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Week 3

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Training this week

1 road cycle – in the FREEZING cold

1 spin session

3 runs – one social, one tempo, one long

1 track session

1 swim session – which included analysis! More on this soon …

2 core sessions

1 strength session

 

 

Thoughts after this week:

  • Look after your back!  Running, cycling and swimming is a lot of stress on your back so I am currently trying to focus on core strength and build my back strength to combat this.  Plus all the stretching you could imagine!
  • Fueling running and cycling are extremely different!  Out of the three disciplines my body is definitely more used to running and whereas now I could run 18 miles+ with no food cycling is a completely different matter.  I am still pretty new to the world of cycling and many of my cycling friends have shocked me when they tell me how much food they take on whilst cycling however this week I went out on a ride with no breakfast and had no plans to take on any extra fuel during the ride.  Afterwards … emergency CLIF bar bought and a sit down in Evans needed… lesson learned.  Must look more into fueling for cycling.
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My social run was to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March with all of these fabulous ladies! Thanks to Sorrell Walsh and Laura Stewart for organising! 

Thoughts on 70.3 training so far …

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Week 2 

Last week’s training consisted of

2 runs – 18 miles and 8 miles with Primrose Hill for fun 🙂

1 track session

1 road cycle

1 long swim

1 strength session

Lots of short yoga sessions

My thoughts on half ironman training so far …

  • Planning is essential and spreadsheets are your friends!  To make sure that I am getting a certain amount of sessions in per week I have made a whole host of beautifully colour-coded spreadsheets, using a variety of different coloured biros and highlighters – I LOVE stationery – and honestly they have helped hugely so far!  I always wanted to make sure that training never got in the way of general life so having it all written down has meant that I can still schedule lots of breakfasts and dinner dates!  Did I mention I love food?  HOORAY for spreadsheets!
  • The importance of knowing when to do a strength session.  I learnt the hard way that an upper body workout will affect swimming … back to the spreadsheet to shuffle things around for next week!
  • STRETCHING is EVERYTHING.  Currently I swear by the short but sweet reset videos from Jasyoga – I will be writing another post about recovery soon – but so far Jasyoga videos have done my shoulders and lower back a world of good.

 

Dust yourself off and tri again!

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Now I am sure that Aaliyah wasn’t really referring to the multi discipline race, otherwise known as a triathlon, when she sung “try again” but I have taken inspiration from her anyway and will be attempting to complete a 70.3 in June.

For those that don’t know a 70.3, also known as a half ironman or middle distance, consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle and a 13.1 run … one after the other after the other!!

Having never done anything like this before and with no coach I am going to muddle myself though a self written training plan whilst balancing marathon training … yep – I am crazy … PT course work (I am currently studying to become a personal trainer), normal work, seeing friends and my other half, eating and of course sleeping! Simple, right?

Well, who knows but I thought I might as well get back to writing, sharing my thoughts, findings and of course any food delights I discover along the way in hope of maybe inspiring or encouraging others to “try” … so here goes tri training and beyond!

 

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Photo courtesy of Paulie Roche

Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Really enjoying the sounds of Jordan Rakei right now …

Add The Bassline

The Light

Street Light feat. Gwen Bunn

Eats!

Rinkoff Bakeries – The Christmas Crodough 

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Now I haven’t even tried this yet but listen – Mince pie custard filling, fondant and a gingerbread crumb on the top! I mean!  MY DAYS! 

 

Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed an increase in sponsored ads on Instagram recently but this week this flashed up on my feed …

Coach x Peanuts 

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Coach have teamed up with Peanuts to create limited edition collection and well this backpack is pretty darn nice!

 

 

 

 

Winter Warmers

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So over the last couple of weekends I don’t know if you noticed but it got COLD and I mean proper red raw fingers, sniffling nose, teeth chattering cold!

I am still learning the best way to survive running and cycling in slightly more bitter times but I thought I would share my key items when battling the cold.

1.  Invest in good leggings!  I know there are lots of amazing leggings available at varying prices but if I am being honest nothing beats my Nike Sculpt Women’s Training Tights and my Lululemon Speed Tights  Granted these are definitely both on the more expensive end but I believe it’s worth it.  Both these leggings keep me warm and dry and most importantly do not fall down when jogging, running or sprinting!

2.  Feetures!  I was recently sent some products from Feetures, a company who specialise in performance socks for runners.  My new favourite thing – their Elite Merino+ sock.  These guys are ridiculously soft, in fact initially I just wore them around the house as they felt cosy enough to be slipper socks but with the extra bite in the air I thought it was time to take them for a test drive.  DREAMY!  These socks are just magical, the merino insulates keeping your feet warm and dry, even in wet weather.  I was slightly concerned that feeling so cosy my feet would be quick to over heat whilst running but even after 9 miles I could not fault them!  Now I just need to invest in some glove liners of the same fabric and I shall be a very happy person!

3.  A running buff.  Do you remember how your mum used to always tell you to wrap up warm?  She had a point.  It is quite amazing the amount of warmth you can lose from around your neck and so a running buff is ideal.  These things can be picked up relatively cheap but are super handy particularly if, like me, once you start running you are quick to warm up as they can be easily removed and placed round your wrist for the rest of the run.  I actually wore the Nike Neck Warmer whilst doing my race in the Arctic at the beginning of this year, if that wasn’t a good test I don’t know what is!

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4.  Not so much about battling the cold but more about safety as it doesn’t only get cold in winter, it gets dark!   So when sent a box of various night safety equipment what do you do ….

TRY THEM ALL ON AT THE SAME TIME OF COURSE!

 

 

Slightly sinister hey!

But on a serious note, what I have noticed that with cyclists and runners alike the more you look like a Christmas Tree the better.   On the bike it’s pretty obvious that you should have lights at the front and back of your bike, flashing away and similarly with running reflective gear is always recommended but I also really enjoyed adding these light spurs to my dark weather gear!  Built to sit on the back of your trainers and flash away these LED spurs are battery operated and should last for up to 40 hours+  Personally I quite enjoyed how they made me feel like I had light up trainers, you know the ones kids have, yep I wouldn’t actually mind adult versions of these and well this sort of helps!

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Discreet in the light … very bright in the dark!

So there we are just a couple of pointers about how what I wear whilst being out and about during this cold weather … we all knew it would happen at some point … we maybe just weren’t quite ready for it to be now apparently!!!

 

PS. Thanks to Nathan Sports for giving me the opportunity to try out some of their running products!

 

Technical Trainer Porn

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So a couple of weeks ago I got to try out these ….

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Photo from Areta @MyZestBest

In my opinion I think they are pretty darn lovely to look at!  I would always choose function over fashion (when it comes to actual running trainers, any other trainers then I am definitely shallow – it’s all about they how look ;D).  However, these beauts look good and also work pretty well too!

A couple of months ago I got invited down to a preview of Brooks Autumn / Winter 2015 kit and I was seriously impressed.  I knew Brooks as a brand but had never really tried any of their shoes and definitely hadn’t seen much of their sportswear – but the colours, the feel of the garments and how they performed whilst enjoying a gentle jog around Regent’s Park instantly made me a huge fan!  What also really surprised me was how well I got on with their trainers.  Since I started running I have always stuck to the same shoe as nothing else came close but I was given a pair of the Ghost 8, a neutral shoe, and well, we got on rather nicely!

Brooks have since released the Urban Jungle Pack which sees a limited number of the Ghost 8 and Ravenna 6 being reinvented with a jungle animal print.  So we come back to these …

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These are the Ravenna 6 in an rather yummy leopard print.  The Ravenna 6 are more on the supportive side of a neutral shoe.

Thoughts on the shoe:  For me I couldn’t fault them.  The shoe feels light, but still cosy thanks to the cushioning and has a nice wide toe box (which I love!)  The day I took them out for a spin it was chucking it down and I mean literally chucking it down – I couldn’t have put them through their outdoor urban paces more if I tried – and yet my feet stayed dry and warm!!  Yes, I was extremely surprised and impressed, did I mention it was WET?!  In fact my only fault with these shoes is that the back felt very low down on my heel, and so a little less “locked in” than I am used to.  Now, this is likely to be personal preference but this was the only thing I would change.

For me, I do think the Ghost 8 is the slightly better shoe.   This lightweight, neutral shoe seems to fit perfectly and offers the right balance of support – safe but flexible, and this may be due to the slightly higher back, but like I said that could just be a personal thing ;D.  Overall I am genuinely impressed with Brooks and couldn’t thank the team and all involved for introducing me to the collection.  I was never asked to do a write up but I thought people might want to hear an honest word or two 😀 as with marathon season around the corner trainer shopping is upon us!

If you want to see more about the launch of the shoe then type in #brooksrunwild for some rather hilarious images of runners running around a zoo in the pouring rain! ;D

 

 

Running: Under Pressure

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This Saturday I ran a timed 5km.  Shortly after finally being able to run pain free I was asked if I would like to take part in a 16week programme testing methods to build people’s 5km speeds.  I agreed as I knew my speed had decreased thanks to the dark days of injury and thought it would be an interesting experiment.

Before the start of the programme I did a timed 5km, and this Saturday, 16 weeks later, I took just under 2 minutes off that time.   HOORAY!  However, about 3 weeks ago I took part in another 5km run, just for a bit of fun, and actually ran that 30 seconds faster than this weekend’s run!  This fun run was late on a Sunday evening, it was not a flat, straightforward course, there were stairs and traffic yet I ran it 30 seconds faster than the clear, flat, runners only, route.

My thoughts on why, when all conditions (except for the pouring rain and mud) were perfect – PRESSURE!

Three weeks before, I signed up up to a fun 5km run around Tobacco Doc.  It was in the evening, it was dark and it was relaxed. Paulie and I set out just enjoying our new jazzy headphones and all the surprises that the route had in store – including a UV water station?!

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We weaved in and out of parked cars, dodged traffic, steadied ourselves round tight corners, went down sets of stairs and just enjoyed the views.  And yet with all of this I managed to do a 5km just 10 secs shy of my fastest ever!

I spent most of the night before this weekends “race” worrying about whether I would be able to achieve what I had set out to do.  I knew my pace had improved, a lot, but would I be able to repeat what happened a couple of weeks ago at the fun run?  I had done quite a lot of cycling during the week without meaning to and my legs felt heavy. I was worried, nervous and didn’t want to run but I kinda had to.  In the morning I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do what I had somehow done a few weeks ago and as soon as I set off I struggled.

I think head space has a lot to answer for when it comes to running, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and went into my run with completely the wrong attitude.  Yes of course the wind, rain, puddles and mud will not have helped, but really I think I had just put too much pressure on myself and overthought the whole thing.  I don’t usually go into a race with such a huge intention of getting a PB, I race because I love running and just love that I can, but if anything this weekend has taught me that PBs are awesome but will will never be achieved if your head is not in the right place …. so just go out, smile and see what happens!

Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Jodie Abacus – Halfway to Mexico

Jamie Woon – Forgiven  – just shut your eyes and enjoy

 

Eats!

Ozone Coffee Roasters 

There isn’t anything that a good breakfast cannot fix.  On a grey Monday morning Paulie and I took a short cycle over to Ozone Coffee in Shoreditch for a quick breakfast date.  I had heard a lot about this place and luckily it had been said that the coffee was of a very high standard too (important to one of us ;D) – we were not disappointed.  We were quickly seen to and given seats over looking the exposed central kitchen which made for amazing views, though choosing our breakfast was very hard as everything looked fantastic!!

I, of course, opted for their seeded granola with ginger yogurt and cox apples.  It was dreamy!  The granola did not taste in the least bit sugary (I find a lot of granolas are coated in honey and are a little too sweet for my liking) but instead provided just the right amount of nutty, crunchy goodness.  The cox apple compote was a perfect seasonal touch (I constantly crave apple crumble in Autumn) and worked well with the ginger yogurt!  Honestly, this was one of the best bowls of granola I have had in a while, and I have had a lot of granola recently!

Ozone

Paulie opted for poached eggs on  “The Dusty Knucle seeded sourdough”

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Now this may not look like much but the eggs were perfectly poached – it’s amazing how many places struggle to provide a runny yolk – and the herbs worked perfectly to make, I quote “some of the best eggs I have ever had”.

All in all our experience in Ozone was fantastic and extremely reasonably priced.  We may have also grabbed one of the cinnamon and raisin morning buns on the way out … OH MY DAYS!  Ozone, we will be back!

Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

Adidas Shoeprint Shirt

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Ok so ignore the fact that this is a man’s shirt … I popped into the Adidas Original store the other day and this was just staring at me!  It it just a plain white shirt with covered in some of the more jazzy Adidas trainers.  It’s adorable and I love it!

 

 

 

Friday’s Fact File

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Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …

 Music!

Generally everything about this mix is amazing!

Dj Emily Rawson – 90s R&B Mix Supa Dupa Fly 

Eats!

The Protein Works 

Recently I was lucky enough to be asked if I wanted to try some of The Protein Works products and  I thought “why on earth not”.  Slightly overwhelmed by the amount of tasty sounding products on their website, I spoke to one of their representatives explaining that I would love to try something that would help combat that 3pm/4pm snack attack that wasn’t nut based.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nuts, I mean we all know how good they are for us but sometimes it would be great to go into my snack drawer and grab something that wasn’t an almond or a nut bar!

Following my request The Protein Works supplied me with their “Peri Peri Hot” Biltong.  Having lived with a South African for a while I knew all about Biltong and how if done right this could be a seriously tasty and filling snack!  Biltong is a dried meat, usually beef, which has been flavoured with herbs and spices.  I am relatively weak when it comes to spices but WOWZA the TPW Biltong certainly packed a punch!  Their Biltong is made with British Beef and acts as a high protein snack, which in theory means it should keep you going, in my case, until teatime.  In my opinion the Biltong was super tasty and certainly did exactly what I asked, it was great to have a nut free alternative in the snack drawer.  I would only need to munch away on a few pieces to feel satisfied, though that could have been because my mouth was on fire, which means the product is pretty reasonable for £3.99!!  Still not sure on how I feel about Biltong as a food, dried meat and all, but taste wise it was pretty yummy and we all know we have to get that protein in!  So thumbs up from me!

Thanks again to The Protein Works for letting me try their products, it was extremely kind of them but please note the opinions are most definitely my own! 😀

Stuff, things, bits and pieces!

Ellannah Sadkin

So if you happen to be in the Brick Lane area I would definitely recommend strolling into the Old Truman Brewery Carpark to enjoy this in it’s full glory …

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You cannot help by smile at Ellannah Sadkin’s handywork here, it definitely brightens up any grey London day!

 

 

 

 

FREE Fitness: Never Stop London

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Last Thursday The North Face opened it’s Regent Street Store for the first time and with it comes the opportunity to get involved in all sorts of amazing free activities … yep FREEEEE!

With loads of lockers, changing rooms and free water fountains the store is going to be offering a series of weekly events for people who love all things outdoors, whether that be running in the wilderness, getting muddy, or listening to stories told by some pretty inspirational outdoorsy types (on the opening night we heard a pretty incredible tale from David Goettler about his experience exploring the unchartered paths on the peaks in Nepal!?!)

There are plenty more details to come and eventually you will be able to sign up to each event through the website but for now keep an eye on the instagram page – NeverStopLondon or drop into the store and check the board for what’s coming up next!!!

The first event will kick off this Thursday, 29th October 18:30 – 19:30

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Excuse the rubbish photo – opening night was very exciting and I was not really on top photography form!