The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k takes place in the city centre on Sunday 5 May. To find out more and to enter, visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k

Amazon number 1 and Sunday Times bestselling cookery author Elly Curshen, aka Elly Pear, is taking on her first ever 10k run at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 5 May.

As a new runner who is taking on the challenge to try something different, Elly is following the Great Run beginner training plan, aiming to fit three or four runs into her schedule every week.

Adopted Bristolian Elly is a food panel judge, cookery tutor and the owner of the former Pear Café in the city, with a passion for cooking from scratch.

Her third book ‘GREEN is out in May, around the time when she’ll be joining 13,000 others taking on their own challenge at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k.

For many beginners, fitting something brand new like a running plan three times a week around work, a social life, childcare and everything in-between can be overwhelming, so how do you even begin to fit preparing and making nutritious meals into a jam-packed schedule?

Elly shares 5 easy ways to make great food and win at dinner, even when you’re cut for time:

1) Batch Cook

Get into a habit of batch cooking and being organized to help yourself during the week. I always encourage people to do a bit of advanced prep in order to make quick and easy dinners.

I’m discovering, when you come home from your run, you’re tired and you definitely don’t want to be thinking about starting from scratch again.

For batch cooking, I recommend a big stockpot with a lid that you can make eight to ten portions of something in and use basic recipes that that you can cook once-a-week, pop it in the freezer, then you have meals for the rest of the week.

2) Building Blocks

If you want to try something different to batch cooking, make base recipes that become component parts of different dinners and dinners that are suitable for different things. Using versatile recipes as ‘building blocks’, so once you learn to poach something like salmon, or make a sauce that you like, you can use it for various things beyond one recipe.

3) Be Frugal

From running a small business, I became very frugal with cooking. I make sure nothing is wasted as I’ve learned more about the impact of food waste. I like to use leftover bread and freeze it for breadcrumbs, make hot things and put them in a tub for lunch the next day.

Pulses are also cheap, quick and high in protein which is great for after training. You don’t need to buy expensive food, you can eat really well, cheaply!

4) Find your go-to, satisfying meal

Search for that dish that fills you and lifts you – it’s always natural that you will have some training runs that won’t go to plan, so having that go-to dish that will pick you up. Feeling like you’re rewarding yourself is really important after all!

5) Try Something New

For anyone who has read my books, you’ll know I am passionate about encouraging others to stretch themselves. With my recipes, I make sure to always be experimental, not just chopping stuff up and putting it on the plate, but it’s not unapproachable either.

It’s about lifestyle change and setting realistic goals, which I’m sure is why a lot of beginners start to run.

For me running is about trying something new and fun that’s out of my comfort zone, which is always important in cooking too!

GREEN is an entirely vegetarian and vegan cookbook offering over 100 no-fuss recipes to make life a little easier.

Elly’s recipes include freezable food, simple traybakes, one-pot dishes and 20 minute meals for those nights you need great food fast.

GREEN also includes a meal prep section that will have you sorted for the week ahead and a whole host of weekend recipes, so you’re covered for every occasion. Order your copy of GREEN here.

 The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k takes place in the city centre on Sunday 5 May. To find out more and to enter, visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k