So when I was offered the opportunity to attend a specialist training event and potentially walk away as a qualified studio cycling instructor I couldn’t really say no.
The Training Room Certificate in Studio Cycling is normally part of a wider six week intensive personal training course but this one day date was a great opportunity to get a feel of what doing the full course would be like.
We kicked off with a quick hello and got given our tops for the day … I was very excited to wear mine (with the words Personal Trainer on the sleeve ;D)
And after a quick selfie with our tops we headed straight to the studio to take part in a class. Our teacher David took us for a full 45 minute session making us do all sorts of spinning moves and definitely got us all sweating, even with the aircon on full blast!
After he had finished turning our legs into jelly it was back to the class room. We discussed the various advantages of “indoor cycling”, both physically and psychologically, I of course mentioned that incredible smug feeling after a workout (flippin’ love that feeling) and how taking part in group work outs can really have a knock on effect on so many other aspects of life! After this it started getting technical!
We learnt about how to get ready for a class, how to help set up a bike correctly, the various moves you can perform whilst in a class, what the technical elements are behind each one and how to best to instruct your class to perform them properly.
After a delicious lunch it was back to the classroom to do a quick test., yes A TEST, to recap on various points we had discussed earlier in the day. Once we had all finished it was time to discuss music. Music is a massive part of a class for me, I always go back to the same class because 1. I like the trainer and 2. I LOVE the music she chooses, for me it just works! Next came the scary part – designing a class and choosing what we were going to teach as part of our assestment!
After learning the moves, discussing music and understanding the structure of a class it was time to put it all to use. Firstly we had to write down what a potential class could look like, including a warm up, 3 full tracks and a cool down and then we had to think about which one track we would teach the rest of the class. YES we would have to teach the rest of the class as part of our assessment. Now we had been quite a chatty bunch until this moment, I think things got a lot more real and the nerves started to set in!
I opted to go first – like a plaster get it done quickly – and off I went! I took my class through a nasty seated climb and then a standing sprint finish! I LOVED IT and definitely discovered a new found respect for all indoor cycling instructors, speaking and spinning is definitely not the easiest but what a buzz you get from leading other people! One by one we each taught one track and the supportive atmosphere in the studio was awesome!
Once back in the classroom we were handed back all our paperwork and I am extremely happy to say that I can now officially instruct Studio Cycling Classes.
A huge thank you to The Training Room I had an awesome day and I am extremely proud of my achievement … so London watch out I might be teaching in a studio very soon ;D!
Date/Time: Saturday 30th – Sunday 31st August
Location: Hornchurch Country Park
Distance: As many 10km laps as possible in 24hours
When Leah asked whether anyone would be interested in entering a competition to win a place in a 24 hour race weekend I, of course, jumped at the chance and put my name down and then forgot about it. Then a couple of weeks ago we got an extremely surprising email confirming that we had won! Team Naturally Run would be the VIP team at the first Spitfire Scramble, 2014!
The Spitfire Scramble is a multi-terrain race where, as a team or as a solo runner (!?), you attempt to complete as many (roughly 10km) laps as possible over 24-hours! So on what started out as a very rainy Saturday morning (thankfully the weather got a lot better the further East we went) Jen, Leah, Katy, Becs, Becki, Emma Nikki and I made our way, along with roughly 200 other runners, to Hornchurch, Essex to set up camp!
Kitted out in predominately BLACK (personally the brighter the better for me when it comes to kit), BUT extremely comfortable Crewroom kit we had a quick photo shoot (and a costume change) and then got down to business deciding the order in which we would run … roughly thinking that each lap would be around an hour …
First out was Becs, a tactical move as she is easily one of the fastest women I know and so would put us in a good place for the race!
Following Becs, Nikki headed out and then before I knew it I was being called up!
When my first lap came around I have to admit I was pretty nervous. Hearing that I was going to have to climb over things was definitely going to be a new experience for me during a run, and well this obviously wasn’t your typical race, start – run – finish and then go out for celebratory food, but I wanted to do well for my team so I set off and settled into a relatively steady pace.
The route took you through various terrains, uneven field track, gravel paths, muddy paths, around lovely lakes and then my favourite, woodland paths!
I was loving the off road route! It was definitely a little different for my legs who had a few wobbles, but it was just so much fun, though having to stop to climb over things and then start running again is not the easiest! On seeing the finish line I sprinted to the finish, passing on the illumious slapband! Yes a slapband! Checking my watch I was over the moon and ridiculously surprised, my first lap was sub 50!!! Literally beaming!
Whilst all the other girls one by one went out for their laps the rest of us just chilled out around our tents, eating, catching up, eating more and just enjoying spending some time together.
We were extremely lucky to have some of the other TNR girls pop by for support too. A huge thank you to Lucy and Glen who made this gorgeous sign …
The lovely Laura who brought homemade cheese straws! Err amazing! And then of course …. LISSY!!!! The most amazing friend in the world for bringing my favourite thing ever, her DARK CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD (if you want to make someone’s day head to her site for the recipe! (Seriously it’s a game changer)
My second lap came at 21:30. At this point I was nervous, it was dark, and I mean reallydark. I am super conscious about walking alone at night due to boring events when I first same to London and now I was about to run for 6miles by myself with just a headtorch through fields, parkland and woods!!!!! WTF! This is where I have to give a HUGE mention Lissy (again) and the RDC team who gave me an amazing pep talk and assured me all would be fine!
With my amazingly strong headtorch (courtesy of LED Lenser) switched on, blinding everyone in the process, I plugged my headphones in and got going. It was dark, the route was empty and my headtorch was my only source of light but this my friends was one of the most amazing running experiences I have EVER had. There is something quite incredible about being alone in the countryside with just a headtorch and the stars, plus running in the dark meant that the hills, and there were a few sneaky ones along the route, were over before you knew it! I loved it, I absolutely loved it and I obviously had so much fun even the Marshall’s were laughing about how much of a runners high I was on as I bounded across the finish line!
My third lap however was tough. Orignally due to happen around 3:30 ish by about midnight I settled into my tent for a few hours sleep but at 1:30 I was woken up to hear the sad news that Jen was out due to a poorly leg and asked whether I could run sooner than planned … in 30 minutes! Now this race was all about the team and well there was no way I was going to let the team down so I quickly got dressed and joined Emma at the change over point and then with very little sleep and fuelled by half a Mars Bar – thank you so much Emma I still owe you for that – I ran from roughly 2:15-3:15 and I definitely felt my legs falling asleep whilst going down the hills!
When I got back Beki was there ready to go and explained that if I could would I be able to go again when she got back as both Jen and Leah were now officially out due to injury 😦 and Emma and Bex were catching up on some seriously well deserved zzz. I figured as I was up why not and it would mean I could get a solid couple of hours once I was done so I headed to the food tent for some slightly better post run / pre race fuelling, a Nuun and my Bounce Ball whilst enjoying late night ramblings with some of the other runners!
The fourth lap was a bit of a blur to be honest, somewhere around 4:30, the sun was definitely on it’s way and once again it was just me, my headtorch and Ronnie Herel’s old skool mix. I was pleased to see I got through it quicker than my third lap but by the time I crossed the line I was ready for sleep and so after a very sorry looking little bowl of oats and raisins I tucked myself in for a snooze.
Now originally we had all planned to do 3 – 4 laps each but due to some of the team being injured plans had gone a little awry. When I woke up after a couple of hours sleep the team incredibly were still running but had said that there was no pressure to so anymore. We had all gone way above expectations and we had all done each other proud but well … I wondered if my legs could do any more….
Doing a fifth lap would mean doing just shy of 30 miles, the furthest I have never run, it would mean getting another lap in for the team, and it would mean I could eat even more food! My team were incredible and without hesitation told me if my legs were up for it I could do it! So I did.
It was tough, I was tired, I was smelly, it was hot and the hills felt steeper in the daylight (hence the worn out face) BUT I did it and well I felt AMAZING! I would not have got through that lap without knowing I had my teams’ support so thank you so so much ladies!
Incredibly Nikki was there at the finish line ready to go! It was 11am ish and we had achieved our 24 laps but determined to get a 25th in Nikki set off to walk the final lap alongside Emma who on realising what she was up to ran to catch her up. (It’s worth noting here as long as you cross the start line before 12 the lap would count.)
On seeing the girls coming round the corner towards the finish line we of course joined them to cross the final line as a team …
This race was such an amazing experience for me. It was the Spitfire Scramble’s first year and I will definitely be signing up for next year! It attracted a really lovely mix of people and the atmosphere throughout was extremely supportive and friendly! The marshals along the route were smiley and the organiser himself, Danny, was extremely personable and made you feel very welcome! A word of warning the catering wasn’t exactly ideal (unless you love salty bacon (which will repeat on you whilst running) and jacket potatoes for every meal over 24 hours) but fueling for this sort of thing was always going to be tricky! Overall however it was fantastic and an experience I am so grateful to have shared with 7 other incredible running ladies :D. We even came in the top 50% out of all the teams that took part!
Oh and it’s worth mentioning that we actually came first in our division “All female team of 8”! That’s right we won trophies as well as medals!!!
So of course we used these to drink our celebratory fizz out of on the way home ;D!
A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN SPITFIRE SCRAMBLE! Us TNR ladies had a truly fantastic 24 hours!
Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …
Labrinth – Let It Be This link takes you to a live recording from Camden! He is pretty epic!!
Blak Twang ft Rodney P, Jehst & Samson – Dettwork Southeast Remix Link is to the original as I cannot find the re-release yet … but if you want to check it out head over to 1xtra & listen back to MistaJam’s show on 19.08.14
If you were asked whether you would like to try some “tasty, gluten free, 100% natural protein flapjacks” would you say no?! Of course NOT, I jumped at the chance to try some! Flapjack = yummy, protein = I am all about my protein at the moment! Provided by a young start-up company by the name of “Battle Oats” I was sent two of their brand new bars “Cranberry and Blueberry Fusion” and “Dark Choc Chip”. Here’s the low down – they are free from wheat and gluten, high in protein isolate (22%!!), made with coconut oil, high in fibre, GMO free and most importantly … THEY ARE YUMMY. Personally my favourite was the “Cranberry and Blueberry” as you could really taste the berries, but for those of you who like a chocolate fix then you know where to go! I found the bars extremely tasty and extremely filling, they will definitely keep you full til lunch or would be great after a loong run/work out! Thank you “Battle Oats” for sending the bars through, I shall definitely be looking out these once they hit the stores however, if you want to get your hands on them now and support a UK based company then head to the website now and buy buy buy! :D!
Stuff, things, bits and pieces!
We all know we love a pair of jazzy leggings and well these are pretty bright …
So it’s been another week of training with a few random elements thrown in for good measure of course ;D!
Had the pleasure of working from home so kicked the day off with 3 rounds of full body circuits, did some work, went for a steady 30 minute run in the sunshine, came back and did more work, went to a casting and then came home to build my new bed with an extremely handy friend. You know, just another normal day ;D!
20 minutes on the x trainer and 15 minutes on the bike. Both at a steady pace ready for tomorrow! (No RunDem run as had an event in the evening)
My first real attempt of channeling Bolt in a run. I think he still might beat me. So Wednesday was all about 10 x 1 minute repeats, but not only did they need to be at full effort they also needed to be consistent. So using a quiet path which I found whilst doing my warm up I used a tree as my starting point and ran at full effort for a minute which roughly took me to a bin at the end of the path. With 1 minute recovery in between I then ran back at full pace in attempt to get back to my starting point! By the end of it I definitely felt like the bin and the tree had grown legs and were moving about to tease me … either that or I was just getting tired ;D!
In the evening, well it was just another normal evening catching up with Charlie … a normal evening where you get a personal diving lesson with the Tom Daley Diving Academy! Spogo kindly invited us down to the London Aquatics Centre and well we couldn’t say no! More details will be up on the blog in a couple of days but for now here’s a couple of pictures ;D!
Three rounds of full body circuits and a gorgeous 30 minute RUNcommute to work! I forgot how convenient it can be to run to work, easily the most efficient way to get to the office!
Oh hello rest day! I generally find rest days quite tricky as I am not very good at sitting still but this rest day was seriously appreciated … my legs are definitely feeling the speed work so instead I had an early night and cooked some of my favourite things 🙂
Disgusting 1km repeats. And when I say disgusting I mean disgusting! Who knew that Highbury Fields had a few sneaky inclines! And where on earth did that wind come from?! So once again speed and consistency were key for this so after an extremely slow, almost horizontal, run to Highbury Fields (about 1.4 miles) I set off on my first of six 1km laps around Highbury Fields. My first three laps were relatively similar, my fourth was WAYYYY OUT and then I brought the fifth and sixth back to a similar time to my third lap. This was hard, really hard, particularly as my double helping of granola before this apparently wasn’t the best fuelling! Lots of lessons learnt on this run, no granola before speed work and definitely need to slow it down on my first lap to keep the consistency up!
So after missing out on Stephanie Muzzal’s infamous homemade cinnamon buns on Saturday due to over fuelling and late running I knew I would somehow have to get across London to get my hands on one! I had a 45 minute run on the plan and it had to be super slow (holding back on my “super slow” runs is something that I am struggling with at the moment but I know they will help when it comes to speed work so I am just gritting my teeth and getting on with it) so figured why not jog on down to Waterloo Station and jump on a train to meet her after her incredible 20 mile run?! So that is exactly what I did! Apart from having to remind myself to go slow this run was lovely, I knew the route so could hide my phone away and instead I just enjoyed the sights and sounds whilst running down through central London. It has to be said that the amount of “walk of shames” I past was INCREDIBLE and extremely entertaining! Once I got to Putney the moment came … those cinnamon buns are like no other! Yes Steph it was hugely impressive that you ran 20 miles today but personally nothing tops how incredible your baking is. Cinnamon buns like no other!!!
Things that I have discovered or just loved this week …
Riddim Commission ft Eve – Why Would You Stop EPIC gym song!!!
Busta rhymes ft Eminem – Calm Down Busta once again making you “Break Ya Neck”!
Iggy Azalea ft Rita Ora – Black Widow I know! But it came on in the gym and well it just really got me going!
So post whole30 I am getting back into enjoying a lovely little treat every now and again because hey sometimes (most of the time ;D) you just have to! At one of my more recent races the post run goodie bag included a rocky road from Perkier food!! Gluten, wheat and egg free this looked like a solid slab of chocolately, biscuity, marshmallowy goodness! And well it did not disappoint! Slightly crumbly … yes I did make a mess and yes my fingers and mouth were covered in chocolate … but wow this was an awesome chocolately treat and for those with intolerances I would definitely recommend!!!!
Stuff, things, bits and pieces!
Sorry, super girly but shout out to Barry M Matt nail varnish! Super cheap, super colours and once on your nails they actually look like the colour they show on the bottle! WINNING
Currently I am LOVING the matt collection! Hello summer!
So it’s been another week of random workouts … I am sure at some point I will get into a routine!!
Rest, rest and more rest after the sweaty session that was Run Hackney Half Marathon!
Morning – all about the upper body! After an awesome session whilst at at the Nürburgring I was keen to try out things on my own … including pull ups! Yep, I busted out out an assisted pull up or 30 😉 plus some skull crushers (!?), renegade rows, shoulder presses and tricep dips!
Evening – Run Dem Crew – since stepping up two pace groups this is definitely now my speed session. 4.3miles around London … phew!
Morning – Leg day. So, I haven’t fine tuned my workout plan yet and well now I know not to do leg day after RDC, aka the speed session, but it still felt good to get those squats and lunges in!
Evening – Xen Do taster session – Laureen, Charlie and I got to experience a short kick boxing taster session which was brilliant!! We kicked and boxed as hard as we could, whilst learning some great self defense moves! The class was led by Rafael Nieto who took the time to explain the theory behind the moves and then got us working…hard! Really hope to go back for another session soon, I loved it!!!
4mile steady run. Awful, like I said my workouts need tweaking slightly but hey it’s all a learning curve!
I joined Zoe, Charlie and Lissy to test out my new Sweaty Betty swimming costume at the Oasis Outdoor Pool in Covent Garden. Sadly the outdoor pool was closed (which I was a little bit glad about as I am such a whimp in the cold) but this also meant that the indoor was manic and I definitely got splashed a lot more than I wanted to! However, this was a lovely excuse to catch up with the ladies and I managed to swim a nice and relaxed 30 lengths in 25 minutes, so not all bad :D!
Fulham Palace parkrun with Lissy, Leah and Steph, introducing Leah to the world of parkruns! This was a great route, 3 laps around the beautiful Bishop’s Park taking you through the park and along the river! I love parkruns! Free, timed 5km runs where all involved are super friendly, runners and volunteers, and all in a relaxed atmosphere (with the option to push if you really want :D!) This was a great run and Steph and I definitely helped pace each other for a great sub 26 minute 5km time!
Roga! Roga! Roga!
The awesome Lululemon Islington every so often (I am hoping they will become more frequent!) throw a ROGA event… Run + Yoga = ROGA! Led by the awesome Becs (after a nice warm up 2mile run to the studio / Lissy joined me via bike – proof below) we did a gorgeous 6 mile route along the canal to Victoria Park enjoying the sunshine and then headed back to the studio to stretch out with an hours yoga session in a near by park. Honestly I cannot recommend this enough! The run definitely makes yoga a little bit more intense and don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling asleep in the end of the class but it is just such a good way to spend a Sunday! Keep your eyes posted for the next one!
So I have to apologise that I have been a little quiet on the blog recently! I have my excuses ;D but I promise to be far more consistent from now on!
So to last week’s workouts!
Monday – still recovering from the hard race that was WOTN Amsterdam just did my lovely little 4mile run commute through regents park, this one was definitely slow and steady!
Tuesday – I decided to add on some mileage to the run commute and managed a relatively speedy 7miles but man it was sweaty!
Wednesday – I had the absolute pleasure of yoga on top of One New Change (or Madison bar for those who know it!) Blue Cow Yoga kindly put on two free yoga classes and managed to chose two Wednesday mornings that were absolutely gorgeous! It really is the most amazing way to start the day, an hour of yoga (which I am finally getting!) blue skies and luckily a serious amount of my gorgeous running buddies were there too!
Thursday – Not as calming but just as fun it was time for Bangs spin class at BOOM! I LOVE this class! Bangs has the perfect mix of hard work whilst keeping it seriously fun & her playlist never fails to make me extremely happy, I mean she sneaked a Prince track in there! BUT MAN come prepared to work!!!
Friday – After a very last minute, very late, flight booking all I could managed a short abs session using the NTC app!!!
Saturday – Does driving REALLY FAST on the nurbergring count?
Sunday – My buddy kindly offered to take me to the gym whilst in Germany … I say kindly, I am still struggling to lift a pen! We did back & tris as I mentioned I wanted to run the next day, he got me doing pull ups, renegade rows, skull crushers & crazy 8s to name just a few moves! I will write a full post with descriptions as I will definitely be adding these moves into my training … once I can move my arms again!
Out of all my workouts this week I think I loved the gym the most (?!?) I love training with someone and weights is something I really want to get into but getting form right is so so important so if you can try it out with a friend! How about you? Do you prefer training with a buddy or getting into the zone by yourself?
As normal on a Thursday (whilst following the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Marathon Plan) I woke up at 6:15, brushed my teeth (always the very first thing I do!) and put on all my outdoor running gear ready for my 5 mile run. When I opened the curtains I was extremely pleased to see it was a lovely morning, not a rain drop in sight! I headed down stairs past the window and thought … “I am actually really not in the mood to run today, I’m tired”
Now I think I have mentioned before I am not one to easily give in and I do love a good challenge, but the thought of running 5 miles just wasn’t appealing to me today. So instead I ran back upstairs changed into less winter ready gym gear and did the following little workout …
5 sets of the following
1 minute SPRINT
1 minute skipping (30 seconds on each leg)
1 minute stepping
1 minute burpees
1 minute collapse, catch breath back, get water!
This was then followed by a lower body strength work out featuring split squats, deadlifts, supermans and leg extensions.
This work out lasted just over an hour (including stretching) and well I came out of the gym feeling great! Now I am sure I would have felt just as good finishing the 5 miles as per my plan but I just didn’t want to do it!?! It was just one of those days.
Now as I first time marathon “attempter” I have tried really hard to stick to the plan in order to train safely etc however, I think it sometimes is just as important to think about how you YOU feel, how YOUR body feels. I still managed to get my heart rate up and head to work with that smug “I have just worked out” feeling without doing something I don’t think my body wanted to do.
Do you ever have days were your running mojo vanishes ever so slightly? Or have you tried a different kind of workout to combat your mind and body’s refusal to run?
Sometimes you just don’t want to not run, you want to sit in a gym instead ;D!