to dispel common myths about the condition.
The film also features people whose lives have been affected by dementia who are running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for the new campaign, which aims to raise awareness and support research.